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Publisher's Summary

In this astonishing, provocative, and solidly researched book, two Harvard Business School professors synthesize 200 years of thought along with the latest research drawn from the biological and social sciences to propose a new theory, a unified synthesis of human nature. Paul Lawrence and Nitin Nohria have studied the way people behave in that most fascinating arena of human behavior - the workplace - and from their work they produce a book that examines the four separate and distinct emotive drives that guide human behavior and influence the choices people make: the drives to acquire, bond, learn, and defend.

They ultimately show that, just as advances in information technology have spurred the New Economy in the last quarter of the 20th century, current advances in biology will be the key to understanding humans and organizations in the new millennium.

©2002 Paul R. Lawrence and Nitin Nohria (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"This is a stimulating and provocative book in bringing together important ideas from different fields, and, thereby, giving us a whole new slant on 'human nature.'" (Edgar H. Schein, Sloan Fellows Professor of Management Emeritus and Senior Lecturer, MIT)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • A. S.
  • Seattle, WA
  • 04-26-13

Like reading a research paper

Any additional comments?

I recommend the first half of the book as a great read/listen. The second half of the book is written in an almost formal research paper style. The authors try to apply the concepts broadly to business. The business ideas are much to vague to have the meaningful impact that the first portion gives. The book presents a hypothesis that four drive are genetically present in most of the human population. I thought it was very overall an interesting read. If you like "brain books," I suggest "Brain Rules" as another good read in this category.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Randall
  • Lubbock, TX, United States
  • 02-13-12

Don't listen while you are driving

I purchased this title as a business book. However, this is more a book about psychology. The business implications of their theory are only explored in the final chapters. The authors make a bold attempt to reduce human nature to four drives, using evolutionary theory. While they propose some interesting ideas, I think humans are much more complex. What about the problem of evil? They skirt this issue. Their ideas are interesting and certainly thought-provoking, but they seem to be much too sure of themselves, and they lay it on thickly. The book is way too long in an attempt to appear scholarly. The narration also comes across as condescending.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Keshav
  • Union city, CA, United States
  • 03-02-10

Read this review and save your time and $$.

Here's the book: Human beings want to acquire things, bond, learn and defend things they've acquired through doing these three. There are variations in the dominant force within each person, family, group, culture. THE END. You already knew this.. didn't you?

14 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Brian
  • Birmingham, AL, United States
  • 02-28-13

well written, cohesive and interesting

i enjoyed the entire book and listened to it in the car - it will defiantly enhance your world view

  • Overall

Quite interesting

Actually I did find the four drive theory quite interesting because basis is really toughly thought. It would be tremendously intriguing to see the results the studies authors suggest at the end.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful