With The Plundered Planet Paul Collier is contributing to new thinking on the economics of sustainability on an increasingly crowded planet. With the increasing affluence of the major populations of India, China and Brazil joining the developed nations in exploiting natural resources that new thinking is needed. Without it future generations will be impoverished and standards of living of the major economies, including the newly affluent, could suffer.
Professor Collier breaks his analysis and argument out across five headings.
The first part of the book describes what is meant by plunder in the context of the book’s title: The Plundered Planet and the nature of poverty especially for the bottom billion. The author examines the value put on natural resources by current economic theory and starts to explore the options.
In Aerotropolis John Kasarda and Greg Lindsay suggest that the future lies with cities that are designed and built round airports. The airports provide a focus for business and jobs. Globalisation means frequent business travellers want easy connection between home and airport. Yet it may all be a utopian view whose time has passed.
The ideas in Aerotropolis are interesting and challenging. They are based on John Kasarda’s extensive academic, consulting and proselytising work. The book is structured around a series of case studies of airport and city development since commercial flight began. However the principal coverage is of the period since the Second World War with particular consideration of the use of the aerotropolis model as a vehicle for economic development in emerging markets.
Anyone who has watched the television programme "Dragons' Den" will be aware how ill-prepared many entrepreneurs are when seeking investment. They often do not seem to understand their market or their business. The New Business Road Test guides would-be founders of start-up businesses through the key questions they need to understand if they are going to maximise their chances of success.
As the book’s subtitle suggests, The New Business Road Test guides those starting new business through the analysis needed to write meaningful business plan. It is divided into two parts.
At last a book on human resource management methods that seeks to eliminate the overly-complex bureaucratic processes used in so many organisations. Managers and staff alike hate them and pay lip service and as a result the performance management and staff development systems do not work as hoped; the response is often to add more complexity and controls to force their application.
In One Page Talent Management Marc Effron and Miriam Ort seek to deal with the challenge of making talent and human resource management usable so that managers and staff will use the leaner processes effectively. They aim to do so by Eliminating Complexity, Adding Value to performance and staff development management whilst still basing it on the same science as the ineffective bureaucratic systems.
As The India Way suggests, India's different business culture could revolutionise multinational management as India enterprises go global and escape their home markets. The four authors are all Professors at the Wharton School, the University of Pennsylvania’s renowned business school and are well placed to comment on what they call The India Way. During the research for the book they consulted with most of the top Indian leaders of the businesses that underpin India’s recent and continuing success.