Each year, the Business Information Sources Committee of the Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS) selects the outstanding business information sources published since May of the previous year. This year, the committee reviewed fifteen entries; of these, two were designated as “Outstanding” and four as “Notable.” Works are examined for the following: ease of use; reputation of the publisher, author, or editor; accuracy; appropriate bibliography; organization; comprehensiveness; value of the content; currency or timeliness; uniqueness; quality and accuracy of index or cited references; and quality and usefulness of graphics and illustrations. In addition to the above criteria, this year’s selections were noted for their focus on issues and trends that impact today’s national and global business environment. Extending from minority and women’s entrepreneurship, to globalization and labor standards, to social innovation, these titles should prove popular and useful for a variety of libraries.
BRASS Business Information Sources Committee contributing members: Stephen Fadel, selections editor; Barbara Petersohn, selections editor; Wendy Girven, nominations coordinator; Regina M. Beard, Amanda Belantara, Wayne Finley, Kelly Janousek, Zoeanna Mahook, Peter Z. McKay, Judith Opdahl, Wendy Pothier, Linda Schuller, Senta Sellers, and Roberta L. Tipton.
Correspondence concerning this column should be addressed to Stephen Fadel, Business Librarian, Tanimura & Antle Family Memorial Library, California State University Monterey Bay (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Barbara Petersohn, Associate Professor, Library Science, University of North Georgia (email@example.com).
The Palgrave Handbook of Minority Entrepreneurship. Edited by Thomas M. Cooney. Cham, CH: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021. 612 p. Hardcover $219.99 (ISBN: 9783030666026). Contact publisher for e-book pricing (ISBN: 9783030666033).
This handbook examines an expanded definition of minority entrepreneurship, its evolution to include marginalized communities including people of color, the disabled, and ex-offenders. It advances the notion that entrepreneurship is, either intentionally or serendipitously, a response to the economic adversity faced by marginalized citizens; and it describes the entrepreneur’s struggle for access to resources and to policymakers as they grow their business enterprises. The resource explores the minority entrepreneurs’ imaginative problem-solving as they found and managed new ventures, from access to unconventional approaches to soliciting capital to addressing social barriers they faced in their own communities.
Editor Thomas Cooney’s introduction provides a solid foundation for the rest of the book’s content. While he recognizes the global economic impact of the pandemic, he is particularly attentive to its impact on the poor, people of color and immigrants. He discusses the evolution of the phrase ‘minority entrepreneur,’ the characteristics of these entrepreneurs, and the importance of the topic academically, economically, and globally.
The handbook is divided into four sections. Section I provides a general foundation for the discussion, including evolving definitions of minority entrepreneurship, the social impact of individuals’ communities including the lack of support for entrepreneurship as a vocation, and inability for minority entrepreneurs to tap into support systems, as well as how small businesses impact their communities. Section II takes a granular look at small businesspeople by group—women, youth, LGBTQ, ex-offenders, and immigrants—and their respective approaches to running small ventures. The authors are sensitive to issues of intersectionality as well as to different business practices that exist within the groups. Section III looks at different minority communities in detail. Among the groups considered are minority immigrant communities and their assimilation into their host countries and how immigration impacts business practices. The concluding chapter of this section discusses the plight of unemployed members of a community and the impact small business hiring practices could have on reducing unemployment if barriers to programs were addressed. Section IV suggests directions that future research might take and includes a systematic literature review.
This title concludes with a discussion of the relationship between institutions of higher learning and minority entrepreneurs, the role it might play in bringing the stakeholders together and identifying how to effectively support this community.
The intended audience for this handbook includes academic and public libraries, as well as organizations that work with small businesses. The handbook represents an opportunity for academic researchers to expose and address gaps in scholarship of this emerging area of entrepreneurship; and those who work with small businesses will gain insight in how to support marginalized entrepreneurs more effectively. The handbook’s editor, a noted authority on minority entrepreneurship, has brought together an international group of contributors with a wide range of business, academic, and policy expertise.—Regina M. Beard, Florida Gulf Coast University
The SAGE Handbook of Organizational Wellbeing. Edited by Tony Wall, Cary L. Cooper, and Paula Brough. London: Sage Publications, 2021. 696 p. Hardcover $185 (ISBN: 9781529704860). Contact publisher for e-book pricing (ISBN: 9781529760958).
