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100 Books on Progressive Organizations and Good Management

Joost Minnaar
Written by Joost Minnaar December 10, 2023

Some months ago, several community members of our Corporate Rebels Academy asked me to draft a reading list on progressive organizations and good management. I accepted the challenge. So, over the summer, I started to draft a list. In fact, it became a very long list—one containing more than 100 books. 

Disclaimer: This list is restricted by the books I read (so far). Therefore this list is, of course, not complete, nor is it perfect.

Moreover, the list is chronologically compiled—the books at the top of the list are not necessarily the best, and the books at the bottom of the list are not necessarily the worst.

Here we go.


Partnership for All

Subtitle: A 34-year Old Experiment in Industrial Democracy
Author:
John S. Lewis
Date:
January 1948

Notes: Describes the case of John Lewis & Partners


In Search of Excellence

Subtitle: Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies
Author:
Tom Peters & Robert H. Waterman Jr.
Date:
January 1982


The Eternal Venture Spirit

Subtitle: An Executive's Practical Philosophy
Author:
Kazuma Tateisi
Date:
November 1989

Notes: Describes the case of Omron


All Teams are not Created Equal

Subtitle: How Employee Empowerment Really Works
Author:
Lyman D. Ketchum & Eric L. Trist
Date:
March 1992


Structures of Social Life

Subtitle: The Four Elementary Forms of Human Relations
Author:
Alan P. Fiske
Date:
August 1993


Flight of the Buffalo

Subtitle: Soaring to Excellence, Learning to Let Employees Lead
Author:
James Belasco & Ralph C. Stayer
Date:
August 1994

Notes: Describes the case of Johnsonville Foods


Built to Last

Subtitle: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies
Author:
Jim Collins & Jerry I. Porras
Date:
October 1994


Skunk Works

Subtitle: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed
Author:
Ben R. Rich & Leo Janos
Date:
August 1995

Notes: Describes the case of Lockheed's Advanced Development Programs


Open-Book Management

Subtitle: The Coming Business Revolution
Author:
John Case
Date:
April 1996


Plain Talk

Subtitle: Lessons from a Business Maverick
Author:
Ken Iverson & Tom Varian
Date:
November 1997

Notes: Describes the case of Nucor


Synergetisch Produceren (Dutch)

Subtitle: Human Resources Mobilisation in de produktie: een inleiding in structuurbouw
Author:
Ulbo de Sitter
Date:
March 1998


Sociocracy

Subtitle: The Organization of Decision-Making "No Objections" as the Principle of Sociocracy
Author:
Gerard Endenburg
Date:
September 1998

Notes: Describes the case of Endenburg Electrotechniek


The Self Managing Organization

Subtitle: How Leading Companies are Transforming the Work of Teams for Real Impact
Author:
Steven Cabana & Ronald Purser
Date:
November 1998


Moments of Truth

Subtitle: New Strategies for Today's Customer-Driven Economy
Author:
Jan Carlzon
Date:
March 2001

Notes: Describes the case of Scandinavian Airlines


Freedom and Accountability at Work

Subtitle: Applying Philosophic Insight to the Real World
Author:
Peter Koestenbaum & Peter Block
Date:
August 2001


Maverick!

Subtitle: The Success Story Behind the World's Most Unusual Workshop
Author:
Ricardo Semler
Date:
September 2001

Notes: Describes the case of Semco


Decentralisation

Subtitle: Why and How to Make it Work - The Handelsbanken Way
Author:
Jan Wallander
Date:
January 2003

Notes: Describes the case of Handelsbanken


Beyond Budgeting

Subtitle: How Managers Can Break Free from the Annual Performance Trap
Author:
Jeremy Hope & Robin Fraser
Date:
February 2003


A Stake in the Outcome

Subtitle: Building a Culture of Ownership for the Long-Term Success of Your Business
Author:
Jack Stack & Bo Burlingham
Date:
September 200

Notes: Describes the case of SRC Holdings


Good Business

Subtitle: Leadership, Flow and the Making of Meaning
Author:
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Date:
January 2004


The Future of Work

Subtitle: How the New Order of Business Will Shape Our Organization, Your Management Style, and Your Life
Author:
Thomas W. Malone
Date:
April 2004


Top Down

Subtitle: Why Hierarchies are Here to Stay and How to Manage Them More Effectively
Author:
Harold J. Leavitt
Date:
November 2004


