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Knowledge@Wharton
Oct 03, 2022

Can the Fed Fix the Contradiction in the Housing Market?
The Federal Reserve's fiscal policy is meant to curb inflation, but it has a countervailing effect of squeezing an already tight real estate market, according to Wharton's Susan Wachter.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Sep 23, 2022

Do Vaccine Lotteries Work? Maybe
Wharton's Katy Milkman shares the lessons learned from last year's Philly Vax Sweepstakes, a Penn-funded and designed project designed to evaluate ways of increasing COVID-19 vaccines in the city.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Sep 20, 2022

Is Owning a Home Today Worth the Price?
Wharton real estate professor Benjamin Keys offers a bleak forecast for home buyers, despite mortgage interest rates rising above 6% for the first time since 2008.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Sep 19, 2022

The Prepared Leader: A Conversation with Erika James and Lynn Perry Wooten
Wharton Dean Erika James and Lynn Perry Wooten, president of Simmons University, discuss their new book The Prepared Leader and how they found the motivation and the staying power during the pandemic to write it.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Sep 12, 2022

Why Managers Aren't Worried About Quiet Quitting
Wharton's Matthew Bidwell explains why employers have bigger things to worry about than employees who are quiet quitting, a phrase that describes doing the bare minimum at work.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Sep 12, 2022

How Student Loan Forgiveness Will Transform College Financing
The proposed income-driven repayment program in the Biden Student Debt Relief Plan "could radically change how people finance college," according to Kent Smetters, faculty director of the Penn Wharton Budget Model.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Sep 12, 2022

Can the CDC Repair Its Reputation?
Wharton's Ingrid Nembhard evaluates the Centers for Disease Control's plan to reorganize the agency and regain public trust following two years of pandemic confusion.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Sep 06, 2022

Hits and Misses of the Fed's Inflation Strategy
Early actions by the Fed averted a financial crisis following the pandemic, but its later policies enabled an acceleration of inflation, according to Wharton's Richard Herring.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Sep 06, 2022

Why the Housing Market Is Not in Recession
Housing sales are falling in response to rising interest rates, but the real estate market is not in a recession, according to Wharton's Fernando Ferreira. He explains why the persistent lack of supply will continue to put pressure on homebuyers.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Aug 29, 2022

How the Inflation Reduction Act May Hurt Businesses
The proposed new taxes on share buybacks and on book income are based on conceptual misunderstandings and will hurt investment, said Wharton accounting professor Jennifer Blouin.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Aug 22, 2022

Will Onshore Computer Chips Fix the Supply Chain?
Billions in federal funding for computer chip manufacturing is a good start, says Wharton's Morris Cohen, but may not be enough to help the U.S. overcome its East Asian competitors.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Aug 15, 2022

Why Is Amazon Purchasing a Health Care Provider?
With health care accounting for nearly 20% of U.S. gross domestic product, Amazon's latest acquisition of a primary care chain makes sense, says Wharton's Harbir Singh.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Aug 15, 2022

Have Electric Vehicle Sales Reached a Tipping Point in the U.S.?
Wharton's John Paul MacDuffie says a combination of regulatory changes and financial incentives are guiding more Americans toward mass adoption of electric vehicles, factors that align with a new report from Bloomberg about EV sales.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Aug 05, 2022

Investing in Refugee Entrepreneurs in East Africa
Wharton's Katherine Klein speaks with Julienne Oyler, co-founder and CEO of the African Entrepreneur Collective, about helping refugee entrepreneurs thrive.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Aug 01, 2022

Why the Fed Is Walking an Inflation-Recession Tightrope
The U.S. Federal Reserve is trying to stabilize prices while avoiding a prolonged economic downturn, says Wharton's Peter Conti-Brown.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jul 29, 2022

Would You Accept Your Boss' Friend Request?
A new study co-authored by Wharton Deputy Dean Nancy Rothbard explores the dilemma of digital etiquette for employees who befriend co-workers and managers online.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jul 29, 2022

What Happens When Your Boss Sends You a Friend Request?
A new study co-authored by Wharton Deputy Dean Nancy Rothbard explores the dilemma of digital etiquette for employees who befriend co-workers and managers online.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jul 18, 2022

Inflation and Interest Rates: What's Ahead?
If the current economic slowdown gathers pace, the Fed will likely be less aggressive with the next interest rate increase, according to Wharton experts.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jul 18, 2022

Corporate Good vs. Social Good: Can Investors Have Both?
In an episode from the "All Else Equal" podcast series from Stanford Graduate School of Business, Wharton's Jules van Binsbergen and Stanford's Jonathan Berk discuss the strategies available to the social-minded investor, and why they are not clear cut.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jul 12, 2022

Texas Fought Against ESG. Here's What It Cost.
When states boycott financial institutions over disagreeable ESG policies, it can have a chilling and costly effect on competition in the bond market, according to a new paper from Wharton's Daniel Garrett.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jul 11, 2022

