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Ton (Belgium)

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Essentials of Negotiation
Essentials of Negotiation
by Roy J Lewicki
Edition: Paperback

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars We've got another looser - why doesn't Amazon allow for minus-signed stars?, 7 Feb. 2008
Amazing how badly written books people dare to put in the market place, and how easily they can get away with it... Consider this book one BIG rip off, and for this simple reason: this book *will not tell you how to negotiate*, despite it's title, and the fact that it is 4th edition already.

All this book does is giving a *bad* summary of thing that may, or may not, happen in a negotiation process, AND: you know all this by yourself already... BUT: it doesn't tell you how to deal with it (!) So somewhere it is written "people can try to lure you into things" (yah, sure, as if any reader doesn't know that already), but they give *no* instructions how to deal with it. Aside from this, it is hilarious what is written. I'm actually extremely p*ssed off because again I have been misled by "reputable professors" (sigh), so I am not going to write too much about all the nonsense in this book, but consider this, as just one (of many(!)) example how ignorant these authors are: CH5 "Cognitive Biases in Negotiation", page 122: "Irrational escalation of commitment", which is a situation in which a negotiator will not give in on his demands, even when that doesn't logically make sense anymore. According to the authors caused by the negotiator wanting to save face and by his desire "to maintain an impression of expertise and control". This is one of the very rare cases in which they actually try to tell you what to do about that, but then it becomes hilarious: "one way to combat these tendencies is to have an advisor serve as a reality checkpoint - someone who is not consumed by "the heat of the moment" and who can warn negotiators when they inadvertently begin to behave irrationally"... CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS ABSOLUTE NONSENSE? This reads: if you are the negotiator and somebody does strange things hire a consultant...(hahahaha: who even dares to write this), or alternatively reads: ask somebody to play daddy - to make sure you kids behave and play nicely together. The right answer to this problem of course is make sure you construct your offers in such a way that somebody is always able to save face, and in the situation of somebody wanting to maintain an image of power/control/expertise, make sure you construct an offer that includes something that still makes sure your counterpart is considered an expert/the guy "who did it".

Ok, then, one other one: CH6 "Communication" (complete bloatware as well), p135-137, the authors introduce 5 "categories" of communication, and then, without shame, happily continue to say that in a negotiation people can talk about offers/counteroffers/motives, alternatives, outcomes, social stuff, the negotiation process (are these "categories"? Not from where I come from. Maybe these "reputable professors" need to look up the scientific definition of a category...). I can talk about a zillion other things as well, but the thing is: this is illustrative for what I wrote earlier: they write a lot of bladiebliebladiebla but it doesn't relate to anything (!) This crap fills two pages with no relevance: they just write this is what people can talk about, but they don't tell you what you should do with that information...

This book is a complete rip off, and I am pissed: it's my hard earned money. It's that I like Amazon too much, but otherwise I would have done what logic dictates: that I request a refund.

And then, to think, those poor students over at MIT are required to read this nonsense to get their MBA ...

Don't buy it, consider it my favor to you: you've been warned.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 26, 2010 2:25 PM BST

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
by Robert B., PhD Cialdini
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.69

26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but..., 19 Jan. 2008
This is not a bad book. Actually, I'm ok with having bought it here at Amazon. However, that was not my impression when I started in the first chapter; I thought "oh no, not again, another book of a wannabe self-proclaimed "guru"". From chapter 3 onwards it became better, but I have one serious problem with this book: I do understand Cialdini is an academic, but I really wish he would stop cluttering up the text with all these side steps to academic research; it's annoying. Just pose your statements, explain them short and clear, and put all your detailed explanations of academic research that supports your statements in the footnotes. This is your typical book where you have to turn back two pages constantly to see "what was his main argument?". This book could be considerably shorter, *still preservering the same value when it comes to insight", and would make for much more pleasant reading (Mind you, I hold a PhD myself, I know this is academic writing. That's fine when your audience is the academical world, but that is clearly not what the intended audience of this book is). To conclude: there are some valuable lessons contained in this book, it is worth the money, but it needs to be less on the academical details, because that distracts.

Hill Street Blues - Series 1 [DVD]
Hill Street Blues - Series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Daniel J. Travanti

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best series ever, and perhaps Amazon could..., 19 Jan. 2008
Make the other seasons available as well? I know Amazon is not in the business of releasing DVDs, but then again: Amazon is so big and powerful, I am sure it can convince the movie company that holds the rights to release all the other seasons as well. After all, this is not just your average cops show, this is THE STANDARD that all other series are based upon, even now, in 2008... There's but one series: HSB ;-)

Moderator, responsible for approving my review: PLEASE forward a copy of my message to your purchasing department? The world is full of authentic fans of HSB - you've got a guaranteed winner here...

