Reading List: Roadside MBA

UPDATED: July 26, 2014
PUBLISHED: July 26, 2014

When three friends—all of them business professors with Ph.D.s—stepped out of their educational enclaves and hit the road, they learned valuable lessons about how small companies are faring.

Michael Mazzeo of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Paul Oyer of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and Scott Schaefer of the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business visited about 100 mom-and-pop stores and enterprises in 24 states and discovered that small businesses are flourishing by finding creative ways to manage their brands, scale up, differentiate themselves from the competition and compete with the big boys.

Each business the authors visited and profiled illustrates an academic concept or strategy applied in the real world. Between stops, the pals banter, tease, succumb to bad food and generally act like three guys on a road trip.

Roadside MBA combines humor with business theory and practice in a fresh, amusing way. You’ll be entertained and educated, ending up with a newfound admiration for the ingenuity of small-town businesses.

by Michael Mazzeo, Paul Oyer and Scott Schaefer

Business Plus; $27

Jessica Krampe is the digital managing editor for A graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, Jessica has worked for news, entertainment, business and lifestyle publications. Outside of the daily grind, she enjoys happy hours, live music and traveling.