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Management reports, briefs issued by Samsung Economic Research Institute

Summer Holiday Reading List for CEOs

Summer Holiday Reading List for CEOs

LEE Kap-Soo

July 31, 2006

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Reading is a good way for corporate chief executive officers (CEOs) to arm themselves as they respond to the challenge of rapidly changing business environment and ever-growing uncertainties. They come under growing pressure to sharpen intellectual and business acumen as they shape and reshape their corporate strategies and principles essential to their survival.

Nothing beats the power of reading when it comes to expanding knowledge. Constant reading allows us to get a better grip on socioeconomic trends; it opens the way for wisdom of the ages. French philosopher Rene Descartes left behind the enduring adage that "reading all the good books is like holding a conversation with the finest men of past centuries."

The concept of 'reading management' has recently grown popular as a means of promoting two-way communication and establishing a positive organizational culture. Some CEOs apply what they read to management, and encourage other employees to follow this pattern. They do this also to strengthen ties with workers. One such company is credit card issuer Samsung Card; it successfully runs the so-called 'Book-Crossing' system by which its CEO posts opinions on the company Intranet after reading a book, so that other employees can appreciate them.

Since 2004, we at Samsung Economic Research Institute (SERI) have conducted annual survey on books that can be recommended for CEO reading. This particular survey was conducted from July 6 to July 10 this year, among 1,253 CEOs across the country, of whom 63.1% said they read one or two books each month. Also, 33.3% of those surveyed said they read to find wisdom, 32.8% to catch up on current developments, and 31.5% to get new management ideas. As always, they most enjoy reading economic and management subjects, with 61.9% respondents saying their reading material consisted mostly of economics and business management.

Herewith is a short-list of 5 out of 20 books recommended by subscribers to our websites www.seri.org and www.sericeo.org, and their summaries:

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