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

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  4,740 ratings  ·  213 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
Capa dura, 256 pages
Published February 6th 2007 by Free Press (first published 2007)
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Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I read that Nassim Nicholas Taleb said this is “one of the most important management books of all time”, I was intrigued. Usually I do not like general business books. But here, not only is it a great book, but fun to read!

What is the halo effect? A tendency to make inferences about specific traits on the basis of a general impression [Page 50].

The author has a major question: Is management a science? Pages 12-17 cover that sensitive topic: “In other fields, from medicine to chemistry to ae
Michael Greenwell
Feb 06, 2011 rated it liked it
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 rated it really liked 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
Dec 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, audiobook, business
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
Zohreh Avatefi hafez
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beyond that i read too much about this book title but it have too much good points of view (especially in management) and i like it.
Preston Kutney
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Foundational for anyone who reads business books.

The "Halo Effect" in social psychology is the tendency for competence or success in one area to spill into evaluations of other areas that are not necessarily related. In management research this manifests itself as the tendency to positively evaluate characteristics of companies that are successful, and negatively evaluate characteristics of companies that are unsuccessful, even if those characteristics in isolation are identical. As an example
Jul 03, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, skimmed
I wanted to learn about biases but Halo Effect by Phil Rosenzweig did not deliver on that count and turned out to be a business book. A few points from the book:

• The Halo Effect - If you think well of a particular business, you will attach positive attributes to anything connected to it, even without any logic.
• Connecting the Winning Dots - Most of the time researchers look for similar traits among prosperous companies.
• Lasting Success - Don’t be sure that once you get lucky, it will last f
Jurgen Appelo
Every management consultant, speaker and writer should read this.
Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The true "success formula" often is not what we want to think and to hear! ...more
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Why didn't I learn about The Halo Effect until the end of my MBA? This book will help you apply critical thinking to the masses of business books out there. Quite simply, there are no easy steps and no guarantees. Take the good ideas from the business literature, STUDY YOUR COMPETITION, and respond to their moves appropriately. Then cross your fingers.

Update: I’m employee #1 in a startup now, which motivates me to revisit some B school faves. I’m not only looking for refreshers on strategy,
Geoff Noble
I will the first to admit I read a lot of business "how to" books, stories about bubbles and crashes etc. This book made me rethink everything I have read in the past and made me realise how I am as guilty as anyone for letting the Halo effect cloud my decision making.

The Halo Effect is essentially about our very human desire to find meaning in everything by ascribing causes to certain outcomes. In other words, we tend to judge our decisions by the outcomes they produce. Unfortunately (or some w
Chris Rock
Apr 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
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".

Fraser Kinnear
Aug 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
I liked this in that it's a business book that tells you not to trust business books. This book discusses the halo effect as it applies to businesses and business leaders. The book points out how difficult it is to identify what factors cause a business or business leader to be successful. Like any business book, I think I would have preferred to get this as a short article - not really worth reading in its entirety. ...more
Danial Kalbasi
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, favorites
This shouldn't be a book with 200 pages, it should be just an article. Maybe a long one.

Full of repetitive sections which totally ruin the reading experience.

Not the book has nothing good, but it has a little. The most part of the chapters spends to criticize the other writers and their books. This is fine at some point, but only if it comes with lots of other suggestions.
Jun 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
It's a good book in general and draws our attention to the biases of many of the books I had read in the past - such as "Good to great".

However it is repetitive and I feel the ideas could have been conveyed in half the amount of pages.
Alexey Vyskubov
Jun 18, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: overrated
Water, water, and more water.

The short summary of the book: blah, blah, blah, one trivial idea, blah, blah, blah, wow! popular "business" books are not science! blah, blah, blah.
Mads Gorm Larsen
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Finally a book that takes on all the hot air and bullshit in mangement litterature. I do hope that Rosenzweig will one day run over Simon Sinek.
Arno Mosikyan

Delusion One: The Halo Effect The tendency to look at a company’s overall performance and make attributions about its culture, leadership, values, and more. In fact, many things we commonly claim drive company performance are simply attributions based on prior performance.