Joy at Work

Subtitle: A Revolutionary Approach to Fun on the Job
Author:
Dennis W. Bakke
Date:
March 2005

Notes: Describes the case of AES Corporation


One From Many

Subtitle: VISA and the Rise of the Chaordic Organization
Author:
Dee Hock
Date:
October 2005

Notes: Describes the case of VISA


The Second Cycle

Subtitle: Winning the War against Bureaucracy
Author:
Lars Kolind
Date:
May 2006

Notes: Describes the case of Oticon


Let My People Go Surfing

Subtitle: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman
Author:
Yvon Chouinard
Date:
September 2006

Notes: Describes the case of Patagonia


The SAIC Solution

Subtitle: How We Built an $8 Billion Employee Owned Technology Company
Author:
J. Robert Beyster & Peter Economy
Date:
March 2007

Notes: Describes the case of SAIC


Eckart's Notes (Dutch)

Author: Eckart Wintzen
Date:
May 2007

Notes: Describes the case of BSO-Origin


Up the Organization

Subtitle: How to Stop the Corporation form Stifling People and Strangling Profits
Author: Robert Townsend & Warren Bennis
Date:
June 2007

Notes: Describes the case of Avis Rent-a-Car


The Future of Management

Author: Gary Hamel & Bill Breen
Date:
October 2007


The Age of Heretics

Subtitle: A History of the Radical Thinkers Who Reinvented Corporate Management
Author: Art Kleiner & Warren Bennis
Date:
October 2008


From Pablo to Osama

Subtitle: Trafficking and Terrorist Networs, Government Bureaucracies, and Competitive Adaptation
Author: Michael Kenney
Date:
November 2008


Thinking in Systems

Subtitle: A Primer
Author: Donella H. Meadows & Diana Wright
Date:
December 2008


Basho Management

Subtitle: New Japanese Philosophy of Manufacturing and Empowerment
Author: Masao Maekawa
Date:
January 2009

Notes: Describes the case of Maekawa Global (MYCOM)


Community

Subtitle: The Structure of Belonging
Author: Peter Block
Date:
September 2009


Moral Mazes

Subtitle: The World of Corporate Managers
Author: Robert Jackall
Date:
December 2009


The Fifth Discipline

Subtitle: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization
Author:
Peter M. Senge
Date:
April 2010


The Guide to Good Leading Series

Subtitle: Part 1, 2, 3 & 4
Author:
Ari Weinzweig
Date:
January 2010

Notes: Describes the case of Zingerman's


The Black Swan

Subtitle: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
Author:
Nassim N. Taleb
Date:
May 2010


Employees First, Customers Second

Subtitle: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down
Author:
Vineet Nayar
Date:
June 2010

Notes: Describes the case of HCL Technologies


The Management Myth

Subtitle: Debunking Modern Business Philosophy
Author:
Matthew Stewart
Date:
September 2010


The No Asshole Rule

Subtitle: Building a Civilised Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't
Author:
Robert I. Sutton
Date:
December 2010


Managing

Author: Henry Mintzberg
Date:
February 2011


The Happy Manifesto

Subtitle: Make Your Organisation a Great Workplace - Now!
Author:
Henry Stewart
Date:
November 2011

Notes: Describes the case of Happy


Collisions and Collaboration

Subtitle: The Organization of Learning in the ATLAS Experiment at the LHC
Author:
Max Boisot, Markus Nordberg, Said Mami & Bertrand Nicouvert
Date:
July 2011

Notes: Describes the case of ATLAS


Anarchic Solidarity

Subtitle: Autonomy, Equality, and Fellowship in Southeast Asia
Author:
Thomas Gibson & Kenneth Sillander
Date:
December 2011


Start With Why

Subtitle: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
Author:
Simon Sinek
Date:
December 2011


The Righteous Mind

Subtitle: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
Author:
Jonathan Haidt
Date:
March 2012


Teaming

Subtitle: How Organisations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy
Author:
Amy C. Edmondson
Date:
April 2012


Delivering Happiness

Subtitle: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose
Author:
Tony Hsieh
Date:
May 2012

Notes: Describes the case of Zappos


Unboss

Author: Lars Kolind & Jacob Botter
Date:
October 2012


Thinking Fast and Slow

Author: Daniel Kahneman
Date:
April 2013


The Great Game of Business

Subtitle: The Only Sensible Way to Run a Company
Author:
Jack Stack & Bo Burlingham
Date:
July 2013

