Dominique Hanssens believes the marketing profession is being challenged by investors and analysts to show its true economic value. Some marketing outcomes, such as brand equity, can be measured through what Hanssens calls "intermediate metrics." If one firm has greater brand equity than another, all else being equal, it should have a higher valuation and stock price. Hanssens hopes his research will improve communication among marketers, CEOs, scholars, securities analysts and investors.
Why are some countries rich and others poor? Romain Wacziarg argues that business leaders need to pay more attention to the cultural barriers that hinder the transmission of technologies across countries. Similarly, cross-country business linkages such as trade, foreign direct investment and financial asset transactions are systematically related to differences in norms, values, languages and customs across cultures. Interestingly, globalization has reduced the impact of these barriers on doing business across borders. A better understanding of barriers to technological diffusion and international transactions will allow managers to craft strategies to overcome the weight of cultural distance and take better advantage of the increasingly attractive opportunities offered by emerging markets like India and China.
Corinne Bendersky says there is an established literature showing that task conflicts, relationship conflicts and process conflicts affect task-group performance. Now, she and a co-author have found that conflicts concerning the relative status of group members can also hurt performance. She says that status conflicts are clearly different from other types of conflicts. “Status identities tend to be constructed based on what are called diffuse status characteristics, which are essentially demographic characteristics," she explains. “What can be dysfunctional is if a person's task-relevant skills are overlooked because they happen to have low status on demographic characteristics." The negative impact can be reduced by carefully facilitating task-based disagreements to make sure they do not become forums for challenging status. “A leader should use his or her status position and credibility to equalize the opportunity for other members to participate according to their skills and expertise."
Why do we store great bottles of wine until they are undrinkable, put gift certificates away until they expire or delay visiting popular tourist destinations in our own backyard? One reason, according to Suzanne Shu, is that people idealize the experience represented by these special occasions. "People imagine a perfect scenario," she says. She uses the term "future bias" to describe why someone may postpone a pleasurable experience while waiting for a better occasion to come along. Shu recommends taking a "seize the day" approach at such times. “I have to be willing to take something that's not quite my ideal. Otherwise, it's never going to happen," she says.
"Currency trading is a huge thing," says Hanno Lustig. Observers estimate that nearly $4 trillion changes hands in currency trades each day. The basic idea is to use the currency of a country with a low interest rate to buy government bonds in a country with a higher interest rate. But Lustig says this common practice is risky. "We show that bad news in the stock market causes high-interest-rate currencies to depreciate dramatically while low-interest-rate currencies actually appreciate. High-interest-rate currencies are really risky when there is a lot of volatility and turbulence in financial markets," he says. To avoid excessive risk, Lustig suggests developing a portfolio of currencies with varied interest rates. "It’s just basic finance. Similar to what you would do with stocks," he says.
In his doctoral years, Felipe Caro began studying the unique supply chain challenges faced by the Spanish clothing retailer, Zara. "Zara represents what is called Fast-Fashion," he explains. This chain of more than one thousand stores moves items from design to the shelves in four to six weeks while traditional retailers can take six or nine months. The challenge is to keep the right quantities of items on the shelves. At UCLA, Caro and Jeremie Gallien (MIT) developed a model to optimize inventory-allocation decisions using sales data and a variety of other inputs. The model was tested with several products at one of Zara's main warehouses where it resulted in a three-to-four percent increase in sales with no additional costs. Now, every item in all of Zara's stores is shipped using this model.
In his new book, "Left Behind - Latin America and the False Promise of Populism," Professor Sebastian Edwards sheds light on the region's political and economic histories and provides a macro view of where Latin American economies might be going. As a former chief economist for the Latin America and Caribbean Region of the World Bank, a member of the advisory board of Transnational Research Corporation, co-chairman of the Inter American Seminar on Economics and the Past-President of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association, he should know. He was also on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's Council of Economic Advisors, has been a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, and is the author of more that 200 scientific articles on international economics, macroeconomics and economic development.
Richard Roll, the Joel Fried Chair in Applied Finance, was named winner of the Graham and Dodd Best Perspectives Award, recognizing timely, thought-provoking opinion, for his article, "The Possible Misdiagnosis of a Crisis." The article appeared in the March/April 2011 issue of the Financial Analysts Journal.
Eric Flamholtz and Yvonne Randle have authored a new book titled, "Corporate Culture," in which they identify and explain the five key dimensions of corporate culture. The book is filled with abundant real-world examples including IBM, HP, Walmart, Walt Disney Company, Google and Johnson and Johnson.
Could working with an openly gay individual undermine a co-worker's on-the-job performance? Not likely, according to a recent UCLA Anderson School of Management study. In fact, concealing one's sexual orientation may actually have an adverse effect on workplace function. The findings of a six-month study, conducted by Benjamin Everly and Geoffrey Ho, Ph.D. candidates at UCLA Anderson, and Associate Professor Margaret Shih.
The first thing you notice upon entering Bob McCann's office is a large flat screen TV. Then you might notice a bulky machine next to his desk used to duplicate mass quantities of DVDs. These are among the tools McCann uses to teach Management Communications I/II, a new course designed to help students improve the managerial communication skills critical to career success.