Delusion Two: The Delusion of Correlation and Causality Two things may be correlated, but we may not know which one causes which. Does employee satisfaction lead to high performance? The evidence suggests it’s mainly t
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting insights regarding the way the analysis of firms is done. The reasoning of delusions and explanations of why the author calls them as delusions are vividly written. Necessary read for anyone interested in management and business world.
Apr 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book makes you look at very popular management books from a different vantage point. Not so much that they are wrong, but in the sense that there is not just a simple fix that will make your company run better. Instead there are always different variables for each and every situation and you need to look at the surrounding data for that specific circumstance to make the best decisions.

The book also makes you remember that simple truth that history is written by the winners and that sometim
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book takes a serious look at a lot of the so-called research around the success of companies. I enjoyed the way it showed various general flaws in typical management books by examining very specific cases. I would recommend this book to people who read a lot of books around the "secrets of management". To people with a scientific background or who have given some thought to scepticism or biases, this book may just appear to be stating just the obvious. A lot of the fallacies explained in th ...more
Jonas Heide
Oct 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You can search all you want for recipes for success in business. But analysts and journalists are incapable of keeping the variables separate and even the most celebrated descriptions of the road to excellence fall short when they meet, oh you know, reality.
Do read Rosenzweig's scathing criticism. It is slightly repetitive, not carefully edited, but it is in fact profound and says many important things that apply beyond the world of business.
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
Reads like pop fiction, written at the 8th grade level. Like the author, I am generally disappointed in the lack of rigor in business books. I am always disappointed that they seem to be written at an 8th grade level, this one included. The author’s writing style makes his critiques of other research sound like a high-school gossip session with all the requisite faulty logic and marketing gimmicks.

I am uncertain if this book is a self-effacing satire.
Riccardo Bua
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
How someone should look at scientific approach to case studies and scenarios.... and every day life events
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Halo Effect is something as paradoxical as a business book about how bad business books are. The main objection is that while most management books describe their formulas for success as the result of scientific study they are in fact often just pseudoscience combined with good storytelling. The author, Philip Rosenzweig, has written several books on business performance and behavioural finance. After earning a PhD at Wharton he spent six years at Harvard Business School. He is now a profess ...more
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
I have found myself picking up a lot of short, but thought provoking books of late. _The Halo Effect_ is one I had on my shelf, but never read until now. This is a book that will challenge your sense of what is objective reporting, at least in the business world. Within these pages the author talks about Cisco during the years I was there. He also skewers two business secret books that I found enlightening, but now see as flawed and hollow in their premises.

The central theme of the book is the
Guanghua Mao
Sep 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The nine delusions are not only suitable for any businessman but also for any social science researchers.

1. The Halo Effect of the book's title refers to the cognitive bias in which the perception of one quality is contaminated by a more readily available quality (for example good-looking people being rated as more intelligent).[6] In the context of business, observers think they are making judgments of a company's customer-focus, quality of leadership, or other virtues, but their judgment is co
Karina Murpani
May 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
The Halo effect as per definition means that when one trait of a person or thing is used to make an overall judgement of that person or thing. As there is 'Business' word in the title, this book explains the Halo Effect which is related to company's performance and how managers are deceived by this so-called 'Delusion' and other delusions which are well explained by numerous examples of various firms and managerial tactics.
This book is a must read for the ones who are on the managerial post or o
Pablo María Fernández
Aug 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
I've always been a fan of business and marketing books since I was a teenager (probably because my father owned a small company founded by my grandfather and I felt the duty of having to know about that stuff). I read every bestseller author on this topic: the canonicals Peters, Druker, Kotler, Godin and others from my country. I read about companies, why they work, why they don't and tried to take learnings from all of that.

This book if the first that cut out a lot of bullshit. I discovered it
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