In this astonishing, provocative, and solidly researched book, two Harvard Business School professors synthesize 200 years of thought along with the latest research drawn from the biological and social sciences to propose a new theory, a unified synthesis of human nature. Paul Lawrence and Nitin Nohria have studied the way people behave in that most fascinating arena of human behavior - the workplace - and from their work they produce a book that examines the four separate and distinct emotive drives that guide human behavior and influence the choices people make: the drives to acquire, bond, learn, and defend.
They ultimately show that, just as advances in information technology have spurred the New Economy in the last quarter of the 20th century, current advances in biology will be the key to understanding humans and organizations in the new millennium.
"This is a stimulating and provocative book in bringing together important ideas from different fields, and, thereby, giving us a whole new slant on 'human nature.'" (Edgar H. Schein, Sloan Fellows Professor of Management Emeritus and Senior Lecturer, MIT)
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Like reading a research paper
I recommend the first half of the book as a great read/listen. The second half of the book is written in an almost formal research paper style. The authors try to apply the concepts broadly to business. The business ideas are much to vague to have the meaningful impact that the first portion gives. The book presents a hypothesis that four drive are genetically present in most of the human population. I thought it was very overall an interesting read. If you like "brain books," I suggest "Brain Rules" as another good read in this category.
- A. S.