Action, not Words: Creating Gender and Racial Equity at Work
Wharton's Stephanie Creary talks to Tina Opie and Beth Livingston, two management professors who have written a new book on how to tear down the barriers that prevent women and marginalized groups from thriving in business.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 22, 2022

Why Corporate Greed Isn't Driving Inflation
Wharton's John Zhang dismisses the notion of "greedflation," saying companies are right to raise prices to meet inflationary pressures created by factors beyond their control.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 21, 2022

How Responsible Research Can Tackle Society's Toughest Challenges
Companies aren't the only ones feeling pressure to meet environmental, social, and corporate governance metrics. Business schools are also working to ensure their coursework and research adhere to a higher standard of responsibility.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 21, 2022

Why Erasing Student Debt Won't Fix the Problem
Wharton finance professor Michael Roberts finds fault with Biden's proposal to cancel student loan debt for millions of borrowers, saying it won't make much of dent in the $1.7 trillion problem.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 20, 2022

How Companies and Capital Can Be Forces for Good
Wharton's Katherine Klein talks with philanthropist and author Jean Case, who was a senior executive at AOL before launching the Case Foundation, about finding purpose and reaching beyond your bubble.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

A Matter of Metrics: Using Web Data to Improve Sales Performance
Internet-based retailers often spend millions of dollars on advertising but how well do they use website log data to track their own performance in turning random browsers into buyers? And buyers into repeat buyers? And repeat buyers into big spenders? Not well at all claims Peter Fader of Wharton's marketing department. As disturbing signs emerge that online purchasing may be starting to stall Internet-based merchants must do a better job of establishing performance benchmarks and basing marketing strategies on real numbers. They can learn lots of lessons says Fader from the humble grocery store.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

How to Keep Others From Ripping Off Your Ideas
As many companies and individuals have learned the hard way coming up with a new technology doesn't necessarily mean you will reap the gains from it. What steps can you take to protect your innovation - there are four of them - and how do these strategies work in the brave new world of emerging technologies? Management professor Sidney G. Winter one of the authors of Wharton on Managing Emerging Technologies offers some guidance.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Just-in-Time Education: Learning in the Global Information Age
Is the lecture hall outdated? Management education needs to be radically rethought for an Internet age becoming more customizable with delivery anytime and anyplace and more applied interactive learning. Two Wharton professors Jerry Wind and David Reibstein discuss a new paradigm for management education facilitated by advances in information technology and how it might be integrated into a decision support system. Wind is also leading the creation of a program that attempts to implement these principles in practice.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Uncertainty Technological Turbulence Competition--What's a Manager to Do? Thrive on It
It's become an all-too-familiar theme of business articles and books: How dramatic increases in competitiveness innovation deregulation globalization and information intensity have created perpetual uncertainty in everyday managerial life. The solution? Stop acting by the old rules and start thinking with the discipline of habitual entrepreneurs says Wharton management professor Ian MacMillan. MacMillan and co-author Rita McGrath of Columbia University show how this is done in their new book The Entrepreneurial Mindset: Strategies for Continuously Creating Opportunity in an Age of Uncertainty
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Want to Study Accounting or Medieval History? Chances Are Your Employer Will Foot the Bill
Peter Cappelli director of Wharton's Center for Human Resources began his research into employer-paid tuition programs with some skepticism. Why he wondered would employers pay for workers to develop a credential (education degree) that is useful to other employers and will raise the workers' marketability? Furthermore if the employer's goal is to give workers skills for their current job why not just offer training in-house? After several months of research Cappelli has found some surprising answers which he summarizes in a new paper entitled "Why Do Employers Pay for College?"
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

What's In a Name? Not Much Without a Branding Strategy
As businesses struggle to differentiate themselves in an increasingly crowded marketplace the challenge of choosing a company name looms large. How creative should a name be and what kind of image should it project? Knowledge at Wharton looked at some existing corporate names - old and new effective and not so effective - and asked marketing professors for their views of the corporate name game.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

What Makes a Good Entrepreneurial Leader? Ask Middle Managers
Entrepreneurs as most people know are risk-takers who thrive on uncertainty and change always on the lookout for their next startup. But according to new research from Wharton management professor Ian C. MacMillan and co-author Vipin Gupta entrepreneurs aren't the only ones who should be able to operate in unpredictable high-risk environments. Drawing on an extensive worldwide survey of middle managers the two authors outline the qualities that define "entrepreneurial leaders."
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