A comprehensive and scholarly examination of work life, The Sage Handbook of Organizational Wellbeing covers topics in a range of contexts, from the community level to the international level, and also incorporates research from the fields of psychology, management and business and science. The text consists of 40 chapters divided into four parts, Part I addresses the major theoretical aspects of wellbeing within an organization, how it changes with the age of the worker, the impact of supervisor support, and the impact of personal resilience. Part II looks at work in 12 international contexts which can impact wellbeing, like virtual work and technology or wellbeing in entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship and even mergers and acquisitions. Part II also includes other important topics sometimes not well-covered in the literature like suicide at work, grief at work and employee trauma and performance in post-disaster settings. Part III focuses on developing organizational wellbeing through a variety of interventions which include the impact of play at work and creative practice. Part IV covers emerging research and practice in organizational wellbeing, which includes, note the authors, five chapters covering micro-activism. Apart from many reference works, this handbook has the distinction of including several topics of a timely nature which continue to impact workplace wellbeing such as Black Lives Matter, Me Too, and the workplace after COVID 19 are considered in Part II of this work.
The editors have had prominent careers in the fields of organizational behavior or organizational psychology. Tony Wall is a consultant and an author of more than 200 publications, including many articles appearing in well-known journals like the International Journal of Human Resource Management. He is also the founder of the International Centre for Thriving—an organization supporting collaboration between business, the arts, and education. Cary L. Cooper is the founding editor of the Journal of Organizational Behavior and editor-in-chief of the 2014 Wiley Encyclopedia of Management. And Paula Brough, Professor of Organisational Psychology in the School of Applied Psychology at Griffith University in Brisbane, is author of over 120 journal articles and book chapters and has produced nine scholarly books on topics including occupational stress and coping, employee mental health and wellbeing, and work engagement.
With a large number of chapters and guided by the combined experience of three editors highly respected in the field of organizational wellbeing, this handbook covers a lot of ground. Contributors include an array of academicians, researchers and consultants in fields including the psychology of wellbeing, toxic work environments, organizational health, organizational intervention, entrepreneurship, workplace sexual harassment and bullying, and more, to create this handbook that is both multi- and inter-disciplinary and examines both the current research as well as current issues on workplace wellbeing. The editors state that the Handbook is intended to help “managers, researchers and policy makers to adopt useful, evidence-based wellbeing programmes and policies within their organizations” (p3). The Sage Handbook of Organizational Wellbeing is highly recommended for collections in academic and large public libraries.—Barbara Petersohn, University of North Georgia
Frontiers in Social Innovation. Edited by Neil Malhotra. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press, 2022. 432 p. Hardcover $50 (ISBN: 9781647821418). Contact publisher for e-book pricing (ISBN: 9781647821425).
In this up-to-date guide to social innovation (SI), editor Neil Malhotra (professor of political economics at Stanford Graduate School of Business) sorts the book’s fifteen chapters under four parts—Part 1: Foundations, Part 2: Metrics and Modes, Part 3: Learning and Incubating, and Part 4: Applications. Content includes both big-picture perspectives (e.g., Chapter 1: Renewing Social Entrepreneurship) as well as practical applications (e.g., Chapter 10: Social Innovation Practicum).
There are eighteen contributors and almost all teach at or have some other affiliation with Stanford University, thereby giving readers a distinct Stanford perspective on SI. Each chapter includes a short profile of the chapter author(s), an Executive Summary, a For Further Reading section, and Notes. Some chapters include figures and graphs. The title ends with a glossary and an index.
Frontiers will interest faculty and those in leadership positions in SI. That said, business students will find some chapters timely and useful such as Chapter 4: Measuring Corporate Venture and Vice, with its focus on ESG reporting, and Chapter 15: Corporate Carbon Reduction Pledges, which reviews common features of carbon footprint reduction plans. This title is notable for its current perspective as well as descriptions of practical Stanford-based applications and it compliments previous titles such as Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship: Fundamentals, Concepts, and Tools  and the older, The International Handbook on Social Innovation: Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research . Suitable for academic libraries.—Stephen Fadel, California State University Monterey Bay
1. Luis Portales, Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship: Fundamentals, Concepts, and Tools (Cham, CH: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).
2. The International Handbook on Social Innovation: Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research, Frank Moulaert et al., eds., (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2013).
Handbook on Globalisation and Labour Standards. Edited by Kimberly A. Elliott. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2022. 464 p. Hardcover $290 (ISBN: 9781788977364). Contact publisher for e-book pricing (ISBN: 9781788977371).
Although the subject matter might seem abstract at first glance, the international regulation of labor emerges from these academic articles as an important theme in global business, notably in the era of ESG investing. This handbook concentrates information about recent research in one place and offers extensive notes and bibliographies for further exploration. The 24 chapters are structured in three parts: 1) international labor standards under globalization, 2) public approaches to protecting labor standards, and 3) private and multi-stakeholder approaches to labor standards.
Despite earnest international efforts, movements to strengthen worker safety and worker rights, and the best intentions on the part of some multinationals, the very structure and conditions of the supply chains in certain sectors, such as apparel and agriculture, can lead to exploitative and sometimes dangerous working conditions. The book chapters outline the interplay of governmental, private, and international actions to protect workers with the market and social forces that can function to undermine these actions. A final, hopeful chapter on blockchain as a method of overcoming hidden labor exploitation further demonstrates how problematic enforcing international labor standards in the era of open supply chains can be.
