Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Outstanding Business Reference Sources: The 2011 Selection of Recent Titles

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Outstanding Business Reference Sources: The 2011 Selection of Recent Titles

Article excerpt

Each year, the Business Reference Sources Committee of BRASS selects the outstanding business reference sources published since May of the previous year. The committee reviewed 31 entries; 3 were designated as "outstanding," and 7 were placed into the other noteworthy titles category. Of the 7 noteworthy titles, 2 were labeled as significant new editions. These works cover a variety of topics: industrial/organizational psychology, leadership, law and finance, economic history, marketing and demographics, as well as operations research and management science.

To qualify for the award, the title must meet the conventional definition of reference: a work compiled specifically to supply information on a certain subject or group of subjects in a form that will facilitate its ease of use. The works are examined for the following: authority and reputation of the publisher, author, or editor; accuracy; appropriate bibliography; organization; comprehensiveness; value of the content; currency; unique addition; ease of use for the intended purpose; quality and accuracy of index; and quality and usefulness of graphics and illustrations. Each year, more electronic reference titles are published. Additional criteria for electronic reference titles are accuracy of links, search features, stability of content and graphic design. Works selected must be suitable for medium- to large-size academic and public libraries.

OUTSTANDING TITLES

APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Ed. Sheldon Zedeck. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, 2011. 3 vols. 2300p. Print: $695. Online: $1,195. Both: $1,890. (ISBN: 978-1-4338-0727-5).

This is a first entry in what will be a series of handbooks on the subfields of psychology. The title has three volumes: 1. Building and Developing the Organization (20 chapters); 2. Selecting and Developing Members for the Organization (19 chapters); and 3. Maintaining, Expanding, and Contracting the Organization (24 chapters). There is a cumulative index in the third volume. Edited by leading scholars, each volume gives an expansive overview of issues pertinent to organizations and their members at each stage of growth from creation to dissolution.

Each chapter is addressed from the applied as well as the theoretical perspective and there is a common structure. First there is a definition and description of the typical method of diagnosis, followed by how research on it is conducted, the generally accepted resolutions to the issue, and common assessment methods. Finally, each chapter includes an identification of future opportunities for research. This work is obviously useful to the industrial and organizational psychology community, but perhaps less obvious is its value to other areas of business research. As an example, the chapter on entrepreneurship was very comprehensive. The chapter highlights entrepreneurial motivation and the various cognitive theories used to explain opportunity recognition. Anyone doing research in entrepreneurial studies would do well to consult this chapter.

In the second volume, the chapter on interviews is another example of content valuable to a wide range of readers, including human resources professionals and hiring managers. It not only covers the history and theories of the interviewing process which are useful for the researcher, but also provides a comprehensive overview of the common fallacies of interviewing that could be used to refocus recruitment efforts in any organization. In the third volume, the topic communication is well explored with subheadings that include the structure of communication in organizations, communication media, and organizational communications processes, as well as a comprehensive definition of communication and recommended methodologies of study. The subheading on organizational communications processes is further divided into sections on command, control coordination, participation, empowerment and domination. …

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