Paperback: 288 pages

Publisher: Lightning Books (7 Sept. 2015)

ISBN-13: 978-1785630057

Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm

MBA

Douglas Board

£8.99

Why is so much of the world Managed By Arseholes? Were they born that way? Did they sweat to achieve it? Or did we send them to special schools to learn? Fired by an arsehole just as his career is taking off, 30-year-old MBA Ben Stillman finds his ideas about success have been turned upside down. No such confusion troubles William C Gyro, the American dean of Ben’s alma mater: he is about to complete the transformation of Hampton Management College from a second-rate English business school into a world-class madrassa of capitalism.

Extracts

And the fight was over. While a shrug of Dianne’s shoulders re-arranged her breasts, her scent enveloped and re-arranged both men as if they were pieces on a chessboard. Now they were her two fighting cocks, presumably fighting over her. She smiled at Ben, and then Alex, resting one forefinger on each.

‘Ben is a very nice young man. Of course on a bad day that’s three strikes down – nice, young and man – but today he is our absolute hero. I won’t hear a word said against him. Now, Alex, come with me. London’s top colour specialist has come down. No pouting – you’re going to look your very best for the television cameras if it’s the last thing I do.

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Extracts

And the fight was over. While a shrug of Dianne’s shoulders re-arranged her breasts, her scent enveloped and re-arranged both men as if they were pieces on a chessboard. Now they were her two fighting cocks, presumably fighting over her. She smiled at Ben, and then Alex, resting one forefinger on each.

‘Ben is a very nice young man. Of course on a bad day that’s three strikes down – nice, young and man – but today he is our absolute hero. I won’t hear a word said against him. Now, Alex, come with me. London’s top colour specialist has come down. No pouting – you’re going to look your very best for the television cameras if it’s the last thing I do.

quotes

reviews

Given their role in shaping and propagating the ideas that govern all our working lives, business schools have for the most part unjustly escaped the attentions of fiction writers. All the more refreshing, then, to read Douglas Board’s wonderfully enjoyable dissection of the swirling currents of ambition, dissembling, power and fortune that are all too often rationalised away in textbook accounts of ‘leadership’. Witty and deeply informed, Board’s rich satire is nearer the bone of business than a lot of people would want you to think. – Simon Caulkin, management writer in Management Today, Financial Times Business Education and at simoncaulkin.com

A must read for anyone who enjoyed Franzen’s Freedom or Eggers’ The Circle. MBA challenges and amuses with equal measure and makes you wonder about the impact of the Anglo-American dream. – Felicity Wood, deputy features editor, The Bookseller

This satirical novel is not just thought-provoking, it pokes your brain with a sharp pointed stick to get an explosive reaction. And the right reaction is laughter, constant chuckling coupled with a sheepish admission to self that MBAs are as full of bull as bureaucrats. Buy it, read it, then set a multiple answer exam on it. It’s a hoot. – Peter Sullivan, former Group Editor-in-Chief of Independent Newspapers South Africa

When the mindless, probably male, manager in your life puts you down, pick this up. Hilarious and spot on. – Sandra Burmeister, CEO Amrop Landelahni

Douglas brings years of deep business experience and breathtaking wit to a La Cage aux Folles-like storyline where a cast of capricious characters comically converge in a crazed climax. MBA never lets the reader go longer than a paragraph without a smile … and more often, a guffaw. – John C Beck, president of North Star Leadership Group Inc and author of Good vs Good, Japan’s Business Renaissance and The Attention Economy

By focussing his farce on the business schools he knows so well, Douglas updates the campus novel and takes a big swing at the insincerities inherent in the ideology of neo-liberalism. – CM Taylor, author of Premiership Psycho,Group of Death and Cloven

A virtuoso plot and unrelieved bass-note of suspense whisk the reader through MBA with no time to fasten a seat-belt. Iconoclastic and LOL hilarious, this story unpicks the fabric of leadership and interrogates the murky motives of the über-‘successful’. Irresistibly funny and deliciously uncomfortable, MBA is a seductive cocktail of politics, human relating, banking, feminism, the dangers of intelligent underwear and so many other unusual bed-fellows. – Rosemary Lain-Priestley, author of Does My Soul Look Big In This? and Unwrapping The Sacred; blogging at www.rosemarylainpriestley.com

Thought provoking and very entertaining – a book every MBA graduate should read before going out to work. –Graeme Cooke, prize-winning MBA graduateDouglas has done what many great artists do: reveal truths accessibly. Read MBA once for the fun of it, and then again to ask yourself the hard questions it poses about leadership and success. – Fields Wicker-Miurin, board director and social entrepreneur

Douglas Board has produced the next instalment of a great literary genre: the campus novel. Instead of following thwarted historians, faux-radical sociologists or cynical literary scholars, Board uncovers a cauldron of corporate clap-trap, hubris and hard lessons which anyone who has been to business school will instantly recognise. –Professor André Spicer, Cass Business School

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ABOUT

Douglas Board

Douglas Board is the author of the campus satire MBA, also published by Lightning Books, which asked why so much of the business world is 'Managed By Arseholes'. Time of Lies, his second novel, is a timely exploration of the collapse of democracy.

Born in Hong Kong, he has degrees from Cambridge and Harvard and worked for the UK Treasury and then as a headhunter. He has also had a distinguished career in public life, serving as treasurer of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund and chairing the British Refugee Council.

As well as writing fiction, he is the author of two applied research books on leadership, which was the subject of his doctorate. He is currently a senior visiting fellow at the Cass Business School in London. He and his wife Tricia Sibbons live in London and Johannesburg.

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