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Below is a comprehensive collection of books that applying evolutionary theory to business.

These books span all areas of business, from leadership development to advertising. I will refine this list in due course, and may organise these texts according their subject area.

Some of these books don’t address business directly. However, their relevance to business will become apparent to reader.

If there’s any books which you think are missing from this list, please get in contact with me.


Core Textbooks

Colarelli, S. M., & Arvey, R. D. (Eds) (2015) The Biological Foundations of Organizational Behavior. University of Chicago Press

Roberts, S.C. (Ed) (2011) Applied Evolutionary Psychology. Oxford University Press

Saad, G. (Ed) (2011)  Evolutionary Psychology in the Business SciencesSpringer


Additional Textbooks

Buunk, A. P., & Van Vugt, M. (2013) Applying Social Psychology: From Problems to Solutions (2nd Edition). Sage Publications

Preston, S.D. , Kringelbach, M.L , & Knutson, B. (Eds) (2014) The Interdisciplinary Science of Consumption. MIT Press

Saad, G. (2007). The Evolutionary Bases of Consumption (Marketing & Consumer Psychology Series). Psychology Press

Van Lange, P., Balliet, D., Parks, C. & Van Vugt, M. (2014) Social Dilemmas: Understanding Human Cooperation. Oxford University Press

Wilson, D.S. & Kirkman, A. (2016) Complexity & Evolution: Toward a New Synthesis for Economics. MIT Press


Trade Books

Bernhard, J. G., & Glantz, K. (1992). Staying Human in the Organization: Our biological heritage and the workplace. Praeger Publishers

Burnham, T. (2008) Mean Markets and Lizard Brains: How to profit from the new science of irrationality: Revised & Updated Edition. John Wiley & Sons

Bowles, S. (2016) The Moral Economy: Why Good Incentives are No Substitute for Good Citizens. Yale University Press

Chamorro-Premuzic, T. (2017) The Talent Delusion: Why Data, Not Intuition, Is the Key to Unlocking Human Potential. Piatkus

Colarelli, S. M. (2003) No Best Way: An evolutionary perspective on human resource management. Greenwood Publishing Group

Conniff, R. (2007) The Ape in the Corner Office: How to Make Friends, Win Fights, and Work Smarter by Understanding Human Nature. Three Rivers Press

Cronk, L. & Leech, B. (2015) Meeting at Grand Central: Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation. Princeton University Press. 

Frank, R. H. (2016) Success & Luck: Good Fortune and The Myth of Meritocracy. Princeton University Press

Frank, R. H. (2001) Luxury Fever: Why money fails to satisfy in an era of excess. Simon and Schuster

Gordon, G. & Nicholson, N. (2010). Family Wars: Stories and Insights from Famous Family Business Feuds. Kogan Page Publishers

Haidt, J. (2012) The Righteous Mind: Why good people are divided by politics and religion. Pantheon

Haidt, J. (2007) The Happiness Hypothesis: Putting Ancient Wisdom to the Test of Modern Science. Arrow

Henrich, J. (2015) The Secret of Our Success: How culture is driving human evolution, domesticating our species, and making us smarter. Princeton University Press

Hogan, R. (2006) Personality and the Fate of Organizations. Psychology Press

Johnson, D. Overconfidence and War: The Havoc and Glory of Positive IllusionsHarvard University Press

Kenrick, D. & Griskevicius, V. (2013) The Rational Animal: How evolution made us smarter than we think. Basic Books

Lo, A. (2017) Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of ThoughtPrinceton University Press

Miller, G. (2009) Spent: Sex, Evolution & The Secrets of Consumerism. Random House

Nicholson, N. (2014) The “I” of Leadership. Jossey-Bass

Nicholson, N. (2000) Managing the Human Animal. Thomson-Texere

O’Keefe, A. (2011) Hardwired Humans: Successful leadership using human instinctsRoundtable Press

Saad, G. (2011). The Consuming Instinct: What juicy burgers, Ferraris, pornography, and gift giving reveal about human nature. Prometheus Books

Simler, K. & Hanson, R. (2018) The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday LifeOxford University Press

Sloman, S. & Fernbach, P. (2017) The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone. Macmilan

Suzman, J. (2017) Affluence without Abundance: The Dissappearing World of the BushmenBloomsbury Publishing

Todorov, A. (2017) Face Value: The Irresistible Influence of First ImpressionsPrinceton University Press

Tracy, J. (2016) Take Pride: Why the deadliest of sins holds the secret to successHoughton Mifflin Harcourt

Trivers, R. (2011) The Folly of Fools: The logic of deceit and self-deception in human life. Basic Books

Turchin, P. (2016) Ultrasociety: How 10,000 Years of War Made Humans the Greatest Cooperators on Earth. Beresta Books

Van Vugt, M. & Giphart, R. (2018) Mismatch: How we are deceived by our Stone Age minds. Little Brown

Van Vugt, M. & Ahuja, A. (2010) Selected: Why some people lead, why others follow, and why it mattersProfile Books

Wilson, D.S. & Hayes, S.C. (2018) Evolution and Contextual Behavioral Science: An Integrated Framework for Understanding, Predicting, and Influencing Human BehaviorContext Press

Wilson, D.S. (2015) Does Altruism Exist? Culture, Genes, and the Welfare of Others (Foundational Questions in Science). Templeton Press

Wilson, D. S. (2011) The Neighborhood Project: Using evolution to improve my city, one block at a time. Little, Brown

Wilson, D. S. (2007) Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin’s theory can change the way we think about our lives. Delta


Forthcoming Books:

Haidt, J. (2018 anticipated) Three Stories about Capitalism: The Moral Psychology of Economic Life. Pantheon