Delectable Reads: An Abundance of Book Reviews and Articles About Food

Still thinking about all of the delicious Thanksgiving food from yesterday? Here is a food-themed collection of book reviews and articles for you to dig into over leftovers:

Cultivation of TasteChristel Lane : The Cultivation of Taste: Chefs and the Organization of Fine Dining. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. 368 pp. $45.00/£30.00, hardback.

Read the review by Michaela DeSoucey of North Carolina State University, published in the September 2015 issue of Administrative Science Quarterly:

In today’s world, eating out is serious business. And Christel Lane’s new book, The Cultivation of Taste, is a serious—and engaging—scholarly investigation into the business of the culinary industry. Broadly, her comparative analysis of the world of fine-dining chefs and top restaurants in Britain and Germany is a study of the contemporary social organization and business of taste. It unites arguments from organizational theory, the sociology of ASQ_v60n3_Sept2015_cover.inddculture, and economic sociology. Lane, a sociologist, takes the reader on a behind-the-scenes tour, spanning organizational and industry structures, the occupational careers and attitudes of elite chefs, and the taste-making power of gastronomic guides, namely the prestigious Michelin Guide. Her choice of Britain and Germany as case studies was a purposeful one; both are newcomers to fine dining and equally smaller than the French sector. Yet, despite lacking rich histories of haute cuisine, both have seen stratospheric public interest in home-grown fine dining—and all that neo–fine-dining entails in the 21st century—in the last few decades.

Food - ClappClapp, J. (2012). Food. Malden, MA: Polity Press.

Read the review by Josh Brem-Wilson of Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, published in the September 2012 issue of Organization & Environment:

In recent years, Jennifer Clapp, Chair of Global Environmental Governance at Waterloo’s Centre for International Governance Innovation, has established herself as a food analyst of international repute, her work on the dynamics of transnational corporation (TNC) participation in agrifood systems and food volatility being two recent highlights. That she would have been chosen to contribute this volume to Polity’s Resource series should therefore come as no surprise. The timeliness of this text goes without saying—the broad range of themes and contentions clustered under “food policy issues,” whilst perhaps not garnering the same degree of elite attention that they were just 3 or 4 years ago, continue to command specialist and public awareness alike. At the same time, however, the complexity of the issues and of the “system” within which they are contested, and the speed with O&E_Mar_2012_vol26_no1_Cover_Final.inddwhich new issues emerge onto the radar, sets the bar of entry within this field of human endeavour quite high. Thus, as Clapp states in her introduction: “This book aims to contribute to a fuller understanding of some of the key forces that influence and shape the current global food system,” focusing in particular on “the interface between the international political and economic dimensions of the system—what I refer to as the ‘world food economy.’”

ASQ_v59n1_Mar2014_cover.inddRead the article, “The Price You Pay: Price-setting as a Response to Norm Violations in the Market for Champagne Grapes” by Amandine Ody-Brasier and Freek Vermeulen, published in the March 2014 issue of Administrative Science Quarterly. The abstract:

Contrary to the general view that markets are shaped by economic forces, bargaining power, and the prior relationships between exchange partners, this paper posits that markets can sometimes also be purely socially constructed, in the sense that prices can vary irrespective of the economic value embedded in the exchange. Building on insights from the literature on categories, we argue that sellers may react to violations of local norms on the part of particular buyers by charging them higher prices. Sellers thus provide economic benefits, in the form of lower prices, to buyers who closely adhere to the category’s norms. We test these ideas using data on the market for Champagne grapes, examining the exchange between grape growers (the sellers) and the 66 houses that make the sparkling wine (the buyers). Interviews and survey data informed us that growers have clear, normative ideas about what a Champagne house should look like and do: houses that are no longer headed by a descendant of the founder, are not located in one of the traditional Champagne villages, are relative newcomers to the industry, are part of a corporate group, supply supermarket brands, operate winemaking subsidiaries abroad, or acquire their own vineyards are all viewed in a negative light. Our models provide strong support for our prediction, showing that the prices different organizations are charged for their purchases depend substantially on whether they meet local expectations for who they are and what they do. Our qualitative evidence confirms that this differential pricing by growers occurs not through collusion but through a spontaneous, bottom-up process.

cqx coverRead the article, “Mobile Tablet Menus: Attractiveness and Impact of Nutrition Labeling Formats on Millennials’ Food Choices” by Maryam F. Yepes, published in the February 2015 issue of Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. The abstract:

Using mobile tablet technology, this study compared menu selections by millennial-age respondents to test the effects of five different menu nutrition labeling formats for attractiveness, perceived influence, and actual influence on the students’ food choices. Labeling formats presented on an iPad involved combinations of numeric caloric values, traffic-light color coding, and percentage of daily intake presented as a graphic summary. Each participant was asked to select four courses from a fine-dining restaurant menu, and each was shown one of the five nutrition labeling formats (or no information at all). Although there was no significant difference in the calorie count for the six groups, the labeling format with traffic-light color coding combined with a graphic summary of the meal’s calorie count (compared with the daily recommended intake) received the highest attractiveness ranking. This attractive graphic format also showed a significant positive correlation to its perceived influence on food choices. Overall, participants in all labeling groups indicated a strong support for inclusion of nutrition information on restaurant menus using mobile tablet technology.

