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The Halo Effect: ... and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers
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The Halo Effect: ... and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  2,266 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Much of our business thinking is shaped by delusions -- errors of logic and flawed judgments that distort our understanding of the real reasons for a company's performance. In a brilliant and unconventional book, Phil Rosenzweig unmasks the delusions that are commonly found in the corporate world. These delusions affect the business press and academic research, as well as ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published February 6th 2007 by Free Press (first published January 1st 208)
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Michael Greenwell
I read The Halo Effect because I was unsettled by, among other business books, Jim Collins' Good to Great and Built to Last, and I was interested in reading a critique to see if the criticism matched my own misgivings. Phil Rosenzweig's book provided more than I bargained for by both tearing down Built to Last and Good to Great, and then acknowledging that they are still intriguing and potentially valuable works despite their flaws.

Specifically, Rosenzweig criticizes the kind of research practis
Apr 13, 2010 Paul is currently reading it
From HBR:
If a company is making a lot of money and you ask its employees to rate its performance on other dimensions – talent management, customer orientation, innovation, and so forth – they will give it high marks across the board. If a company is struggling financially, the ratings will be low across the board. This is due to the “halo effect,” a term coined decades ago by psychologist Edward Thorndike to describe people’s tendency, having already formed a conclusion about something’s merit,
Craig a.k.a Meatstack
I have to admit, I have a bit of a soft spot for business books. I've read through all the greats. However this book has opened made me reconsider them from a whole new light.

The basic premise, the "Halo", is that when a company does well, it's reflected in the soft aspects of the company. When it does poorly the opposite is true.

So, Intel dumping it's memory chip line to focus on processors was a bold stroke and demonstrated visionary leadership because it worked. Had it not worked, business bo
Chris Rock
I didn't think I'd ever give 5 stars to a business book, but this is no ordinary business book. This book points out the logical errors that are made by most other business books--mainly, that when you examine success (or failure) in a business, their practices are influenced by your initial impression of the company. A successful company that tries something new is "innovate", "creative", "risk-taking". A company that tried something new and failed is "overextended", "unfocused", and "risky".

Jurgen Appelo
Every management consultant, speaker and writer should read this.
Nazrul Buang
Just finished reading "The Halo Effect... and the Eight Other Business Delusions that Deceive Managers" (2007) by Phil Rosenzweig. I claim this as one of the most unique and critically significant business books I have come across, and also one that does great service to the business industry.

The halo effect is a cognitive bias that people make in making judgments based on appearance, and it serves as the central theme to Rosenzweig's book but in a very diverse way. The book explains and demonst
Perhaps the best management book of all time. It is not inspiring (which is why the four stars) because it is critical. Needs to be read by anyone who is exposed to management writing of any kind, and that includes journalism's coverage of business. Very highly recommended.
Omar Halabieh
As best summarized by the author: "The central idea in this book is that our thinking about business is shaped by a number of delusions...More recently, cognitive psychologists have identified biases that affect the way individuals make decisions under uncertainty. this book is about a different set of delusions, the ones that distort our understanding of company performance, that make it difficult to know why one company succeeds and another fails. These errors of thinking pervade much that we ...more
No, this isn't about the video game. The full title on this one is The Halo Effect ...and the Eight Other Business Delusions that Deceive Managers. In it, author Phil Rosenzweig sets out to take the business press and best sellers to task for a list of flaws in their thinking and chest thumping. Basically, it's a list of fallacies that you could compile from the chapter titles in most books on psychology, decision-making, and behavioral economics:

1. The Halo Effect (inferring other traits on th
The Halo Effect:….and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers
Phil Rosenzweig
Free Press

According to Phil Rosenzweig, "The central idea in this book is that our thinking about business is shaped by a number of delusions...the ones that distort our understanding of company performance, that make it difficult to know why one company succeeds and another fails. These errors of thinking pervade much that we read about business, whether in leading magazines or scholarly journals or ma
I've always loathed business books and management books because they all usually set out with the goal of providing you with some magic formula that will make your management style or business transformational! Data tells us so! The thing is, just like any magical investing formula, if it actually worked EVERYONE would be using it and it wouldn't be some secret that has been a mystery up until the publication of said book and after publication everyone would be using it. There is no magic bullet ...more
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Rosenzweig is surly and a little angry or at least exhausted with the business of business book publishing and the blind, eager consumption of this rubbish by managers and executives looking for the "keys to success".

I spent the first 80 pages trying to read through the noise of the author's frustration. But I do believe there is valuable content here.

If nothing else, I am irrationally optimistic and business books provide fun nuggets that feed that addiction. While he needed a better editor to
Paul Niven
It's ironic that I should list Good to Great just below this book because it is one of many that Rosenzweig critically examines (to put it euphemistically) in this entertaining and informative book. He debunks many management philosophies and does so with cogent analysis and cold hard facts. Very illuminating.
Mark Reale
Takes the concept of critical thinking to a next level.

