mixed reviews

Larry Weber believes that a new generation of enlightened business leaders is building communities, not just companies.

That’s the thesis of The Provocateur, newly issued by Crown Publishing Group. It is the first book by Weber, who serves as chairman and CEO of the Interpublic Group’s Advanced Marketing Services unit in Cambridge, Mass.

The tome presents case studies contrasting old-school, military-style corporate execs (News Corp.’s Rupert Murdoch, Oracle’s Larry Ellison) with “provocateurs” such as Oprah Winfrey and Monster.com’s Jeff Taylor—leaders who empower their employees and champion creativethinking.

Early reviews have been mixed. Publishers Weekly maintains that “despite its great title, interesting (although somewhat dated) stories and good writing, most business readers will be disappointed … Weber emphasizes an old argument: that the command-and-control structure no longer works inside businesses.”

Barnes&Noble.com found some of the material “hokey” but praised Weber’s “substantive and incisive analysis.”