Notes: Describes the case of SRC Holdings


Legacy

Subtitle: What the All Blacks Can Teach Us About the Business of Life
Author:
James Kerr
Date:
November 2013


Antrifragile

Subtitle: Things That Gain from Disorder
Author:
Nassim N. Taleb
Date:
January 2014


Reinventing Organisations

Subtitle: A Guide to Creating Organisations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness
Author:
Frederic Laloux
Date:
February 2014


Organize for Complexity

Subtitle: How to Get Life Back Into Work to Build the High-Performance Organization
Author:
Niels Pflaeging
Date:
March 2014


Six Simple Rules

Subtitle: How to Manage Complexity Without Getting Complicated
Author:
Yves Morveux & Peter Tollman
Date:
April 2014


Exponential Organizations

Subtitle: Why New Organisations Are Ten Times Better, Faster, and Cheaper Than Yours (and What To Do About It)
Author:
Salim Ismail, Michael S. Malone, Yuri van Geest
Date:
October 2014


Scaling Up

Subtitle: How a Few Companies Make It... and Why the Rest Don't
Author:
Verne Harnish
Date:
October 2014


Organizational Innovation by Integrating Simplification

Subtitle: Learning from Buurtzorg Nederland
Author:
Sharda S. Nandram
Date:
November 2014

Notes: Describes the case of Buurtzorg


The Path

Subtitle: Find Fulfilment Through Prosperity from Japan's Father of Management
Author:
Konosuke Matsushita
Date:
April 2015


Turn the Ship Around!

Subtitle: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders
Author:
David Marquet
Date:
October 2015

Notes: Describes the case of the USS Santa Fe


Simplicity

Subtitle: Be a Sharper, Faster, Clearer Thinker
Author:
Edward de Bono
Date:
November 2015


Team of Teams

Subtitle: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World
Author:
Stanley A. McChrystel, Tantum Collins, David Silverman & Chris Fussel
Date:
November 2015

Notes: Describes the case of the US Army


The Innovator's Dilemma

Subtitle: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail
Author:
Clayton M. Christensen
Date:
January 2016


Freedom, Inc.

Subtitle: How Corporate Liberation Unleashes Employee Potential and Business Performance
Author:
Brian M. Carney & Isaac Getz
Date:
January 2016


Humble Consulting

Subtitle: How to Provide Real Help Faster
Author:
Edgar H. Schein
Date:
April 2016


Transforming Relationships for High Performance

Subtitle: The Power of Relational Coordination
Author:
Jody Hoffer Gittell
Date:
August 2016

Notes: Describes the case of SouthWest Airlines


Everybody Matters

Subtitle: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family
Author:
Bob Chapman & Raj Sisodia
Date:
October 2016

Notes: Describes the case of Barry-Wehmiller


Poleposition (Dutch)

Subtitle: Zelf Aan het Stuur in Hollands Kroon
Author:
Arthur Cremers, Anja van der Horst, Wim van Twuijver
Date:
October 2016

Notes: Describes the case of Hollands Kroon


Business for Punks

Subtitle: Break All the Rules - the BrewDog Way
Author:
James Watt
Date:
November 2016

Notes: Describes the case of BrewDog


Self-Management

Subtitle: How it Does Work
Author:
Astrid Vermeer & Ben Wenting
Date:
November 2016

Notes: Describes the case of Buurtzorg


Beyond Empowerment

Subtitle: The Age of the Self-Managed Organization
Author:
Doug Kirkpatrick
Date:
May 2017

Notes: Describes the case of Morning Star


Questioning Corporate Hierarchy

Subtitle: Does Management Have Any Fundamental Reason To Hierarchically Control Employees
Author: Bill Nobles & Paul Staley
Date:
May 2017


Scale

Subtitle: The Universal Laws of Life, Growth, and Death in Organisms, Cities, and Companies
Author:
Geoffrey West
Date:
May 2018


The Microstructure of Organisations

Author: Phanish Puranam
Date:
July 2018


Drive

Subtitle: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Author:
Daniel H. Pink
Date:
July 2018


Humble Leadership

Subtitle: The Power of Relationships, Openness, and Trust
Author:
Edgar H. Schein & Peter A. Schein
Date:
August 2018


One Mission

Subtitle: How Leaders Build a Team of Teams
Author:
Chris Fussel & C.W. Goodyear
Date:
August 2018