I am even willing to co-invest in the production and distribution of the series: yes, I am ready to put my money where my mouth is ;-)

Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People
Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People
by G Richard Shell
Edition: Paperback

2 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Be prepared to be irritated at every single page of this book..., 8 Jan. 2008
I already started to get scared when I saw all the "praise" messages at the first page: this is a well known cheap marketing trick to use weak praise messages (from some, well, at least "strange" companies) to promote a book. And it turns out I was right. Have you ever experienced getting angry at literally *every* page in the book? If you want to experience that happy (not...) feeling again, buy this book. I feel I have been ripped off completely. Do you know the expression "never scratch the top - always scratch the bottom?" Well, this author only scratches the top - the surface -: he never dives into the topics he touches, he merely touches them. With that I mean: he writes about a subject, tries to make it look all "academical" (I graduated from university myself, but I would be ashamed if my book would be like this) by constantly referring to "research has shown", and then...: he quits! For example, he says: Topic A - "research has shown" ((blabla, and completely irrelevant) that XYZ is relevant in negotiations", and then he presents NO *serious* strategies at all to deal with it! Basically all he says is "well, this might be a problem when you negotiate, and well, you will need to find a way out of it. I suggest talk about it with your counterpart - or at least, don't fall for it, and try to become friends with your counterpart, because then they won't try to take you" (say what???? Say what????). Actually, there is so much more to write about this book, I just don't want to waste my time on it (believe me, I am again getting *extremely angry* while writing this about the rip off this is. You expect somebody from Wharton to be sincere (he writes that ... "Me being an academic, I choose to be most ethical in all my negotiations"...Can you imagine this? It's an insult to all non-academics) and either write a decent book that lives up to the expectations generated by the marketing machine ("A Wharton professor") or just realize you don't know nada about negotiations and just want to make money writing a book that people will buy because of the marketing. I mean, chapter I starts with "your bargaining style". You get some (superficial!) blabla about 5 styles that exist, you expect this to be THE foundation of the book (it is presented like that...) and when you've read a *very high level* attempt at profiling something...the chapter is done...(!) Can you imagine this? No "so this is your style, it means this or that", nada. Well, later on, some 20 chapters or so later to be precise, there is a *very weak* attempt at touching back at chapter 1, but it fails any, even low-level, test (trust me, I have graduates that write *far better* thesis than this "Wharton professor"). This superficial nonsense continues chapter after chapter after chapter. I really got irritated (well, actually, more than that, but let's keep it nice) page after page after page: the whole 250 pages. Now I am not from that "renowned" university Wharton (I am from that other "renowned" university;-)) but I do have your average brain, and this book is an insult to any reader. I strongly recommend against it. If you want a book that skips the blabla, try "Everything is negotiable" by Gavin Kennedy. That book isn't perfect either, but it hits the right target about a 1000 times more than this book. Don't fall for this trap: skip it, and save your money. I wish somebody would have written a review like mine so I wouldn't have bought it, because I feel I've been ripped off; not by Amazon, but by the author. And as to the publisher: have you *ever* heared about decent paragraph numbering? Because this book lacks any. And since the book is so full of blabla, unnecessary side steps, you end up reading 5 pages of blabla and suddenly there's another heading without proper subnumbering: so you need to go back constantly to see "is this a new topic, or a subtopic?).

It's a shame I like Amazon, otherwise I should ask for a refund and a compensation for my waste of time and energy.

To recoup: just don't buy it: you've been warned. (Instead, send me a postcard, because I devoted my time to warning you for this disappointment - only kidding ;-))

Sorry for this relatively hard ranting, but I get so pissed off if people don't provide value for money and think they can get away with it. I'm sort of an honest guy: my blood pressure pumps of the scale when I get confronted with stuff like this. Mea culpa ;-)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 18, 2008 9:25 AM BST

Negotiation: Your Mentor and Guide to Doing Business Effectively (Harvard Business Essentials)
Negotiation: Your Mentor and Guide to Doing Business Effectively (Harvard Business Essentials)
by Harvard Business Essentials
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not get misled..., 8 Jan. 2008
Make no mistake, it may carry the name of that "prestigious" university, but it isn't actually written by a renowned Harvard scholar. At least, when you read the book you see "this book has been compiled under the supervision of somebody at Harvard who is very smart" (I know, that is not literally what it says, but something like that is written there. I don't recall anymore, because I threw the book away because it contains so much nonsense). At best (!) this is a very bad summary of negotiation literature (leaving out all important aspects) done by a fresh year student who needs get a positive grade (and no more than that: 5,5 was the target I guess, not a 10). This is a complete waste of money and time, and I think I know something about negotiating because it is my business. It is an absolute shame that I like Amazon too much to make troubles about asking a refund, but I should: this book is below any use (well, you might use it to light up your fireplace).

FreeBSD 6: Unleashed
FreeBSD 6: Unleashed
by Brian Tiemann
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 2 Jan. 2008
This review is from: FreeBSD 6: Unleashed (Paperback)
Just received my copy. This book is an excellent book for the complete newbie (such as myself). It takes it time to clearly describe what to do. I recommend this book to anybody who wants a top notch introduction to FBSD. And I recommend Absolute FreeBSD: The Complete Guide to FreeBSD, sec. edition, as the next book to read: together, these books are a great tandem.

Absolute FreeBSD: The Complete Guide to FreeBSD
Absolute FreeBSD: The Complete Guide to FreeBSD
by Michael W. Lucas
Edition: Paperback
Price: £42.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, but..., 2 Jan. 2008
Not for the complete newbie ;-)

The author does an excellent job of describing various advanced subjects. For a complete newbie (such as I, though working with computers since 1992) this may sometimes go a little too fast. So I recommend "FreeBSD 6 Unleashed" to go with this book; in tandem you'll have a wealth of top notch information. I ordered both books, got this one first, starting reading and thought "you're going a little too fast for me". The week after, FBSD 6 Unleashed arrived, and I found myself reading this book first to really get into all the basics. So, together, I think they make a great tandem.

Oh, and thanks to for responding to my enquiry and making it available on this site (at first, it was only available at, and on it said "out of print" although the book had been released only 2 weeks before ;-)

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