This post is from The Business Ethics Exchange, the newsletter of the Center for Ethical Business Cultures
It isn’t whether, but when, an organization will experience a crisis. Anticipate and prepare in advance, advised veteran PR and crisis management experts Kathy Tunheim, president and CEO of Tunheim Partners, and Jim Lukaszewski of the Lukaszewski Group, meeting with CEBC members at the center’s fall roundtable.
What constitutes a crisis? Lukaszweski argued that a crisis calls into question the very trustworthiness of the organization and its leadership – nearly always triggering highly emotional responses. Tunheim described the moment when leaders suddenly realize this situation is radically different from ordinary bad days at the office and make a conscious decision to go into crisis mode. Both agreed that an effective response hinges on leaders who set the moral tone for the response.
The findings of the 11th annual University of St. Thomas Holiday Spending Sentiment Survey were released today. Equipped with 11 years of research data, University of St. Thomas marketing professors find the mood of holiday shoppers is close to pre-recession levels.
This survey has been conducted in late October since 2002 and provides more than a decade’s worth of longitudinal data on Twin Cities holiday shopping trends. The survey measures the intent of Twin Cities shoppers: how much they think they will spend for holiday gifts, what they will spend it on, and where they will spend it. The research is conducted by Dr. Lorman Lundsten, Jon Seltzer and Dr. John Sailors of St. Thomas’ Opus College of Business.
Key findings this year:
- This year’s predicted household spending for holiday gifts, $773, compares to $703 last year and $680 in 2010.
- Based on survey responses and the population of the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, the researchers predict that metro-region shoppers will cumulatively spend just over $1 billion this year, up 9.3 percent from last year’s predicted $915 million. This year’s predicted spend is the highest in the 11 years of the survey; the previous high was $959 million in 2004.
- As for where shoppers plan to buy gifts, shopping malls remain popular — accounting for about half of all shopping — but they gave up some ground to non-mall stores and to the Internet. Target and Macy’s were clear winners and tied for first as specific retailers named by respondents, followed by Best Buy, Herberger’s and Kohl’s.
- The top gift this year: cash.
The relative popularity of 14 major gift categories:
University of St. Thomas student, BreAnna Fisher, is one of six regional finalists who will compete in the Entrepreneurs’ Organization and the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards competition tomorrow in Chicago. Fisher, en route to the competition today, is the only student from Minnesota nominated for the 2012 competition. A Twin Cities native, she is on track to graduate from the University of St. Thomas with a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship in spring 2013.
In addition to her college courses, Fisher is a social media expert who is revolutionizing gift-giving over smart devices with her new Web-based application, DoDrinks.com. DoDrinks is currently incubated at the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas. The Schulze School of Entrepreneurship Lab provides a place for student and alumni entrepreneurs to build community as well as build businesses. Professors Alec Johnson and Jay Ebben have been providing guidance to the company.
This post, a commentary by Christopher Michaelson, Ph.D., associate professor of ethics and business law, originally appeared in the Huffington Post.
Maybe it’s the fact that if you removed the ‘R’, “Romney” would be an anagram for “money”. It seems as though he really believes that money can buy happiness.
Economists refer to the conception of human beings as rationally self-interested actors motivated primarily by economic gain as homo economicus, or economic man. Some actually believe that in the final analysis, all we really care about is economic self-interest, and so we may as well reward profit-maximizers with hopes that there will be enough leftovers to suppress social unrest. Other economists — and, increasingly, primatologists, ethicists, and psychologists, among others — see homo economicus as representing a crude caricature of human motivation, only marginally useful as a predictor of collective action. They are convinced that human beings are curious, creative, compassionate, and cooperative social creatures who care about money as a means to a multiplicity of worthwhile human ends.
From Fool’s Gold to Financial Integrity – a special event featuring New York Times columnist Joe Nocera on Tuesday, November 13, at 4:30 p.m.
The Center for Ethical Business Cultures (CEBC) invites you to reflect on the lessons and insights on the banking and financial crisis gleaned by Joe Nocera, one of America’s leading business journalists and a regular columnist for the New York Times. What do we need to understand about failures in the private sector as well as in regulation of our complex financial system? What dynamic undercut stated commitments to ethics and corporate responsibility?
We will also consider the difficulties faced by organizations and institutions as they are buffeted by the intense competition and high pressure incentives that characterize our financial sector. In a dog-eat-dog environment, how can organizations resist pressures to compromise business and ethical standards? How can they instill a greater sense of ethics, integrity and responsibility to all stakeholders?