What Webvan Could Have Learned from Tesco
Webvan the ambitious online grocer once bragged that it would set a new standard for Internet retailing. As most people now know for all its hubris the company has turned out to be one of the dot-com economy's most spectacular failures. After burning its way through $1.2 billion in capital it declared bankruptcy in July. Does Webvan's collapse mean that shoppers dislike buying groceries online? For a part of the answer look across the Atlantic to a Britain-based supermarket chain called Tesco. Its online arm Tesco.com will probably have revenues of $420 million this year.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Why Job Searching is the Second Most Popular Activity on the Internet
With more than 20 million people registered on the monster.com job search site it's clear that we are a workforce on the move. In a recent executive education session Peter Cappelli director of Wharton's Center for Human Resources explained how a dramatically different labor market is changing not just the way people are hired and fired but how they view their jobs their employers and their careers.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Leading Up: The Art of Managing Your Boss
True or false: Leaders have followers but not all followers are subordinates. Quite true says Michael Useem director of Wharton's Center for Leadership and Change Management. Indeed if managers wish to be effective they must learn how to lead the people they report to as well as the employees they oversee. Useem calls this process "leading up" and it is the subject of his upcoming book.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Linux: It's Growing More Popular But Can It Do Windows?
Linux is unlikely to dethrone Microsoft's Windows as the ubiquitous operating system on desktop PCs anytime soon. But the open-source system will gradually become more attractive to consumers as more applications are written for it. The real growth of Linux will be in its chief market as an operating system for servers.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Is That a $100 Bill Lying on the Ground? Two Views of Market Efficiency
A few days before Daniel Kahneman and Vernon Smith won the Nobel Price in Economic Sciences for their research into how individuals make economic decisions Wharton hosted a debate showcasing two views of market efficiency. The efficient-markets banner was carried by Princeton professor Burton Malkiel author of "A Random Walk Down Wall Street " while Richard Thaler a professor at the University of Chicago represented the behavioral finance camp. The debate was moderated by Wharton finance professor Jeremy Siegel.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

It's Boom Time in the Housing Market But for How Long?
The residential real estate market in many U.S. cities shows no signs of slowing down as eager home buyers continue to drive prices ever higher. Is this too good to be true? Are home prices a bubble that is soon to burst? Real estate experts at Wharton and in the private sector offer their predictions.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

It's Not Just How Many But Who Gets Stock Options That Matters
Now that employees in many dot-com companies have suddenly found their stock options to be substantially "out of the money " is it time to announce the death of stock options as an integral component of compensation packages? Not so fast argue Wharton accounting professors Christopher Ittner Richard Lambert and David Larcker in a new paper that studies whether the performance of new economy firms is related to the level of equity grants to employees.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

If Affluenza Strikes Take Naps and Stop Consuming
Choose one: a slight pay raise or a shorter work week. If you chose the former you may be suffering from what authors John de Graaf David Wann and Thomas Naylor call "affluenza " which is both the name of their new book and a reference to America's worship of economic expansion. Think more shopping malls bigger homes more bankruptcies both monetary and spiritual. Affluenza our reviewer says is a riveting terrifying and inspiring analysis of what ails contemporary America.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

How to Inspire Creativity and Reward Good Employees (Like You and Me)
Let's face it. Anyone reading this article thinks that information about how to reward highly-regarded employees applies to them. And we all have ideas about what these rewards should be (more money bigger title bigger office etc.) But short of giving out stock options that will be worth $500 zillion in six months how can managers provide meaningful incentives and rewards for star performers? Wharton management professor Anne Cummings makes some suggestions. (Hint: For starters ditch the company pen set.)
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

House Rules: How Siebel Systems Became a Star
"When people have a choice they choose service over anything else including price and product attributes " says Pat House co-founder and executive vice president of Siebel Systems the world's leading supplier of eBusiness application software. During a visit to Wharton earlier this month House explained the strategy that has allowed Siebel to thrive in a notoriously turbulent industry.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

That Elusive Customer Loyalty: How to Build It Learn From It and Profit From It
In an article on Oct. 9 2000 in the Financial Times' Mastering Management series Wharton marketing professor Barbara Kahn writes about the importance of turning customers into advocates who will not only develop loyalty to your company's product or service but will also spread the word to other potential buyers.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

The Evolution of B2B: Lessons From the Auto Industry
Only a few years ago B2B exchanges were expected to completely alter conventional buyer-supplier relationships. The reality has been otherwise. Only 10% of the 1 000 B2B exchanges launched in the past 18 months are reportedly still in operation. Meanwhile the important B2B action seems to have shifted to industry-wide exchanges run by incumbent firms such as Covisint in the auto industry and Transora in the consumer products sector. In a new research study Wharton management professor John Paul MacDuffie and colleague Susan Helper explore this evolution.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