A thorough discourse on being wary of all accolades and projections which now seem so sensationally (and deceivingly) doled out in the world of media-covered business.

It is hard to run a business. It is easy for people to exaggerate.

Don't believe the hype!

Brock Steger
The book was very good from the beginning, but the last chapter profiling the thought process of truly great managers - concerned with the process and making probabilistic choices and accepting that the outcomes are based mostly on luck - put it over the top as a great book. Re-read before taking a management position.
Katya Kean
This book is cumbersome to read, after two weeks I'm only half way through. But as dry and soulless as it is, it has a few good albeit cynical points about the rise and fall of businesses. A good reminder not to get too swept up in simple prescriptions for success and explanations of failure. A decent exercise in critical thinking, but I don't know anyone who really needs to read it unless you are really into investing or own a large business. Or write news articles about that sort of thing.
Jun 12, 2007 Kristina rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
It tried so hard to separate itself from other business books, but I found it to be redundant and recalcitrant about the poor research in "Good to Great" . (Personally, didn't really care for that book either.)

Message gleaned from the book: There are so many business books out there that try to correlate specific practices with success and this book emphasizes that it is practically impossible to prove a causal relationship for a simple prescription to multi-billion dollar status. If you are doi
Yes, yes, yes, yes. Finally a good business book. This book basically attacks all other business books on the grounds of statistics. It seems that popular business authors either failed or didn't take Intro to Statistics. The author points this out. His main point is to be skeptical of what you read. He does make some suggestions as to "strategy." But, that may be more to please the publisher. It received a negative review from Publisher's Weekly because it didn't offer much, if any, advice. Exa ...more
Jim Razinha
This is a pretty good book, poking through the veneer of some of the top business "we have all the answers" books out there, many of which I've read . Rosenzweig's frustration comes through loud and clear, which tarnishes his goal, but as I don't like those business books either, my confirmation bias gives him a pass. Tom Peters is about the only guru I like, but that's mostly because of his personality, not what he has to say. Anyone who thinks they have all - or even some - of "the answers" ne ...more
Jonas Sørensen
Phil Rosenzweig identifies nine business delusions often encountered in academia, business and too much management literature. The most central problem that clouds thinking of business students, managers and management authors are the halo effect.

The halo effect is when you in retrospective attribute causality between success and whatever you think caused the success. The knowledge of the success is controversial for identifying plausible explanations, because it resembles the methodological mi
Made me think critically on business books I often read. Rosenzweig enlightened my understanding of the business books I have read, and his book gave me distinct insight into how I think and view the elements of our society.
Tyson Strauser
Dr. Rosenzweig's book provides a new lens through which he evaluates the prevailing literature concerning what turns good companies into great organizations. He argues effectively that most of the popular literature confuses attributes that were followed by an outcome as causative, rather than correlated, data points. To explain the concept, here are a few notes from the book:

Defining Halo Effect p. 50 "There are a few kinds of Halo Effect. One refers to...a tendency to make inferences about sp
This book mostly criticized others works (to prove a point that halo effect needs to be taken in to consideration) but there were very few chapters/examples on how to go about it.
It isn't long as is, but it really has the content of a Kindle Single. That content seems legit, with all of the "delusions" he cites having some example from popular business literature. They get a little banal after the first one though; if you've ever read an Internet comment thread you're probably familiar with delusion number two - correlation is not causation. The author also has an irritating habit of explaining the conclusions of faulty research, but not of the (few) examples of valid re ...more
Hou Boyu
Very interesting book. Give me a different view of subject not only on management, but also on investment and day to day lives
Yuriy Zubarev
I finally found an antidote for my personal pernicious itch to discover business secrets. Thank you Philip Rosenzweig!
Alan Sim
If you've read In Search of Excellence/ Good to Great or Built to Last then you have to read this.

This book is a revelation!
When judging management or evaluating companies our views are all influenced by other data points such as stock performance. This a good reminder of those biases. The second half of the book is much better than the beginning, which was a bit redundant for me.

It's good to be reminded that the market is a complex adaptive system. Companies and their future success result from luck, a sound strategy, and proper execution. There is no one size fits all formula for how to make a company successful.
Garland Vance
Synopsis: The "science" of business is not very scientific, and most "great enduring businesses" will experience large ebbs and flows.

For the most part, I found this book repetitive and attacking of most business writers including Jim Collins.

However, I found the best point of the book to be that organizations cannot compare themselves with themselves in order to become an enduring, great organization. Instead, they need to compare themselves against their competition. An organization might con
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