Skip the Ivy League Bill, Keep the Reading List

There has been a growing debate in our country for decades now on whether or not the degrees handed out are worth what they once were. An Ivy League MBA can cost upwards of $200,000 on a good day and many question whether or not any education can be worth that much. 

Even Elon Musk, the world richest and probably most intelligent entrepreneur, says he is not afraid to hire those without formal credentials. He claims he’s always focused more on skill than certifications. And Mr. Musk is far from alone in this thought process; more and more hiring managers are letting the skills and expertise take the wheel and look to degrees as more icing on the cake. 

So if you couldn’t afford the $200,000 price tag and/or couldn’t make the list, count yourself (and your wallet lucky) and take the abridged version with this list of the top seven most assigned books in the Ivy League MBA circuit today!

Organizational Culture and Leadership by Edgar H Schein

There is a common misconception that conflict in the workplace leads to unhappiness and dissatisfaction in the workplace. In fact, the Kicking off the list is a classic textbook, currently on its 5th edition this book on organizational culture and leadership is essential on nearly every student’s reading list. It covers the basics you need to know about the “inter-relationship of organizational culture dynamics and leadership”.

It’s available on Amazon for less than $40.

Essentials of Organizational Behavior by Stephen Robbins

Keeping on theme with organizational concepts comes the Essentials of Organizational Behavior.  Currently on its 14th edition this text book has been utilized at more than 500 colleges and universities and is on many professionals bookshelves for years after college remaining a go to book for all things organizational behavior.

You can grab your own copy for about $55.

Critical Analysis of Organizations: Theory by Catherine Joan Casey

This book covers the essentials critical element of organizational analysis and focuses on finding the right balance in a postmodernist world. The book could be even more relevant today in the midst of a global pandemic and the subsequent evaluation of our current organizational structures and systems.

Hardcovers start at $150 & Kindle version of this book are less than $60

Asking the Right Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking by M. Neil Browne

On its tenth edition this classic Ivy League text by M. Neil Browne helps to “bridge the gap between simply memorizing or blindly accepting information and the great challenge of critical analysis & synthesis.” It guides you through not only identifying the right questions but also recognizing fallacies and the potential obstacles to critical thinking.

The essential starts at only $15 on paperback.

The Management of Innovation by Tom Burns

This book has been on the reading list for Ivy League MBA programs since the 1960’s and it is still a common requirement! It has been called one of the most influential books about business organizations ever published and literally changed an entire industry’s way of thinking overnight. It not only challenges the status quo but offers a solution that is still relevant today. 

Available on Amazon for just under $100 and worth every penny!

A Theory of Human Motivation by Abraham Maslow

The original premier of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and his subsequent paper “A Theory of Human Motivation” was published in 1943. Almost a century later MBA students all over the world are still studying it!

It’s a short read but heavy read and well worth the LESS THAN $5 it costs!

Defining Moments: When Managers Must Choose Between Right and Right by Joseph Badaracco

You’d be hard pressed to find an Ivy League MBA that did not read Defining Moments by Joesph Badaracco. This book focuses on decision making and the importance of personal value and conflict resolution. It helps managers and executives communicate more effectively and honestly and has helped countless of today’s leaders climb the corporate ladder with ease and conviction.

Grab your own copy for about $20.

There you have it. The Ivy League MBA reading list without the Ivy League price tag. Have you read any of these? And if not, which are you most excited to read first?

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