The Failure of Customization: Or Why People Don't Buy Jeans Online
Ever since the Internet emerged as a sales channel in the 1990s it has been thought that one of the chief advantages of e-commerce would be its ability to facilitate the customization of goods and services for consumers. That promise however is not yet close to being realized according to experts at Wharton and an e-commerce research firm.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Making Customer Relationship Management Work
Customer relationship management or CRM is the buzzword du jour in business circles. To hear some proponents talk about it all a company needs to do is buy and install a sophisticated CRM software package to maximize its returns from customers. Wharton faculty members point out however that making CRM work involves doing a lot more.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Making the Case for Outside Sales Reps
During the economic downturn that most of corporate America experienced in 2001 the following companies had something in common: Intel Texas Instruments Cirrus Logic and Hunt Wesson. What tied them together was their decision last year to go from a direct (in-house) sales force to a contract or outside sales agency for some or all of their major product lines. Marketing professors Erin Anderson at INSEAD and Len Lodish at Wharton say that outside sales agencies if properly managed can benefit companies regardless of the economic climate.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Marketers Turn to Metrics to Measure the Impact of Their Initiatives
Until recent times marketing was perhaps the only corporate department that did not use metrics that were meaningful to bottom-line-oriented CEOs and CFOs. But that indifference to metrics is becoming a thing of the past. Marketing executives are paying more attention than ever to ways in which they can measure the impact of marketing initiatives on their companies' financial performance. Developing appropriate metrics to capture the financial impact of marketing will be a key topic for discussion at an upcoming conference co-sponsored by Wharton McKinsey & Company and the Marketing Science Institute.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Measuring Returns on IT Investments: Some Tools and Techniques
How can executives measure returns on investments they make in information technology? This complex issue touches everything from decisions about replacing desktop computers with laptop models to investments in complex software systems. Experts from Wharton and Intel the giant chip maker suggest some methods that may help executives approach these questions.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Non-financial Performance Measures: What Works and What Doesn't
Choosing performance measures is a challenge. Performance measurement systems play a key role in developing strategy evaluating the achievement of organizational objectives and compensating managers. Yet many managers feel traditional financially oriented systems no longer work adequately. A recent survey of U.S. financial services companies found most were not satisfied with their measurement systems. In an article on Oct. 16 2000 in the Financial Times' Mastering Management series Wharton accounting professors Christopher Ittner and David Larcker suggest that financial data have limitations as a measure of company performance. The two note that other measures such as quality may be better at forecasting but can be difficult to implement.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Oh the Games Enron Played
The dramatic disintegration of Enron has left a lot of people wondering how this huge publicly-traded company could have fallen so far so fast. Wharton faculty and others help explain what went on behind the scenes at Enron where it is now clear that management exploited loopholes in accounting procedures and created questionable partnerships involving top company officials among other tactics.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Re-examining Stock Options as a Way to Compensate Executives
Now that an underperforming stock market and the excesses of Enron have focused new attention on the use and abuse of stock options as a way to incentivize senior managers what changes if any should companies make in their design of compensation packages? The answer depends on each company's philosophy and goals but Wharton faculty and others suggest guidelines to help define the appropriate combination of executive incentives.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Secrets of Successful Ad Campaigns: Lessons from Absolut Nike and NASCAR
Drinking and driving don't mix but Absolut vodka and NASCAR now have something in common. The two companies were honored along with Nike as winners of the Excellence in Marketing awards at last week's CMO Summit held at Wharton on Sept. 19-20. Knowledge at Wharton covered presentations describing the award-winning ad campaigns that have earned these brands global recognition.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Speculate on This: What Motivates Investment Bankers?
When management professor Peter Cappelli and the executive search firm Spencer Stuart asked a group of investment bankers to name their top career objective the answer was hardly earth-shattering. The survey however also went on to look at the expectations and concerns of investment bankers at a time when their business has been rocked by recession and a terrorist attack.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

A Search for Google's Success Turns Up Two Words: Trust and Technology
Even as so many well-known search engines are struggling for survival Google.com continues to thrive actually turning a profit this year according to the privately-held company. What explains Google's success and the loyalty of its users? "Performance not glitter " sums up one Wharton professor. Plus a purist approach to advertising.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

How Employees Value (Often Incorrectly) Their Stock Options
Given recent increases in the use of stock options by both "new economy" and "old economy" companies one might reasonably expect that employees - the beneficiaries of this perk - understand how options work. But according to recent research by Wharton professors David Larcker and Richard Lambert employees tend to be relatively uninformed as to the basic economics of stock options a finding that has important implications for employers boards of directors and management consultants.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

