Best MBA Books for MBA Aspirants

  • By Bhavya Thakkar
  • 24 February 2023
Best MBA Books for MBA Aspirants

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Books offer a unique, often deeply personal, experience. Readers can connect with the author's style and point of view, gaining a unique insight into their knowledge and expertise. By reading widely and critically, readers can become better informed, more confident, and more successful. 

Many of the world's most successful people have achieved success by reading widely and staying updated on the latest developments in their fields.

For those looking to succeed in their MBA applications, building your knowledge base and sharpening your critical thinking skills are essential. While preparing for the entrance exam you can sharpen their skills by reading the best books for CAT exam recommended time and time again by CEOs around the world.

The specific books included in the MBA syllabus can vary depending on the university or institution offering the program and the specific courses within the program. However, here are 15 MBA books that should be on the reading list of anyone who wishes to pursue  MBA course

How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie:  Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People is one of the most influential books in business and management circles. The book is divided into six sections, each focusing on a different aspect of interpersonal relationships. It offers practical advice on how to make friends, handle people, and become an effective leader. 

Carnegie’s advice includes avoiding criticism, offering genuine appreciation, and providing people with what they need instead of what they want. Through stories, anecdotes, and easy-to-follow techniques, How to Win Friends and Influence People provides readers with the tools they need to build strong relationships and achieve success. 

The hard thing about hard things by Ben Horowitz: Ben Horowitz is an acclaimed venture capitalist who is best known as the co-founder of the world-famous venture capital firm, Andreeson Horowitz. 

His book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things, offers readers insights and advice on how to navigate the often-harsh realities of business. In it, he covers a range of topics, including layoffs, employee loyalty, customers, and different strategies for capturing potential investors. 

He offers real-world examples to illustrate his points and provides tough-love yet practical advice for dealing with setbacks and crises. It provides a comprehensive look at the world of business and provides readers with an invaluable resource for making difficult decisions and achieving success.

Scaling up excellence by Robert I. Sutton and Huggy Rao:  This book is an insightful guide on how to successfully manage both small and large-scale businesses. Written by two renowned professors from Stanford University, Robert Sutton and Huggy Rao, this book is based on their personal experiences in Silicon Valley. It explores the difficulties faced while trying to implement good practices and presents strategies that can be used to overcome these challenges. Through a series of stories, the authors provide readers with practical advice on how to become better employers and develop their management skills. With light yet informative writing, this book is perfect for MBA students who are looking to expand their knowledge on the subject.

The Innovators Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen: The “innovator’s dilemma” is a concept that has become a pillar of business theory. It considers the disincentive to pursue new markets in established companies and the consequential decision of whether to make better products to make better profits or worse profits for people that are not customers. 

The Innovator’s Dilemma is a must-read for budding entrepreneurs and strategy consultants. It provides an in-depth look at the development of disruptive innovation, why success is hard to sustain, and how to systematise successful innovation. This book is sure to remain a business classic for years to come.

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman: The 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics Sciences was awarded to Psychologist Daniel Kahneman for his theories of economics and decision-making. In 2011, his bestselling book "Thinking Fast and Slow" was published to critical acclaim. This book is essential for MBA students looking to gain insight into human behaviour. Through practical steps and examples, Kahneman dives deep into the workings of the two systems of the mind that dictate how we behave: the fast and the slow. 

By understanding the differences between the two systems and learning how to identify when one is being used over the other, readers can develop better decision-making skills and make decisions that are more likely to be successful. 

Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne: The 'Blue Ocean Strategy' by Kim and Mauborgne is a business classic that has helped many companies succeed in competitive markets. This book, first published in 2005, was updated and expanded in 2015. It has become a global bestseller and is now available in 44 languages.

The book provides a comprehensive set of tools and frameworks to help managers break free of the competition and create a new ‘blue ocean’ space in their industry. It is industry-agnostic, meaning it can be applied to any business context and gives readers the knowledge and confidence to take their business to the next level. 

The authors have outlined their step-by-step strategy in a clear and concise manner so that readers can quickly grasp and implement the principles in their own organisations. Furthermore, the book has been praised for its practical, accessible approach to strategic management and business success.

The Lean Start-up by Eric Ries: The book is a great resource for entrepreneurs of all sizes, from start-ups to established companies. It provides a scientific approach to establishing and managing successful businesses in an age where innovation is key. Written for business professionals, the book introduces the concept of "validated learning", which entails constant testing and adjustment of plans based on the results. 

The book is broken up into three key sections: vision, steer, and accelerate. 

Ries' book is recommended by top CEOs around the world and provides entrepreneurs with invaluable insight into how to develop a successful start-up. 

