WSU Online MBA Programs 2020 Reading List

View all blog posts under Articles

The Carson College of Business Online MBA Programs is proud to share its reading list for business leaders based on recommendations from program faculty and staff to ring in 2020. Our recommended reading list covers leadership, communication, growth and development, and innovation.

We encourage you to use this list to jumpstart your 2020 reading goals. Download our printable version of this list so that you can share with your team. You can also hang it in your office and check off the books as you read them.


Work With Me: The 8 Blind Spots Between Men and Women in Business

Author: Barbara Annis and John Gray

Recommendation by: Cheryl Oliver, Associate Dean, Professional Programs

Subject: Utilizing our natural strengths and abilities to work better together.

Reason for recommending: Annis and Gray  thoroughly provide global research and examples that identify how some of our best intended behaviors can be ill received by our colleagues. They describe ways to ask important questions, approach collaboration and plan communication so that our intent matches our behavior. I appreciated this book for giving me insight into how I can be more effective in my communication and how I can be more receptive and open to colleagues as well.


Business Model You: A One-Page Method for Reinventing your Career

Author:  Timothy Clark, Alexander Ostewalder, and Yes Pigneur

Recommendation By: Mario G. Reyes, Ph.D., Clinical Professor of Finance (Online MBA)

Subject: Personal Growth

Reason for recommending:  There should be a new “you” as a result of completing the Online MBA/Executive MBA Online.  So, what is your new value proposition?  This book offers a guide for developing your personal business model.


Changing the Conversation: The 17 Principles of Conflict Resolution

Author:  Dana Caspersen and Josh Elffers

Recommendation By: Mario G. Reyes, Ph.D., Clinical Professor of Finance (Online MBA)

Subject: Communication

Reason for recommending:  Discover ways for effective communication and handling of conflicts.  Resist the attack, instead learn ways to move forward and apply in the workplace and in personal life.


500 Social Media Marketing Tips: Essential Advice, Hints and Strategy for Business

Author: Andrew Macarthy

Recommendation By: Darrel Muehling, Ph.D., Professor of Marketing and Intl. Business (Online MBA)

Subject: Social Media Strategies

Reason for recommending: The promotional landscape has drastically changed over the past decade, with more and more firms devoting significant human and financial resources to support their social media campaigns. Successful marketing managers will increasingly need to understand and be able to execute social media campaigns for their firms to stay relevant in today’s competitive marketplace.


Competing Against Luck

Author: Clayton M. Christensen et al.

Recommendation By: Michael Jordan, DBA, Adjunct Faculty (Online MBA/Executive MBA Programs)

Subject: Innovation

Reason for recommending: The “Jobs to Be Done” approach enables entrepreneurs and companies to scope lucrative innovation opportunities and to effectively define customer needs. This is important because most innovation failures are due to ambiguity around the value that customers want from products and services.


The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership

Author:  Steven B. Sample

Recommendation By: Fred Peterson, Ph.D., Professor Leadership Studies (Executive MBA Online)

Subject:  Leadership

Reason for recommending:  Easy-to-read ideas and recommendations about leadership grounded in the author’s personal experience


30 Days – Change Your Habits Change Your Life

Author: Marc Reklau

Recommendation By: Debi Mundell, 599 Course Instructor (Online MBA/Executive MBA Programs)

Subject: Personal Growth and Development

Reason for recommending: It is about taking control of your life in small daily steps which is something measurable and attainable no matter where you are in life.



Wooden on Leadership

Author: John Wooden

Recommendation by: Matt Beer, Military and Veteran Affairs Manager

Subject: Leadership and Team Building

Reason for recommending: Legendary college basketball coach, John Wooden won 10 national titles, strung together 88 consecutive victories, and suffered only one losing season – his first – in 41 years of coaching. Part autobiography, part leadership philosophy, Wooden on Leadership is a highly readable, straightforward reflection on the simple but profound building blocks required to reach competitive greatness.  Hint: it starts with putting your socks on correctly!


Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot 

Author: James Stockdale

Recommendation by: Matt Beer, Military and Veteran Affairs Manager

Subject: Ethical Leadership

Reason for recommending: This is a collection of essays and speeches by the late Vice Admiral James Stockdale.  Stockdale survived seven and a half years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam.  Amidst torture, intimidation, and isolation his ideas on life and leadership crystallized. The essays address character, leadership integrity, virtue and ethics but all center on one central theme: how we can rise with dignity to prevail in the face of adversity.