Raves for Unlocking the Ivory Tower

Too often, academic research lacks relevance to real-world business problems, or its most relevant lessons do not come to the attention of the people who can apply them. Unlocking the Ivory Tower is a valuable bridge between academic findings and the people who can most benefit from them. It delves into a variety of classical and recent works from the major academic fields and critically evaluates their relevance. (The annotated table of contents is an unexpected treat, too, providing an overview of a variety of important concepts.) Along the way, Ball and LiPuma also educate the reader about the evolution of each field, providing a rare—and fun—dose of intellectual history.

–Noam Wasserman, Harvard Business School, author of The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup

Peter Drucker taught us that in today’s rapidly changing world, people “have to be prepared to live and work simultaneously in two cultures—that of ‘the intellectual,’ who focuses on words and ideas, and that of the ‘manager,’ who focuses on people and work.” Unlocking the Ivory Tower bridges those often-alien cultures beautifully, and in doing so it stands as a major contribution.

–Rick Wartzman, Director
Drucker Institute

Ball and LiPuma do an impressive job of collecting and illuminating important business research in a wide range of areas. Even better, they translate that research into practical takeaways for managers.

–Steven N. Kaplan, Neubauer Family Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance,
University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Unlocking the Ivory Tower is an excellent resource for business managers looking to make critical decisions based on best practices. The book represents a valuable summary of management research in key fields. Not only do Ball and LiPuma survey the literature past and present, but they inform what kind of research agendas can have the biggest real-world impact outside of the university environment. Their book should be required reading for both students and faculty in business schools globally.

–Audrey MacLean, Venture Investor and
Consulting Associate Professor, Stanford University

Ideas truly make the world go round. Given this impact, business leaders need to be able to ground their decision-making with state-of-the-art insights. Eric Ball and Joe LiPuma make this eminently possible through their wide-ranging and thoughtful compendium of leading management research on topics such as finance, strategy, entrepreneurship, leadership, and innovation. Their work allows a business leader to harness the best the “ivory tower” has to offer to create real-world professional success.

–Mark Zupan, President
Alfred University

This book offers practical guidelines for clear thinking and informed decision-making distilled from the best business research. Eric and Joe masterfully remove the academic clutter, bringing into focus simple yet powerful frameworks for thinking clearly and making informed business decisions.

–Clint Korver, Cofounder of Ulu Ventures
and Partner at Crescendo Ventures

Appealing to both academics and business leaders, Eric Ball and Joe LiPuma not only provide the reader with grounded insight into a selection of themes that are critical to business success, but offer a valuable resource in bridging the worlds of academia and business. Unlocking the Ivory Tower demonstrates how management research is relevant, and can be accessible to firms, in a very straightforward and concise manner.

–Rickie A. Moore, Past Chair of the Management
Consulting Division, Academy of Management

When academic management research and operational business management look at each other, there is often a sizeable gap. Based on their own practice and variety of experience, Eric Ball and Joe LiPuma bring us a powerful and insightful view on essential themes such as leadership, international business, organization, and processes. Unlocking the Ivory Tower demonstrates how the academic and business worlds can efficiently get together to generate added value.

–Dominique Carouge, Deputy CFO

Eric Ball and Joe LiPuma have written a monumental work that surveys the world of cutting-edge management thinking and makes it easy to grasp. This is no ordinary business book: it is both a useful tool for practitioners and a powerful exploration of the workings of organizations, entrepreneurship, innovation, and finance. This book is like an MBA and PhD in one, guided by the hand of two highly experienced experts. Unlocking the Ivory Tower is a gift to the world, and it is a strongly recommended read for executives, investors, entrepreneurs, and others who seek to build successful businesses.

–Victor Hwang, VP Entrepreneurship, Kauffman Foundation, and coauthor of The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley