The Curse of Bigness: How Corporate Giants Came to Rule the World
‘Timely and important.’ — Joseph E. Stiglitz ‘Tim Wu helps shape an urgent new global conversation.’ — Shoshana ZuboffWe’re three decades into a global experiment: what happens when the major nations of the world weaken their control on the size and power of corporate giants and allow unrestricted expansion?In The Curse of Bigness, Tim Wu exposes the threats monopolies pose to economic stability and social freedom around the world. Aided by the globalization of commerce and finance, in recent years we have seen takeovers galore that make a mockery of the ideals of competition and economic freedom. Such is the ‘curse of bigness’: stifled entrepreneurship, stalled productivity, dominant tech giants like Facebook and Google, and fewer choices for consumers. Urgent and persuasive, this bold manifesto argues that we need to rediscover the anti-monopoly traditions that brought great peace and prosperity in the past.
The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty: States, Societies and the Narrow Corridor to Liberty
‘A must-read. Acemoglu and Robinson are intellectual heavyweights of the first rank . . . erudite and fascinating’ Paul Collier, Guardian, on Why Nations FailIn this profoundly important follow up to their global bestseller, Acemoglu and Robinson provide a powerful new framework for looking at countries’ development through the way that the state interacts with society.This conceptualisation – in which any country can be located on a simple diagram and its future predicted – is new and based on decades of their research. The power distribution between state and society affects how peaceful societies are, what types of institutions develop, how much oppression and fear people suffer, how their economies are organized, and how rich they are.Full of entertaining stories from the past (it starts with the wife of a Nigerian ruler fleeing Abuja with 38 suitcases of cash), Balance of Power sheds light on issues from the present and has practical political ideas for the future.’An intellectually rich book that develops an important thesis with verve’ Martin Wolf, Financial Times, on Why Nations Fail
Customer Fraud and Business Responses: Let the Marketer Beware
From remarkably frank and credible responses to their comprehensive research questionnaire, Tian and Keep provide a unique, wide ranging catalogue of frauds that customers perpetrate on businesses–and what marketers can do to combat it. They were able to receive and analyze more than 250 written descriptions–a 71% response rate!–of the acts that customers committed and the methods they used. Instead of merely a checklist, Tian and Keep obtained their data in the customers’ own words, resulting in highly detailed and reliable insights into why customers did what they did. They find that customer fraud has emerged as a form of guerilla warfare against companies, that it is adapted to specific situations, and that underlying customers’ motivation is a need to get even. Ethics has little do with it. In fact, some respondents even asserted that they had an obligation to commit fraud: they did it to retaliate against what they perceived as unethical acts that businesses committed against them. The result is a rare documentation of the specifics of fraud, how it threatens not only business but entire economies, and the actions–bold and subtle–that marketers can take in self-protective response.Not only will corporate management, particularly in marketing, get detailed descriptions of their customers’ fraud strategies and tactics, but they will also receive insights into where they are vulnerable and why. Tian and Keep show that fraud has become so socially acceptable among middle class customers that they are willing to share their tactics, strategies, and secrets with their friends. With this as their foundation, the authors give practitioners an arsenal of detection and deterrence methods. Equally important, they provide ways to implement them without alienating their other, blameless customers. They also show marketers what they can do to reestablish trust in their marketing exchanges with customers, and improve relationships in ways that will diminish (if not fully eliminate) the incidence of fraud. For management generally as well as marketers in companies of all sizes and type, Tian’s and Keep’s book is essential, engrossing, and useful reading.