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight: The book, a New York Times best-seller, was met with great success and gave an unprecedented look at the personal side of a man who had become famous for his iconic 'swoosh' logo. Bill Gates even went so far as to say that the book was a "great narrative, a refreshingly honest reminder of what the route to commercial success really looks like".

The journey was far from easy and littered with mistakes, hardships, and sacrifices. However, it was all worth it in the end, and Nike has since evolved into one of the most powerful brands in the world. Through Shoe Dog, Phil Knight shares his first-hand experience of the rise of Nike and the importance of resilience, determination, and hard work.

The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham: The late Benjamin Graham, often referred to as the ‘dean of Wall Street’, profoundly impacted investing and finance in the 20th century. His concept of ‘value investing’, which was outlined in detail in his seminal work The Intelligent Investor, is widely regarded as one of the most effective strategies for achieving financial success.

The Intelligent Investor is considered to be the stock market bible, and it is an essential read for those seeking to grow their financial portfolio. Graham’s insights and timeless advice continue to be relevant and inspirational to a new generation of investors looking to achieve their financial goals.

Zero To One by Peter Thiel: Peter Thiel's book 'Zero to One' is a must-read for any aspiring business leader or entrepreneur. It is especially popular amongst MBA students and is an essential guide for those wanting to build their own innovative technologies and businesses. In 'Zero to One', Thiel explains his journey from founding PayPal to becoming a billionaire by the age of 35 and shares his experiences and learnings from being a successful entrepreneur. He outlines his business philosophy and strategy, emphasising the importance of having an independent mind and developing creative ways to build future-proof technologies. With valuable insights from an experienced business leader, 'Zero to One' provides the essential guide for anyone wanting to take their business to the next level.

Outliers: The Story of Success by  Malcolm Gladwell: In "Outliers," Gladwell argues that success is not solely the result of individual talent or hard work but a combination of several factors, including opportunity, cultural background, and family upbringing. He challenges the traditional notion of the "self-made" individual and shows how successful people often had access to unique opportunities and were surrounded by supportive and influential individuals who helped shape their careers. Gladwell's 10,000-Hour Rule states that it takes approximately 10,000 hours of dedicated practice to become an expert in a particular field.

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely: Dan Ariely's "Predictably Irrational" explores the concept that humans often make decisions that are not based on rational thinking but are instead influenced by emotional, psychological, and social factors. Ariely argues that systematic biases and limitations often shape our behaviour in our review, which can lead us to make decisions that are not in our best interest. 

The book provides numerous examples and experiments demonstrating how we consistently make irrational decisions. Ariely shows how fundamental principles of human psychology can explain these predictable patterns of behaviour and how we can use this knowledge to make better decisions in our daily lives. 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey: Stephen Covey's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" is a classic self-help book that has had a significant impact on the personal development industry. The book presents a holistic approach to personal and professional effectiveness based on seven habits that can help individuals achieve their goals and lead fulfilling lives. These habits are presented systematically and easily and are supported by numerous real-life examples and practical exercises. The book has been widely praised for its simple yet powerful message and has inspired millions of readers to make positive changes in their lives.

Connect the Dots by Rashmi Bansal: "Connect the Dots" is a great book for aspiring entrepreneurs and MBA students. The book is a great source of inspiration and motivation for those who believe that a formal education or background is not a prerequisite for success in business. The book's message that one's mindset, passion, and hard work are more important than external factors is a valuable lesson for anyone looking to start their own business. 

The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman: The Personal MBA is a comprehensive guide to the core concepts of business and provides practical advice and strategies for starting and growing a successful business. The author, Josh Kaufman, argues that traditional business education is often too expensive, time-consuming, and focused on theoretical concepts that may not be relevant to real-world situations. 

The book is written in a straightforward and accessible style and is designed to help readers develop a deep understanding of business principles, regardless of their background or prior experience. It covers a wide range of topics, from marketing and sales to finance and operations, and provides practical insights and tools that can be applied in real-world business scenarios. It is a great resource for anyone who is interested in starting or growing a business and for those who want to gain a deeper understanding of the key principles and concepts of business. Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur or simply looking to improve your business skills, this book is a must-read.


Reading can provide valuable insights into the latest business trends, market research, and consumer behaviour, helping students stay ahead of the curve and stay informed on the latest industry developments. 

Learning new job-focused skills can increase one's chances of landing a good job opportunity. Sunstone offers training programs to help individuals acquire job-ready skills. It also provides 200% placement assistance and interview guarantees to its students, which can be helpful in securing job offers. 

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