Reading material

  • 10 Jan 2018
  • Author: Richard E. Walton
  • Rating:( 214 votes )

Innovating to compete: Lessons for diffusing and managing change in the workplace

To maintain a leading position in today´s tough marketplace, businesses and industries have to recognise and act upon underlying sources of their strength; this is the capacity for developing and implementing innovations. Yet changes in the way a business or company is organised and operated from day to day must be determined carefully and managed skillfully. In this book, R.E.Walton draws on an extensive study of different industries and how they develop the capacity to innovate and therefore compete successfully. 

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  • 11 Jul 2017
  • Author: Platón
  • Rating:( 327 votes )

The allegory of the cave or Plato´s cave

Plato's myth of the cavern, also known as the allegory of the cave, it is not a philosophical myth, but rather a pedagogical allegory, and it is precisely there where the true message of Plato´s allegory is.

This easy and brief book to read has three parts. The first part is where it describes the scenario of the cavern, the wall, the fireplace and the prisoners. The second part narrates the liberation stage, to conclude with the last part that narrates the return to the cavern and the final outcome.

From an early age, we have listened to the essence of "The Myth of Plato's cave", and what we have been told is no more than a graphic representation of a cave where people have been imprisoned from birth. These prisoners are chained so that they are fixed, forcing them to gaze at the wall in front of them and not look around at the cave, each other, or themselves. Behind the prisoners there is a wall and just behind the Wall there is a fire. All arranged in a linear manner and in that exact order. Between the fire and the low wall, unchained people walk carrying objects or puppets of men and other living things. The people walk behind the wall so their bodies do not cast shadows for the prisoners to see, but the objects they carry do. The prisoners cannot see any of what is happening behind them, they are only able to see the shadows cast upon the cave wall in front of them.

Due to the circumstances and the cave itself, the shadows are the only reality for the prisoners because they have never seen anything else from birth; they do not realize that what they see are shadows of objects in front of a fire, much less that these objects are inspired by real things outside the cave. And it is at this stage of Plato´s work, where most people terminate interpreting the myth of Plato's cave because if you had read this book fully, the message that would have been transmitted by word of mouth would have been very different one. Only in such a case, Plato´s play would have been understood as myth rather than an allegory.
The knowledge that is transmitted into society on Plato's myth of the cavern is that "it is not always true everything we see." However, this was not the message that Plato wanted to leave us with…

Still on the subject, the story tells what would have happened if one of these prisoners to be released and brought into the light of the fireplace, contemplating, in this way, a new reality; that is to say what are the shadows. Once the prisoner has taken on this new situation, it is taken out of the cavern, appreciating a new second external reality (trees, forests, rivers, seas, sky, day, night and the sun, among many other things.

The allegory terminates just when the prisoner returns to the interior of the Cavern to "liberate" to his friends, and explain to them how wrong they were about their concept of reality. However, his friends laugh at him claiming that his eyes have been spoiled by now be blinded by the passage of the clarity of the sun to the darkness of the cave. To what his friends asserted: The journey was not worth it. However, when this tries to unchain them and take his friends towards the light and outside the cave, Plato unleashes the following question: Do you think his friends would kill him? And Plato responds: Without a doubt! They will kill him at the first possible opportunity.

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  • 15 Apr 2017
  • Author: Israel M. Kirzner
  • Rating:( 369 votes )

Competition and Entrepreneurship

Competition and Entrepreneurship is a book with many interesting insights. Kirzner provides a thorough critique of contemporary price theory, theory of entrepreneurship, and the theory of competition. He sees orthodox price theory as explaining the configuration of prices and quantities that satisfied the conditions for equilibrium. He argues that "it is more useful to look to price theory to help understand how the decisions of individual participants in the market interact to generate the market forces which compel changes in prices, outputs, and methods of production and in the allocation of resources". Although Competition and Entrepreneurship is primarily concerned with the operation of the market economy, Kirzner clearly shows that the rediscovery of the entrepreneur must emerge as a step of major importance.

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  • 10 Feb 2017
  • Author: Thomas K Mccraw
  • Rating:( 424 votes )

Prophet of innovation

"Creative destruction," he said, is the driving force of capitalism. His vision was stark: Nearly all businesses fail, victims of innovation by their competitors. Businesspeople ignore this lesson at their peril - to survive, they must be entrepreneurial and think strategically. Yet in Schumpeter's view, the general prosperity produced by the "capitalist engine" far outweighs the wreckage it leaves behind. "Prophet of Innovation" is also the private story of a man rescued repeatedly by women who loved him and put his well-being above their own. Without them, he would likely have perished, so fierce were his conflicts between his reason and his emotions.

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  • 8 Feb 2017
  • Author: Richard Cantillon
  • Rating:( 429 votes )

Essay on the nature of trade in general

Richard Cantillon (1680-1734), an Irish economist, has claims to be regarded as one of the most outstanding analytical economists of the eighteenth century. F. A. Hayek wrote that Cantillon was the first to fully articulate economics as a science. In the Essay, Cantillon outlined an extraordinary model-building approach showing how the economy could be built up, through progressive stages, from a command, barter, closed economy to a market economy, which uses money and is open. He produced some outstanding monetary theory including what Mark Blaug called the Cantillon effect when demonstrating the effects of monetary expansion on inflation, output, and the balance of payments. He also highlighted the difficulties created by excessive financial innovation for a real economy and outlined the dangers of foreign borrowing by a country. Though written in the eighteenth century, the Essay has a considerable resonance for a twenty-first-century audience.

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