Saturday, February 18, 2012

Books of the year - 2011

These are the books I have enjoyed very much during last year (and probably most of the few books I got a chance to read, given the strong paper-focus of my current career), worth remembering and giving a 2nd and a 3d thought...:

- Rorty, "Contingency, irony, and solidarity" (1)
- Douglas, "How institutions think"
- Kunda, "Engineering culture" (2)
- Glaser and Strauss, "The discovery of grounded theory"
- Kidder, "The soul of a machine"
- Rumelt, "Good strategy, bad strategy"

A very diverse bunch again, from philosophy, to anthropology, to ethnography, to strategy, but then again there is also a common thread to them as well.  Interesting to see the progress from 2009, 2010, and another 2010 as well (at least for me) - one of the big ones is the total lack of fiction, for good or bad that is.  As Mary Hatch says, academic writing strips us from any kind of creativity...Let's see what the future holds :)

and some of the more memorable quotes:

"To say that truth is not out there is simply to say that where there are no sentences there is no truth, that sentences are elements of human languages, and that human languages are human creations" (1, p. 5)

"The process of coming to know oneself, confronting one's contingency, tracking one's causes home, is identical with the process of inventing a new language - that is, of thinking up some new metaphors (1, p. 27)

"The ironist spends her time worrying about the possibility that she has been initiated into the wrong tribe, taught to play the wrong language game.  She worries that the process of socialization which turned her into a human being by giving her a language may have given her the wrong language, and so turned her into the wrong kind of human being" (1, p. 75)

The “organizational man, Whyte (1956) says, “must fight the Organization…for the demands for his surrender are constant and powerful, and the more he has come to like the life of the organization the more difficult does he find it to resist these demands or even recognize them” (2, p. 227)

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