The Handbook on Globalisation and Labour Standards is a recent entry in the Elgar Handbooks on Globalisation series, which seeks to provide overviews of new research on globalization from editors of distinction in the field. Editor Kimberly Ann Elliott (Nonresident Fellow, Center for Global Development and Visiting Scholar, Institute for International Economic Policy, George Washington University) has published widely in globalization and labor as well as other areas of international economics, and she has collected a notable group of experts in fields such as law, labor relations, international economics, and sociology as contributors.
Although the issues covered are important for consumers as well as for economists and business people, the academic nature of the writing means that this title is suggested only for academic and special collections.—Roberta L. Tipton, Rutgers University–Newark
Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment. Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, and Cass R. Sunstein. New York: Little, Brown Spark, 2021. 416 p. (ISBN: 9780316451406). Contact publisher for e-book pricing (ISBN: 9780316451383).
“Humans are unreliable decision makers.”  Cognitive bias, prejudice, optimism, pessimism, and a host of other biases distort judgment and decision-making. Noise explains how unwanted variability in judging the same facts contributes to expensive decision errors. Noise is written by Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman, constitutional scholar and polymath Cass Sunstein, and Olivier Sibony, an expert on strategy and decision making. The authors contrast noise and bias. Bias leans in one direction; noise is random. Bias has been the subject of thousands of research studies. Few studies consider how noise leads to mistaken judgments and unfortunate decisions. “Bias is the star of the show. Noise is a bit player, usually offstage.” 
“Wherever there is judgment, there is noise–and more of it than you think.”  Judges hand down different sentences for the same crime. Doctors make different diagnoses using the same symptoms and test results. Professional forecasters disagree with one another, and even themselves at a later time. Employment interviewers make “wildly different” judgments about job seekers even when their qualifications are the same. Patent decisions are noisy, often depending on the examiner assigned to evaluate them.
What remedies do the authors propose? The chapters in Part V are devoted to methods used to reduce noise in organizational decision making. A “Noise Audit” systematically identifies and measures variability in professional judgments. “Bias Checklists” examine the decision-making process and can diminish both bias and noise.
Noise, already an international best seller in several languages, is destined to be a classic in the field of judgment and decision making across all disciplines — in leadership, management, finance, economics, medicine, law, and many other fields requiring professional judgment. Recommended for all readers and both public and academic libraries. —Peter Z. McKay, University of Florida
1. Daniel Kahneman, Andrew M. Rosenfield, Linnea Gandhi, and Tom Blaser, “Noise: How to Overcome the High, Hidden Cost of Inconsistent Decision Making,” Harvard Business Review 94, no.10 (October 2016): 40. https://hbr.org/2016/10/noise.
2. Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, and Cass R. Sunstein, Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment (New York: Little, Brown Spark, 2021), 6.
3. Ibid., 12.
Research Handbook of Women’s Entrepreneurship and Value Creation. Edited by Shumaila Yousafzai, Colette Henry, Monique Boddington, Shandana Sheikh, and Alain Fayolle. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2022. 392p. Hardcover $220 (ISBN: 9781789901368). Contact publisher for e-book pricing (ISBN: 9781789901375).
The Research Handbook of Women’s Entrepreneurship and Value Creation brings new conversations to the table about women’s roles as entrepreneurs and value creators. The Handbook does this by challenging the often-discussed underperformance hypothesis that frequently surrounds women’s entrepreneurship. Written with an emphasis on global and diverse voices, particularly outside of Europe and North America, the Handbook places an emphasis on documenting evidence-based studies beyond frequently studied geographic areas. The editors of this title represent a collective voice of authority in entrepreneurship education as well as being highly cited and published in the field. The chapter authors represent many industry segments and geographies, which help to encourage the reader to consider not only economic value, but also the societal value contributed by women entrepreneurs through a holistic approach.
The Handbook contains 21 chapters, which are divided into four parts, and includes an engaging and thorough introduction and index. The four thematic parts focus on value creation at the individual, business, family and household, and societal levels. Within each part, the Handbook chapters allow the reader to consider various scenarios that encourage growth or constrain the landscape of women’s entrepreneurship globally. Part of the Handbook’s unique focus is that within the themes of each of the four parts, the chapters seek to move the conversation beyond strict terms of economic value and invite a focus on different types of value that come from the contributions of women entrepreneurs, closing the existing gaps in the literature, and providing a pathway for future research areas.
Because of its extensive evidence-based studies and business scenarios coupled with global perspectives, The Research Handbook of Women’s Entrepreneurship and Value Creation is recommended for academic, corporate, and public research libraries.—Wendy Pothier, University of New Hampshire