How Good or Bad Marketing Decisions Can Make or Break a Company
Approximately 60% of new ventures fail because of bad marketing decisions according to Wharton professor Leonard Lodish author of a new book entitled Entrepreneurial Marketing. The book explores the critical role marketing decisions - on everything from brand building and positioning to advertising and pricing - play in a company's success. As Lodish says: "There are some business people who intuitively understanding marketing but there are a lot who do not."
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Forecasting in Conflicts: How to Predict What Your Opponent Will Do
J. Scott Armstrong is a marketing professor at Wharton and author of the recent book Principles of Forecasting. In the article that follows he talks about role-playing as a tool for business and government leaders who face crucial decisions in situations ranging from military clashes to marketing challenges.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Good Vs. Great Leaders: The Difference is Humility Doubt and Drive
Lee Iacocca was a level 4 leader: effective in running the company but often more committed to self-aggrandizement than the sustained future of the institution. Darwin Smith the little-known former head of Kimberly-Clark was a level 5 leader. James Collins author of Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies and the forthcoming book Good to Great explained the difference at a Wharton Leadership Conference earlier this month.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Debate over Scarcity - and Skills - of IT Workers
According to a recent study from the Information Technology Association of America U.S. companies will be short nearly 600 000 qualified IT professionals over the next 12 months. Unemployed IT workers find that hard to believe. Indeed the report has rekindled the debate over whether there are too few or too many skilled technology workers in this country and what role if any immigrant workers should play in filling tech jobs.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Dell: It's Time to Diversify Dude
Dell Computer the no-fuss PC sales machine has set the standard for a successful direct-distribution company. But Dell is now reworking its bare-bones formula in an attempt to branch out from the PC market into more sophisticated and profitable computer systems. It's a risky strategy in a tough economic climate but experts suggest it's Dell's only option if it wants to keep growing.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Eight Great Business Plans … And Then There Was One
Yes but which one was it? On April 22 2002 eight finalist teams in the Wharton Business Plan Competition presented their business plans to a panel of six judges hoping their venture would win the $25 000 Grand Prize ($15 000 for second place $10 000 for third place). Read the summaries pick your winners and see if the judges agree.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Eight Great Business Plans: Who Is This Year's Winner?
It's the best of times … and the worst of times. Best in that participants in this year's Wharton School Business Plan Competition represented an unusually diverse number of industries. Worst in that the ability of entrepreneurs to raise seed money from venture capitalists is distinctly hobbled by a dismal economy and an equally dismal venture capital industry. Of course what shouldn't change in good times or bad is the ability to recognize a ‘hot' business plan. See if you can pick the winner from this year's ‘eight great' finalists.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Exploring the Links between Brand Name and Consumer Identity
What constitutes a successful identity-oriented marketing strategy? According to Wharton marketing professor Americus Reed II it consists of three critical links - the consumer the identity and the brand. If these links are forged says Reed who recently completed a research paper on this topic "then they create connections that can lead to advantageous marketing outcomes for companies that are savvy enough to incorporate identity into their marketing strategy." Think Harley-Davidson.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

How Much Money Will You Need for Retirement? More Than You Think
Most people generally understand that the sooner they begin planning for retirement the better. Putting money aside now rather than later means that you will have more assets in the long run. What many people don't know however is the amount of money they will need to live on in their golden years. Experts at Wharton examine the reasons why people don't save enough for retirement and what strategies are available to change that.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Bank of America's Ken Lewis Takes a Swing at Investment Banks
According to Ken Lewis chairman chief executive of Charlotte-based Bank of America standalone investment banks are headed for obsolescence and perhaps even extinction. Speaking at Wharton on Nov. 7 Lewis painted a grim future for the once high-flying investment banking business while discussing the strategy corporate culture and ongoing expansion of Bank of America.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Banking on Breadth: Why CEOs Value Cross-Functional Perspectives
Managers traditionally have built their careers by concentrating on specific disciplines such as finance or marketing. Such specialization however pales in comparison to the value that executives can generate when they fuse together insights from various fields into a cohesive whole. That was the message that the heads of three companies -- ARAMARK Commerce Bancorp and Contigroup Companies -- delivered when they spoke recently at Wharton.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Becoming the Best: What You Can Learn from the 25 Most Influential Leaders of Our Times
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Nightly Business Report the most watched daily business program on U.S. television Wharton and NBR this month announced their list of the 25 most influential business leaders of the past 25 years. Andy Grove co-founder of Intel won the No. 1 position but the list also included Bill Gates Warren Buffett John Bogle Jeff Bezos Jack Welch and Oprah Winfrey among others. Can these leaders' attributes help you become a better business leader in your own organization?
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Another Reorganization? What to Expect What to Avoid
It's a familiar scenario: A company brings in a new department head who immediately decides that the way to show leadership is to reorganize. Then a new division head comes on board or a new CEO and there are more reorganizations sometimes several in one month. Yet according to Wharton management professor Peter Cappelli frequent reorganizations "are like doctors treating patients with antibiotics." The medication might work short-term but "long-term it can be harmful." Knowledge at Wharton looks at why some reorganizations succeed and others fail.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Call Centers: Using Social Networks to Spur Staff Retention and Productivity
Call-centers are usually regarded as high-pressure workplaces where pay is often skimpy and turnover is rampant. Employee turnover rates in the industry range from 25% to 45% a year - which poses a problem for employers who invest substantial amounts in training workers only to see them leave. A new study by Emilio J. Castilla a professor of management at Wharton shows that if call-center operators want to reduce such high turnover rates improve worker retention and even increase employee productivity tapping into social networks could provide a possible solution.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Can a Chinese Legend Go Global?
One of the world's hottest PC companies has a balance sheet worth envying a dominant position in a fast-growing market and a history of good service and innovative technology. But if you haven't heard of Legend Computer you can be excused; for the past 19 years the company has confined itself to China. As China transforms and opens though its No. 1 PC maker is coming into the spotlight and it hopes to become a global force to rival IBM Dell and HP. Experts at Wharton and elsewhere examine the prospects of Asia's most successful computer maker.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