It Doesn't Have to be Crazy at Work

Author: Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
Date:
October 2018

Notes: Describes the case of Basecamp


La Bell Histoire de Favi (French)

Subtitle: L’Entreprise qui Croit Que L’Homme est Bon
Author:
Jean-Francois Zobrist
Date:
October 2018

Notes: Describes the case of FAVI


The Fearless Organization

Subtitle: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth
Author:
Amy C. Edmondson
Date:
December 2018


Brave New Work

Subtitle: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization?
Author:
Aaron Dignan
Date:
February 2019


Bullshit Jobs

Subtitle: The Rise of Pointless Work, and What We Can Do About It
Author:
David Graeber
Date:
February 2019


De Collega's Werken Thuis (Dutch)

Subtitle: Kies Zelf Waar, Wanneer en Hoe Je Werkt
Author:
Frank van Massenhove & Tom Auwers
Date:
April 2019

Notes: Describes the case of FOD Sociale Zekerheid


Superengaged

Subtitle: How To Transform Business by Putting People and Purpose First
Author:
Nikki Gatenby
Date:
May 2019

Notes: Describes the case of PropellerNet


Superminds

Subtitle: The Surprising Power of People an Computers Thinking Together
Author: Thomas W. Malone
Date:
June 2019


Beyond Command and Control

Author: John Seddon
Date:
September 2019


Tree-Ring Management

Subtitle: Take the Long View and Grow Your Business Slowly
Author:
Hiroshi Tsukakoshi
Date:
October 2019

Notes: Describes the case of Ina Food


The 99 Percent Economy

Subtitle: How Democratic Socialism Can Overcome the Crises of Capitalism
Author:
Paul S. Adler
Date:
December 2019


Corporate Rebels

Subtitle: Make Work More Fun
Author:
Joost Minnaar & Pim de Morree
Date:
February 2020


Moose Heads on the Table

Subtitle: Stories about Self-Managing Organisations from Sweden
Author:
Karin Tenelius & Lisa Gill
Date:
May 2020


Humanocracy

Subtitle: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them
Author:
Gary Hamel & Michele Zanini
Date:
August 2020


A Repurposed Life

Author: Ronni Kahn
Date:
February 2021

Notes: Describes the case of OzHarvest


Excellence Now

Subtitle: Extreme Humanism
Author:
Tom Peters
Date:
March 2021


Open Management

Subtitle: Better Work for a Better World
Author:
Rob England & Cherry Vu
Date:
December 2021

Notes: Describes the case of Teal Unicorn


Start-up Factory

Subtitle: Haier's RenDanHeYi Model and the End of Management as We Know It
Author:
Joost Minnaar, Pim de Morree & Bram van der Lecq
Date:
May 2022

Notes: Describes the case of Haier


Why Managers Matter

Subtitle: The Perils of the Bossless Company
Author:
Nicolai J. Foss & Peter G. Klein
Date:
October 2022


Made Without Managers

Subtitle: One Company's Story of Creating a Self-Managing Workplace
Author:
Alison Sturgess-Durden, et al.
Date:
January 2023

Notes: Describes the case of Mayden


Confronting our Freedom

Subtitle: Leading a Culture of Chosen Accountability and Belonging
Author:
Peter Block & Peter Koestenbaum
Date:
February 2023


This is Beyond Budgeting

Subtitle: A Guide to More Adaptive and Human Organisations
Author:
Bjarte Bogsnes
Date:
February 2023


Understanding Organisations... Finally

Subtitle: Structuring in Sevens
Author:
Henry Mintzberg
Date:
February 2023


Wonder Boy

Subtitle: Tony Hsieh, Zappos and the Myth of Happiness in Silicon Valley
Author:
Angel Au-Yeung & David Jeans
Date:
April 2023

Notes: Describes the case of Zappos


The Case for Good Jobs

Subtitle: How Great Companies Bring Dignity, Pay, and Meaning to Everyone's Work
Author:
Zeynep Ton
Date:
July 2023


.....

This is the end of the list—so far. And since this is an active list, I will try to update it regularly.

*If you have any suggestions for a book I should read, and potentially add to the list, feel free to reach out and let me know.

Written by Joost Minnaar
Joost Minnaar
Co-founder Corporate Rebels. My daily focus is on research, writing, and anything else related to making work more fun.
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