By Ujin Han, M.B.A. ’12
First year Full-time UST MBA students had an interesting joint class discussion this week. Four professors—Professor Rothausen-Vange (Organizational Behavior), Professor Malshe (Marketing), Professor Combs (Business Economics), and Professor Sanders (Statistics and Operations)–led a cross-class discussion of a case study about Harrah’s gaming.
It was an intense and lively 3 ½ hr discussion about Harrah’s strategy to differentiate themselves from the market from 1998-2005—from four different perspectives. Starting with situation analysis of the external economic factors and the data-driven consumer insights that prompted the change in strategy to tactical marketing and HR programs implemented, the students explored all the aspects that had to be managed for Harrah’s to be successful.
In the Star Tribune‘s weekly “Ask the Consultant” column, Charles Tran of CreditDonkey asks about the best way to reward one member of a team without fostering a cutthroat work environment. Dr. Jack Militello, director of the Opus College of Business’ Health Care UST MBA program, says that ideally everyone on the team should understand the criteria for rewards, and then lays out some practical tips for making this happen.
Originally published: 09/02/2012 in the Star Tribune.
by Rita Kovtun, senior at the University of St. Thomas, Communication & Journalism
Have you ever been at work and had trouble engaging with your job because of what’s happening in the rest of your life? Financial stress, a rocky relationship with a family member or a particularly nasty cold – this sort of thing can keep you from performing to the best of your ability on the job.
Teresa Rothausen-Vange, Ph.D., Annelise Larson and Sara Christenson are working to quantify this in the UST Work and Well-being Study (UST-WWS). Rothausen-Vange, a professor of management , connected with Larson and Christenson while the latter two were students in the Full-time UST MBA program. Common professional interests led the women to ideating and carrying out the study.
By Peter C. Young, Ph.D.
For the past twelve months, the Opus College of Business has been working through the development of its Global Business Education (GBE) Initiative. Although there is much, much work remaining, we believe the time is right to widen the scope of discussion on our future challenges and opportunities. To this end the GBE Blog is intended to inform stakeholders and interested individuals of current activities and upcoming events, but also — and importantly — to invite input from those stakeholders and other interested individuals.
OCB has publicly committed to developing global leaders and though there are many ways we could embellish our intentions, the motive for the global business education initiative boils down to a simple fact. We promise our students that we intend to assist them in developing the capabilities and knowledge to become global leaders, and to do so by:
- Providing experiences that broaden students’ horizons
- Building knowledge and skills relevant to leading in a global setting
- Developing capabilities to apply knowledge, skills and experience to meet the challenges of globalization
- Providing wider ranging assistance to businesses in our market to improve their prospects for international/global success
- Emphasizing what is sometimes called the ‘glocal’ dimension of globalization. UST’s historic commitment to the local community translates into a specific charge to understand how our community benefits from global engagement and success.
Follow the GBE Blog for upcoming information on events and announcements. Readers will see information on short term courses abroad for the 2012-2013 academic year, information on a fall kick-off event that will launch the next phase of the GBE Initiative, announcements on future collaborations, and much more.
As I noted at the outset, one of the key purposes of this blog is to invite feedback and participation in the GBE Initiative; in fact, to begin building a community of individuals with an active interest in the development of meaningful globally-oriented experiences. To that end I very much want to encourage you to become a part of the GBE community.
Have you ever felt like an experience was better because it felt like “time flew by”? Research by Aaron Sackett, assistant professor of marketing, looks to prove this area of consumer behavior. Here is what we learned from Professor Sackett about this topic:
Professor Aaron Sackett
Q. How can the sun make movies better?
A. This research examines how people’s feelings of time’s progress can influence their recollections of events they’ve just experienced. Specifically, it’s about how moments of surprise regarding how much (or little) time has passed can make people believe that they were enjoying themselves perhaps just a bit more (or less) than they actually were. If you’ve ever had a moment when you looked at your watch, or out the window at the setting sun, and thought, “where did the time go?!”, you know what I mean. You may have also had the opposite happen to you: You look at your watch and can’t believe how slow time is going (students report dull lectures as a common instance, although this surely never occurs in my own classes!). A short while back, I published a series of studies looking at how these moments of surprise influence people’s evaluations of the events that immediately preceded them. It turns out that when people experience these “time warp” moments, they reliably draw false conclusions about the events that led to them: If they feel that time “flew by,” they believe that they enjoyed themselves more (also, if they feel that time “dragged on,” they believe that they enjoyed themselves less). In other words, the exact same experience can “feel” more enjoyable if it’s followed by a moment that leads us to think, “wow, time must’ve really flown!” than if it’s not followed by such a moment of surprise.