CEOs Are Ridiculed for Huge Salaries: Why Aren't Athletes and Entertainers?
Actors athletes and executives are among the most populous inhabitants of the rarified atmosphere of multimillion dollar incomes. Why is it then that corporate executives are coming under fire for excessive pay when athletes like Michael Jordan and entertainers like Oprah Winfrey seem to stir no such feelings of resentment? Part of the answer suggest Wharton faculty and others is that people see - and get - a direct benefit from what athletes and entertainers provide.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Cherry Picking: The Weapon of Choice for Price-conscious Consumers
Do cherry pickers - those consumers who are extremely sensitive to price and go from store to store to pick the best-priced items and leave the rest - really save a lot of money? A recent paper by Wharton marketing professor Stephen J. Hoch and Edward J. Fox a marketing professor at the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University found that consumers not only save money but that the savings are enough to offset the time it takes to do the extra shopping. In addition the researchers found a substantial number of shoppers are savvy and diligent enough to make cherry picking pay off.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Choosing the Wrong Pricing Strategy Can Be a Costly Mistake
Prices have been at the center of human interaction ever since traders in ancient Mesopotamia began keeping records. Who doesn't love to guess what something costs - or argue about what something ought to cost? So it should come as no surprise that companies spend a lot of time figuring out how to price their products and services. But two professors in Wharton's marketing department Jagmohan S. Raju and Z. John Zhang say firms do not always go about pricing the right way despite the huge impact that pricing strategy can have on a company's profits.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Suing Your Customers: A Winning Business Strategy?
The recording industry has a pricing problem. People do not want to pay $15-20 for a compact disc when they can download the same music for free over the Internet. The industry's solution appears as novel as the technology that is giving it such headaches: launch hundreds of lawsuits against otherwise law-abiding consumers who download music. As G. Richard Shell a legal studies professor and author of a forthcoming book on competitive legal strategy notes this same tactic was tried 100 years ago against Henry Ford. It didn't work then and it won't work today.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Tales from the Trenches: Lessons from 30 Years of Career Warfare
We might like to believe that the way to get ahead in the corporate world lies in hard work and brain power. But in his new book Career Warfare: 10 Rules for Building a Successful Personal Brand and Fighting to Keep It David F. D'Alessandro chairman and CEO of John Hancock Financial Services a Boston firm that in 2003 managed assets worth $140 billion for its clients stomps firmly on that idea.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

The Hidden Dangers - and Payoffs - of "Targeted Pricing"
Should your firm target your competitors' customers with lower prices than the competition charges them? When might it make sense instead to offer discounts to your own customers? Under what conditions might this sort of approach - known as "targeted pricing" - backfire by driving everyone's prices down too far? Recent research by Wharton marketing professor Z. John Zhang and several colleagues examines the complex dimensions of "targeted pricing" and suggests guidelines to help companies understand when "targeted pricing" might play an effective role in their marketing strategy.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

The Input Bias: How Managers Misuse Information When Making Decisions
Fans of the hit TV comedy "The Jerry Seinfeld Show" may remember an episode in which Jerry's friend George leaves his car parked at work so that the boss will think George is putting in long hours even when he's not. The idea of course is that George's apparent productivity will net him a higher raise or bonus. Wharton professor Maurice Schweitzer would call George's behavior "an attempt to invoke the input bias - the use of input information (in this case the false impression of long hours) to judge outcomes." As extreme as this example might seem business decisions are frequently made based on input that is either biased or manipulated as Schweitzer and colleague Karen Chinander suggest in a new paper entitled "The Input Bias: The Misuse of Input Information in Judgments of Outcomes."
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

The Dell Model: How Well Will It Travel?
Is Dell doing everything right? In a sluggish PC market where global shipments only rose by 2.7% in 2002 Dell reported a 21% revenue growth year-over-year in the fourth quarter and their global market share jumped from 13.2% to 15.7%. Meanwhile Dell is a solid number one in the U.S. with 29.2% of the market. They have big plans in China and in printers. Is there any place this powerhouse is vulnerable?
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

