Management

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    How to turn a brand’s friends (and detractors) into evangelists: The case of Canadian wine

How to turn a brand’s friends (and detractors) into evangelists: The case of Canadian wine

Organisations ranging from giants such as Apple and Amazon to small wineries and fashion boutiques regularly commit resources to persuading others to tout their innovative products. The results of these efforts are often mixed – some can build a passionate following that spreads news of how groundbreaking or remarkable a product might be, and some waste resources on customers […]

It’s ok for leaders to have a sense of humour

A good sense of humour is often regarded as an important factor for successful leadership. It is an important way successful leaders motivate their followers and gain their support. For example, former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was hit by an egg thrown by an angry protester in a rally. He responded humorously and said “this guy owes me bacon […]

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    Why do supply chain technologies sometimes fail to improve a firm’s performance?

Why do supply chain technologies sometimes fail to improve a firm’s performance?

Many technologies typically referred to as supply chain technologies (SCT) are increasingly being adopted by firms to manage their supply chains. The underlying premise is that they can help improve communication among supply chain partners, which will enhance supply chain efficiency, thus creating value for shareholders. However, in spite of the potential benefits of SCT, these technologies are not […]

Economic shocks affect how a CEO is evaluated

Between May and December 2008, Western Digital, one of the largest computer hard disk manufacturers in the world, experienced a severe shock*. Its stock price fell from $37.53 to $11.45. In 2009, the company reported in its proxy statement that it used discretion, as opposed to objective performance metrics, for evaluating its CEO. In 2008, it had not used […]

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    Using big data to transform operations management: Hype, hope or has-been?

Using big data to transform operations management: Hype, hope or has-been?

The impact of technological innovation is a hot topic in the 21st century. Debates around Big Data (BD) and the technology revolution keep trending. Ignoring the scale of the social changes and organisational disruption created by the apparently exponential growth of technology and the information that has become available to individuals and organisations is impossible. Of particular interest to business […]

On family leave, companies ‘step up’ to fill the vacuum

Google the phrase “lean in,” and almost the first thing that pops up is Sheryl Sandberg’s name. No surprise there, since the Facebook COO wrote a 2013 best-seller with that title urging women to accept no limits on their talents or ambitions.

In February, Sandberg offered up another two-word exhortation: “step up.” This one was aimed at companies like the […]

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    Some tech devices try but fail to make us minimize our carbon footprint

Some tech devices try but fail to make us minimize our carbon footprint

For a couple of weeks now, I am the proud owner of a wireless wrist device that tracks my physical activity, heart rate and sleep. It gives me real-time feedback and nudges me towards a healthier behaviour. Along with the device comes an app that allows me to monitor my weight, calorie- and water intake. The app further provides a […]

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    To improve change management, the NHS needs to discard outdated models

To improve change management, the NHS needs to discard outdated models

Reacting to political, financial and societal pressures, the NHS is an ever-evolving organisation, with its staff experiencing change at an increasing rate. So common, change is now seen to be a fact of working life within the NHS and therefore change management a key aspect of any manager’s role.

When we talk about change management in the NHS, it is […]

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    Using third-party endorsements to build a brand’s reputation: The case of British chocolate

Using third-party endorsements to build a brand’s reputation: The case of British chocolate

Endorsement and certification of brands have hit the mainstream, being used by both small firms and large multinationals in multiple product categories. Even old established global brands, such as Cadbury Dairy and Kit Kat chocolate created by Quaker businesses, are being offered with a certification label – the Fairtrade label. But what purpose do these certification labels serve? Who […]

Dissolving the line between client and staff spaces

In corporate offices, clients traditionally occupy dedicated and contained spaces that are segregated from staff areas and amenities. These spaces are designed as microcosms for meeting and entertaining, often contained in the most desirable parts of buildings with the best views and with the most luxurious interior design. This approach carefully plans a sequence of arrival spaces and ‘protected routes’ […]

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    Can philosophy teach us anything about leadership and management?

