SFU Library blog, BUEC Buzz, with colourful banner showing students

A current awareness resource for students & faculty members in Business & Economics

Beyond Harry Potter & LOTR: Academic book series

Published by Mark Bodnar


Simple line drawing of a person reading a book that has a happy face on the cover

You know how enjoyable it can be to read (and re-read!) a popular fiction series? Each time you finish a title, you look forward to the characters, and perhaps even the story, continuing in further volumes. There's a mix of suspense and comfort in plowing through an entire series such as Harry Potter, the Lord of the Rings, Discworld, or the Aubrey–Maturin books that I'm currently reading.

Nonfiction series may not offer much in the way of suspense between volumes, but finding a good academic series that touches on your specific research area can certainly be rewarding. Each new title is both familiar and new, with different aspects and perspectives of the topic explored in every volume.

I thought I'd highlight just a few of the academic book series I've been keeping an eye on as I buy business & economics books here in the library. Perhaps some of them are relevant to your research and instruction...?

The economics of big business

"This series of books provides short, accessible introductions to the economics of major business sectors. Each book focuses on one particular global industry and examines its business model, economic strategy, the determinants of profitability,  as well as the unique issues facing its economic future."

Once you've read one of these books on your target industry, consider our IBISWorld database for further industry analysis... 

Palgrave studies in impact finance

A relatively new series that "... provides a valuable scientific 'hub' for researchers, professionals and policy makers involved in impact finance and related topics. It includes studies in the social, political, environmental and ethical impact of finance, exploring all aspects of impact finance and socially responsible investment, including policy issues, financial instruments, markets and clients, standards, regulations and financial management, with a particular focus on impact investments and microfinance."

We have many titles in this series already, all published from 2020 onward: 

Data analytics applications

In a world that's awash in data, what topic could be hotter than data analytics? How about practical applications of data analytics? 

Here are the titles we have from this series so far. I expect there will be more published soon...

The economy — key ideas

"These short primers introduce students to the core concepts, theories and models, both new and established, heterodox and mainstream, contested and accepted, used by economists and political economists to understand and explain the workings of the economy."

This series would also fit the Read-on-a-Bus post that I wrote a few months ago. Here are the titles we have so far...

SIOP organizational frontiers series

"The Organizational Frontiers Series is sponsored by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP). Launched in 1983 to make scientific contributions accessible to the field, the series publishes books addressing emerging theoretical developments, fundamental and translational research, and theory-driven practice in the field of Industrial-Organizational Psychology and related organizational science disciplines including organizational behavior, human resource management, and labor and industrial relations." 

Here are some of the most recent titles in this long-running series. Note that some of them offer Open Access editions... freely available to all!

World economies

"A series of concise modern economic histories of the world's most important national economies. Each book explains how a country's economy works, why it has the shape it has and what distinct challenges it faces. Alongside discussion of familiar indicators of economic growth, the coverage extends to well-being, inequality and corruption, to provide a fresh and more rounded understanding of the wealth of nations."

Here are the eight titles we have so far from this series:

Routledge studies in the management of voluntary and non-profit organizations

"Voluntary and non-profit organizations are playing an increasingly significant role, worldwide, in the provision and management of public services. Drawing together significant and ground breaking  research, this series will be essential reading for students of public policy and management as well as the thinking manager. Topics covered include the management of innovation and change, financial management, performance evaluation and management, and organizational development and project management."

A few recent titles from this series

Humanistic management

"Humanistic Management draws together the concepts of social business, sustainability, social entrepreneurship, business ethics, conscious capitalism, and cooperative capitalism to present a new humanistically based research paradigm. This new paradigm challenges the prevailing neo-liberal “economistic” approach that dominates twentieth-century management theory and practice, and instead emphasizes the need to protect human dignity and well-being as well as economic drivers."

Check out the titles currently available from this series: 

I've barely scratched the surface. Here are a few more examples of academic book series in our collection: 

Finally, here's the series that got me thinking about the value of a good book series: The Five Giants: A New Beveridge Report. It's probably more relevant to sociology & public policy than economics & business, but the titles of the individual volumes caught my attention: Want, Disease, Squalor, Ignorance, and Idleness.

The original "Beveridge Report," published in the UK in 1942, identified five impediments to social progress: the giants of Want, Disease, Squalor, Ignorance, and Idleness. Many postwar developments of the UK welfare state — e.g., child allowances and the National Health Service — grew out of Beveridge's recommendations. The authors in this new series examine the progress against those giants in the 80 years since the report was first released, with a volume dedicated to each of the 5 giants.

As always, just let me know if you have any questions at all...

-- Mark
Mark Bodnar
Economics & Business Librarian

Blog Categories