The Economic News is Good Unless You're Looking for a Job
The U.S. stock market has jumped and the economy shows signs of perking up but Americans continue to lose jobs. Indeed some economists warn that that many of the nearly three million jobs lost over the past three years are gone for good. What's in store for the next three months and for 2004? While most economists and market watchers are somewhat optimistic others suggest that the recovery won't last.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Lou Gerstner's Turnaround Tales at IBM
In the foreword of Who Says Elephants Can't Dance? Louis V. Gerstner Jr.'s memoir of his nine years as CEO of IBM the author confesses that he isn't one for reading the kind of book he's written. After a twelve-hour day at work he asks "who would want to go home and read about someone else's career at the office?" Apparently a lot of people do if book sales are any indication. Although he has his critics Gerstner's book tells how he turned IBM from a potential dinosaur into a dancing pachyderm.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Why Smart People Do Unethical Things: What's Behind Another Year of Corporate Scandals
You might think that with the passing of another year the corporate scandals that have rocked American business would be showing signs of petering out. They are not. In the past few months disclosures of allegedly unethical or illegal practices have rocked the mutual-fund industry and some of its blue-chip names even as the head of the New York Stock Exchange was forced to resign over the size of his compensation package. Knowledge at Wharton spoke to ethics experts a business historian and a Wall Street executive in an attempt to understand why the country has witnessed misbehavior of breathtaking scope in the first few years of a new century.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Why Some Companies Retrain Workers and Others Lay Them Off
In today's economy the odds that employees' skills will need to be updated have increased says management professor Peter Cappelli. The question then becomes is your employer going to reinvest in you through retraining or lay you off and hire someone new? As director of the school's Center for Human Resources Cappelli wanted to know why a few companies have remained committed to retraining even as the ethos of American business has changed. The answer as Cappelli explains in a new research paper has a lot to do with what is termed "social capital."
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Why Some Companies Succeed at CRM (and Many Fail)
What makes some companies so much better at managing customer relationships than their competitors? Put a different way how are companies like Enterprise Rent-A-Car Pioneer Hi-bred Seeds Fidelity Investments Lexus Intuit and Capital One able to stay more closely connected to customers than their rivals in ways that significantly influence the profitability of the firm? It's a question that Wharton marketing professor George Day answers in a new paper. His research notes among other things three distinct approaches to customer relationship management (CRM) each with dramatically different results.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

What Women Buy -- and Why
Women make or influence the purchase of more than 80% of all products and services. So you might think there would be nothing about women's buying habits that American businesses don't know. You would be wrong according to two new books entitled "Just Ask a Woman: Cracking the Code of What Women Want and How They Buy" and "Marketing to Women: How to Understand Reach and Increase Your Share of the World's Largest Market Segment." The authors offer their observations on what women want when they set out to shop. Hint: Think "warmer " not "winner."
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

What Works What Doesn't: Lessons from Two Companies that Outsource Back-Office Tasks
Many Western companies are considering moving back-office operations such as call centers to low-wage countries like India. While this approach can result in significant savings when the project is handled right potential pitfalls can undo the benefits. Knowledge at Wharton spoke with two executives who have undertaken such projects for their organizations to understand where the pitfalls lie and how to avoid them.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

What Makes Southwest Airlines Fly
How does Southwest Airlines keep making money? After all the airline industry overall is in a shambles. US Airways and United Air Lines are reorganizing in bankruptcy while American Airlines flirts with the same fate. As a group the nation's biggest air carriers have lost billions of dollars over the past several years with no immediate recovery in sight. Yet the secret to its success said Southwest chairman Herb Kelleher during a talk at Wharton April 22 is available for anyone including its competitors to see.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Which Customers Are Worth Keeping and Which Ones Aren't? Managerial Uses of CLV
Managers have long been interested in weeding out customers that they consider to be less profitable than others. The question is how do managers determine who belongs in that group? According to several Wharton marketing professors there is no easy answer despite new and increasingly sophisticated efforts to measure what is called "Customer Lifetime Value" (CLV) - the present value of the likely future income stream generated by an individual purchaser. CLV it turns out is hard to calculate and harder to use.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Why Everyone in an Enterprise Can -- and Should -- Be a Leader
Leadership doesn't just start at the top. Leaders can also be found at the bottom of an organization and at just about every place in between. In this special report by Knowledge at Wharton and The McKinsey Quarterly the management journal of consulting firm McKinsey & Co. experts from McKinsey and Wharton point out that regardless of whether people are on the top line or the front line they should explore ways to exercise their leadership potential to the fullest. That is the only way in which they can create meaningful working lives for themselves and the organization can get the most from their efforts.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

What Labor Shortage? Debunking a Popular Myth
In recent years Wharton management professor Peter Cappelli has heard companies warn about a coming labor shortage to the point where this prediction is now routinely factored into discussions about human-resource issues. The problem Cappelli found is that no such shortage will occur. In his latest research Cappelli explains how challenges in recruiting and hiring stem from changes in the nature of the employer-employee relationship not in a shortfall of workers caused by demographic shifts.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Is It Time to Get Rid of EBITDA?
EBITDA or Earnings Before Interest Taxes Depreciation and Amortization has been used by analysts and investors to measure the fiscal health of the many high-tech media and other asset-heavy firms that do not generate earnings but instead incur plenty of depreciation amortization and other charges. Recently however EBITDA has come under fire for contributing to accounting irregularities at such companies as WorldCom and AOL Time Warner.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