Can philosophy teach us anything about leadership and management?

Philosophy can teach us much about leadership and management, but you would not guess it from the two recent books by Robert Spillane and Jean-Etienne Joullié, Philosophy of Leadership (Palgrave Macmillan) and The Philosophical Foundations of Management Thought (Lexington). The premise of each is this: the roots of our thinking about leadership and management reach deep into ancient times, and we […]

Performance needs purpose

We’ve all met the eye-rollers. The leaders who say ‘business-is-business’ and ‘people work to get paid’. The ones who leave ‘pastoral care’ to the HR team down the hallway. Because there’s work to do and money to be made…

When it comes to engagement and motivation, they’ve got a frustratingly clear view: they’re firmly in the driver’s seat with performance-related […]

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    Increasing foreign competition pushes family members out of firms

Increasing foreign competition pushes family members out of firms

When competition from abroad increases, family firms are more likely to fire senior managers who are members of the family than those who are not relatives. What’s more, these firms are more likely to replace the unrelated managers who were fired with executives from outside the family. Meanwhile, leadership jobs previously occupied by relatives are left vacant. These are the central findings of my […]

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    The hidden sides of ‘dynamic pricing’ for airline tickets

The hidden sides of ‘dynamic pricing’ for airline tickets

A standard definition of dynamic pricing in airline markets typically focuses on how fares evolve over the booking period that precedes a flight’s take-off. Our research shows that such a definition is lacking because it fails to connect fare changes to some guiding principles of revenue management, defined as the combined methods used by carriers to set their fares. […]

Shoppers under pressure shun time-limited offers

Bad news for pushy sales people: putting pressure on us to buy now or miss out doesn’t necessarily make us go for limited-time offers. In fact, a super-short ultimatum makes it less likely we’ll bite.

In a recent experiment, we gave participants a series of time-limited offers to discover their motivations for accepting or rejecting the opportunity. Offers were actually […]

Curtailing the market for private prisons: schism or blip?

For nearly 25 years, new prisons built in the UK have predominantly been procured through ‘design, build, finance and operate’ (DBFO) contracts with the private sector. So the opening earlier this year of a new supersized prison to be financed and operated by the public sector – HMP Berwyn in north Wales – puts the future of ‘whole prison’ contracting in […]

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    Focus on buy-in might be the reason your change efforts keep failing

Focus on buy-in might be the reason your change efforts keep failing

Since the findings of the Mid Staffordshire Inquiry, there has been a wide-reaching backlash toward heroic management in health and social care. Heroic management is characterised by heavy egotism, superior knowledge or skill and isolated decision-making. Because of these characteristics, it is generally agreed within the NHS that heroic management is damaging to the efficacy and sustainability of organisations, […]

How Daoism can make a difference in business

Journalists, writers and scholars alike all highlight the necessity of virtues in business, though of course with different emphases. While journalists and writers may be more interested in drawing those business virtues from popular, successful and pragmatic business people, scholars tend to recite classics of virtue ethics, like Aristotle, Adam Smith, Thomas Aquinas or Catholic social teaching amongst others. […]

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    The experience of an early-life disaster affects how a CEO relates to risk

The experience of an early-life disaster affects how a CEO relates to risk

During most of Steve Job’s tenure as CEO of Apple Inc. the company did not have any long-term debt obligations. Apple started an aggressive buyback program only after Tim Cook took over, simultaneously adding debt to its capital structure. Coincidentally, San Francisco, where Steve Jobs was born, experienced more disaster-related fatalities during Jobs’ formative years than Tim Cook’s birthplace […]

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    The crucial role of politically savvy supply chain managers for internal integration

The crucial role of politically savvy supply chain managers for internal integration

Internal integration has become a key focus for most firms. In fact, integration has always been vital, but the growing strategic focus on Supply Chain Management (SCM) has placed more emphasis on the importance of integration. Since the hallmark of effective SCM is coordinated processes and seamless flows, firms have found it necessary to invest in initiatives and technologies […]