WFR_72ppiRGB_powerpointRead the interview, “The Hidden Costs of Seafood: An Interview with Muhammad Saidul Islam,” published in the September 2014 issue of World Future Review. From the introduction:

In coastal communities throughout the developing world, farmers are cordoning off swaths of beaches, lakes, and rivers to cultivate stocks of fish, shellfish, and shrimp for markets in the more affluent parts of the globe. These “aquaculture” industries, as the fish farms are known, satisfy a massive global consumer demand for seafood while bringing considerable business profits to the farmers and distributors who make their livelihoods in them. But the business carries a heavy price for the communities in which the aquaculture industries set up shop, according to Muhammed Saidul Islam, an assistant professor of sociology at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Happy reading!

A Cornucopia of Book Reviews!

Looking for holiday gift ideas or just a good read to relax with over the long weekend? We’ve provided you with three insightful book reviews to sink your teeth into.

80140100838090LSaru Jayaraman. Behind the Kitchen Door. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press/ILR Press, 2013. 208 pp. ISBN 978-0-8014-7951-9. $15.95 (Paperback).

Read the review by Janice Fine of Rutgers University, published in the October 2014 issue of ILR Review:

Behind the Kitchen Door is a powerful exposé of the labor practices of the contemporary restaurant industry intended to make the case that the treatment of workers is at least as instrumental to theILR_72ppiRGB_powerpoint goals of the burgeoning sustainable food movement as free-range chickens, grass-fed cows, or organic, locally sourced, non-GMO produce. Written by Saru Jayaraman, co-founder of the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York (ROC-NY), which is the organization that emerged in the aftermath of the tragic deaths of 73 workers at the iconic Windows on the World restaurant on 9/11, the book is a trove of information about industry structure and employment practices.

9781780323091Órla Ryan. Chocolate Nations: Living and Dying for Cocoa in West Africa. London and New York: Zed Books, 2011. 182 pp. ISBN 978-184813-005-0. $14.95 (Paperback).

Franklin Obeng-Odoom of the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia published his review in Review of Radical Radical Political Economics.

This book is interesting, but strange. It is hard to dismiss, but difficult to call a masterpiece. The RRPE_v46_72ppiRGB_powerpointbook talks about two countries without being comparative, but in a way that helps comparative studies and thinking. This is a book about the raw material that is used to produce the chocolate you have been eating, about the fair trade you have been supporting, and about how the output of smallholder farmers acts as steroids for the economies of entire nations.

9781442208742_p0_v2_s260x420Wallach, Jennifer Jensen. How America Eats: A Social History of U.S. Food and Culture. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc, 2013. 240 pp. ISBN-13: 978-1442232188. $24.95 (paperback list).

13122087Bobrow-Strain, Aaron. White Bread: A Social History of the Store-bought Loaf. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2012. 257 pp. ISBN-13: 978-0807044780. $17.00 (paperback list).

Kim K. McKeage of Hamline University wrote a review of both of these books, which appeared in the Journal of Macromarketing.

From the titles, we get a hint that How America Eats: A Social History of U.S. Food and Culture and JMMK_new C1 template.inddWhite Bread: A Social History of the Store-bought Loaf occupy opposite ends of a spectrum. Both are social histories, and both are concerned with food, but one is a wide-ranging history of all things food related, while the other focuses on one item – commercial white bread. How America Eats is a rather impersonal account, while White Bread is embedded in the author’s own experiences and ethos. The differences in perspective, though, provide what turn out to be remarkably similar insights into American food history.

Happy reading!

Can Poetry Benefit Business Students?

ink-pot-1078835-m[We’re pleased to welcome Carolyn M. Plump who collaborated with William Van Buskirk for Clare Morgan’s What Poetry Brings to Business.]

While searching for creative ways to reach our students, we came across Clare Morgan’s book, What Poetry Brings to Business. The book has innovative suggestions for how one can use poetry to expand business skills. Although the idea of using poems to enhance business concepts was intriguing, we were unsure whether it would prove useful in actual practice. We were pleasantly surprised by the results. We found students were more actively engaged in the classroom discussions when we introduced poetry. We also found students who typically did not speak during class began offering their opinions when we did poetry exercises. Finally, weJME_72ppiRGB_powerpoint found poetry allowed the students to break out of traditional business paradigms and approach solving situations in new ways. We now use poetry in a variety of our classes, including classes on globalization (e.g., to demonstrate how stakeholders looking at a situation can have different points of views and perceptions), ethics (e.g., to demonstrate how different ethical views have validity even if they are not the same as your view), and law (e.g., to demonstrate how contractual terms can be interpreted differently and cases can be distinguished depending on your client’s position). We even flipped the idea by collaborating with our colleagues in the liberal arts department to discuss what business can teach their students. We hope you enjoy our article and find the information useful for your classes. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.

The review, “Roses Are Red, Money is Green: A Resource Review of What Poetry Brings to Business” is available to read for free by clicking here from Journal of Management Education. Don’t want to miss out on all the latest research and reviews from Journal of Management Education? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!