Monthly Archives: February 2020

How to negotiate more effectively: six useful tips

Negotiation is as critical a business skill today as it has ever been. And it’s something that none of us can avoid. Whether it’s determining the terms of a new deal, overcoming conflict with colleagues or partners, or settling a dispute, negotiating is part of the day-to-day dynamic of our professional lives. In negotiations, every party has distinct interests […]

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    On average, women have just three-fourths of the legal rights afforded to men

On average, women have just three-fourths of the legal rights afforded to men

It was just 50 years ago that women’s role in the economy began to drastically change. Reflecting striking social and industrial movements during the 20th century, they increasingly entered the formal labour force as both employees and entrepreneurs. As the number of working women grew, it became clear: global prosperity and women’s economic participation are inextricably linked. Their empowerment […]

February 20th, 2020|Gender|0 Comments|

Just how dangerous is economics for management practice?

It is often argued that academic ideas have no real significance for the world around us. Academics may profess high ideals about changing the world but their influence upon reality is limited. But there is a school of thought that says ideas stemming from academia do matter. Indeed, it is claimed that certain ideas professed by academics can effect […]

February 19th, 2020|Economics, Management|0 Comments|

Slow economic growth is a sign of success

We’re accustomed to looking at the growth rate of GDP to evaluate the health of our economy. Which is why the recent slowdown in growth appears so troubling. In the US, GDP growth for 2019 was 2.3%, meaning it has been nineteen years since growth hit 4%, and nearly as long since it touched 3%. For the UK the […]

February 18th, 2020|Economics|1 Comment|

The use of robots and artificial intelligence in war

The nature of war has changed significantly since the end of World War 2. Battle lines have now become opaque; an attack can come from terrorists who easily blend in as civilians, drones that are undetectable to the eye, or ballistic missiles launched from 500 miles away. To account for the increased lethality of war, a vast budget is […]

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    From Spinster to Career Woman: Middle-Class Women and Work in Victorian England – Book Review

From Spinster to Career Woman: Middle-Class Women and Work in Victorian England – Book Review

From Spinster to Career Woman: Middle-Class Women and Work in Victorian England. Arlene Young. McGill-Queen’s University Press. 2019.

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Spinster: ‘an unmarried woman and especially one past the common age for marrying’.

In From Spinster to Career Woman, Arlene Young takes us on a fascinating, complex and radical journey exploring women’s work in mid-Victorian England. Young examines cultural perceptions […]

February 16th, 2020|Book Review|0 Comments|

What we know and don’t know about Huawei

In recent weeks I have frequently been asked about what we should think about the policies and publicity that embroils Huawei. This is because I have been conducting research into them and many other Chinese digital economy companies for some years and have had unprecedented and greatly appreciated access to much of the company’s staff, records and facilities. The […]

How consumers perceive sustainable products

When tire producers started launching recycled tires, truck drivers were sceptical. They didn’t trust the quality and assumed that there had to be a trade-off with the durability and effectiveness of the tires. Similarly, when there is a flu epidemic or pipes are clogged, consumers systematically choose the non-sustainable hand disinfectants and drain openers. Consumers are afraid that the […]

Reflections on the nature and meaning of teamwork

Teamwork is a complex social dynamic, at once a principle of optimal efficiency and an occasion of personal cooperation. We might visualise this complexity in terms of a vertical pursuit (the achievement of some collective goal) and a horizontal relationship (the cooperation among team members as they pursue the collective goal). The vertical is conceptually prior: teammates do not […]

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    Medical technology: sometimes more regulation can help innovation

Medical technology: sometimes more regulation can help innovation

Innovation is the lifeblood of successful businesses. “Moving fast and breaking things” can provide rapid access to new advances and great potential rewards. However, with innovation often comes uncertainty, and the consequences of product failure can be severe. Clever managers and regulators try to balance these inherent risks and benefits. It is a difficult task, and undesirable outcomes are […]

Is it time to retire the word ‘robot’?

“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’ – Lewis Carroll, Alice In Wonderland.

In Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland, Humpty Dumpty is a wordsmith focused on making the most of his vocabulary. He not only recites but explains poetry to […]

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    Building your competitive strategy? It’s all down to methodology

Building your competitive strategy? It’s all down to methodology

In late 2019, headlines around the world trumpeted the collapse of global travel giant Thomas Cook. Amid news of stranded families and freshly-redundant airline pilots volunteering to bring people home for no pay, what most onlookers and pundits alike wanted to know was: what went wrong? How could an organisation with 19 million customers, 22,000 staff in 16 countries […]

Are Filter Bubbles Real? – Book Review

Are Filter Bubbles Real? Axel Bruns. Polity. 2019.

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Terms like ‘filter bubbles’ and ‘echo chambers’ have transcended social media and political communication research to enter the public consciousness, being associated in particular with polarisation in today’s societies and the unexpected outcomes of recent public votes, such as the victories of Donald Trump and the Brexiteers. In short, […]

February 9th, 2020|Book Review|0 Comments|

Brexit: mourning the economic and personal damage

Britain has left the European Union (EU). The loss I feel is almost as much as when my father died, almost a quarter of a century ago. He was 16 when he came to Britain with my grandfather, who was a South African political refugee. After completing his UK national service, he married the daughter of a Merseyside dockworker. […]

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    The UK has the world’s 9th most resilient labour market, but things are not as rosy as they seem

The UK has the world’s 9th most resilient labour market, but things are not as rosy as they seem

UK’s labour market continues to show resilience – but all is not as rosy as it seems. A recent analysis of labour market trends by The Institute for the Future of Work reveals strengths and weaknesses that should help plans to ‘level up’ the regions. The analysis supports the case for increased devolution; ‘mega-city’ networks connecting cities with surrounding […]

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    Employees: the missing link between stakeholder capitalism’s pledges and metrics

Employees: the missing link between stakeholder capitalism’s pledges and metrics

On the eve of the World Economic Forum’s 50th annual meeting in Davos, I wrote about the need for well-intentioned corporations seeking to lead a new era of stakeholder capitalism to convincingly separate themselves from the also-ran. By the end of the week in Davos, I was pleased to see businesses race against each other to forcefully signal their […]

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    The number of older workers is increasing fast, yet they face growing age discrimination

The number of older workers is increasing fast, yet they face growing age discrimination

The days of collecting your carriage clock and waving goodbye to your workmates of 45 years are over, particularly as more people, whether through choice or necessity, are now working into their late 60s and 70s. In the EU, about one fifth (19%) of the population is 65 or more. A 65-year-old in the United Kingdom can now expect […]

February 5th, 2020|Gender|1 Comment|
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    Retail banks are far from obsolete: they are needed more than ever in the age of data

Retail banks are far from obsolete: they are needed more than ever in the age of data

The internet has fundamentally reformed a number of industries. Newspaper publishing lost the deep moat that investment in printing presses and distribution once represented. Music publishing went the same way. Now the quantity of data that online devices can gather makes it possible to start programming useful machine learning and artificial intelligence applications. Alexa can parse your mood.

What will […]

February 4th, 2020|Finance|0 Comments|

How successful leaders avoid predictable surprises

By now every reader drawn to articles like this will almost certainly have heard the acronym VUCA, so widely used these days. It was first used in 1987 and originates from the theories on leadership of Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus. It is also associated with use by the U.S. Army War College following the end the cold war. […]

February 3rd, 2020|Management|1 Comment|
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    Indebted: How Families Make College Work at Any Cost – Book Review

Indebted: How Families Make College Work at Any Cost – Book Review

Indebted: How Families Make College Work at Any Cost. Caitlin Zaloom. Princeton University Press. 2019.

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Laura and Chris are the proud parents of Sam and Mark who respectively attend Western Michigan University and Grand Valley State University in the US. Whilst Sam and Mark utilise federal loans of $7,500 and $5,500 each year, Laura takes on additional nursing […]

February 2nd, 2020|Book Review|0 Comments|