The Wal-Mart Empire: A Simple Formula and Unstoppable Growth
For the second year in a row Wal-Mart topped Fortune magazine's list of largest companies and is also the magazine's most-admired firm the first time one company has shared both honors since the annual survey began in 1955. The giant retailer continues to expand worldwide planting giant supercenters as well as new neighborhood-scale markets in its attempt to offer more and more goods to a wider array of shoppers. But Wharton faculty and outside analysts note that Wal-Mart still faces a few challenges ranging from its own centralized operations to union opposition to problems with local zoning boards.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Two Major Errors That Companies Make In Outsourcing Services
When companies outsource back-office services overseas one of the biggest challenges they face is measuring the results. Failure to monitor whether work is being performed correctly after it moves outside a company can result in massive and costly errors. How can companies protect themselves against such risks? Ravi Aron co-director with Jitendra Singh of a recent Wharton executive education program on business-process outsourcing offers some crucial insights.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Auto Industry Consolidation: Is There a New Model on the Horizon?
The turmoil and uncertainty among auto manufacturers and their suppliers have left people wondering when a shakeout can be expected. According to Wharton management professor John Paul MacDuffie and Christopher Benko director of the PricewaterhouseCoopers Automotive Institute in Detroit consolidation will take place among suppliers to a much greater extent than among carmakers which may not experience mergers and acquisitions at all in the near term but will be engaged in ever-shifting strategic alliances and joint ventures. Additionally these experts say many Western parts suppliers are under immense pressure from lower-cost Chinese parts producers and need to consolidate to strengthen their chances of survival.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Call Centers: How to Reduce Burnout Increase Efficiency
It's no surprise that the front lines of a corporate call center are unusually stressful but companies don't always account for that when hiring and training workers for this critical customer contact role according to speakers at a recent Call Center Industry Forum sponsored by Wharton's Financial Institutions Center. Given that an estimated 3% of the U.S. workforce is employed in call centers and that such centers typically experience a 30% annual turnover it's clear that new approaches to call center management are needed.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

'Jumping on the Asia Train': How Sustainable Is China's Rapid Growth?
China's securities industry is just one of the sectors moving ahead at a dizzying pace as the country readies itself for full entry into the World Trade Organization this year according to participants in the recent Wharton Global Business Forum's Asia Conference. Not surprisingly China dominated discussion at the conference with many speakers noting the speed with which the country is advancing. But growth is not just confined to China. The 21st century said one panelist will be the "Asian century " powered by among other things a highly educated and motivated population and increased travel and tourism.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

'Tastes Great Less Filling and Perfect with Cheese': Beer Tries to Brew Up a New Image
Can an industry that has spent a fortune on TV ads featuring mud wrestlers and talking frogs suddenly change its stripes to appeal to the wine-and-cheese single-malt Scotch crowd? The makers of Budweiser and other brands of beer hope so. Anheuser-Busch and its competitors are developing an industry-wide marketing campaign aimed at overhauling the image of the humble beer and staunching its declining share of the alcoholic beverage market. But Wharton faculty members say that such a radical makeover might be too tall an order even though the effort could enhance the appeal of microbreweries and perhaps some mass-market beers like Michelob that have already carved out a higher-end image.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Got a Good Strategy? Now Try to Implement It
For nearly 30 years Wharton management professor Lawrence G. Hrebiniak has taken the art of business strategy and put it under a microscope. Over time he has brought one critical element into irrefutable focus: Creating strategy is easy but implementing it is very difficult. In his new book Making Strategy Work: Leading Effective Execution and Change (Wharton School Publishing) Hrebiniak presents a comprehensive model to help business leaders bridge the gap between strategy making and successful strategy execution. He challenges executives to recognize that making strategy work is more difficult than setting a strategic course - but also more important -- and he documents the obstacles that get in the way of successful performance.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Going Once ... Going Twice ... The Bidding Behavior of Buyers in Internet Auctions
Would you like to go on an Internet auction site and know how much to bid for a certain item -- and also know that you didn't overpay for that item? How about when you sell an item in an online auction: Would you like to know what price to set that ensures you don't leave money on the online table? Wharton marketing and statistics professor Eric T. Bradlow can't provide specific answers. But he does offer guidance on the behavior of potential buyers in a new study entitled "An Integrated Model for Bidding Behavior in Internet Auctions: Whether Who When and How Much " recently published in the Journal of Marketing Research. Bradlow co-authored the study with Cornell marketing professor Young-Hoon Park. "To the best of our knowledge this is the first attempt to model formally the behavioral aspects of bidding behavior for the entire sequence of bids in Internet auctions " the authors write.
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Knowledge@Wharton
Jun 18, 2022

Experimental Entrepreneurship: Removing the 'Tin Cup Dependencies'
Although it has one of the most dynamic economies in Africa Botswana also has one of the world's highest known rates of HIV-AIDS infection. In response the Botswana government along with the Medical School of the University of Pennsylvania and Wharton's Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Research Center is helping develop a more efficient system to manage and monitor HIV/AIDS therapy. According to Ian C. MacMillan director of the Snider Center and James D. Thompson associate director of Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs the Botswana project illustrates a new concept called "Societal Wealth Creation via Experimental Entrepreneurship." By working to develop societal wealth enterprises in places like Africa MacMillan and Thompson hope to sidestep two obstacles that often plague business development around social problems -- low profitability and lack of seed funding.
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