Several influential media featured the accomplishments of the School of Management and the expertise of its faculty over the past year. Below is a summary of some of the school’s citations in prominent national and regional media. These media “hits” enhance the school’s national reputation and help to brand it as one of the nation’s top business schools.
New York Times
Feng Gu, assistant professor of accounting and law, was quoted in The New York Times on how some businesses are taking billions of dollars in losses from goodwill write-offs, the amount they overpaid when purchasing other companies. These write-offs, in turn, are affecting banks negatively during these tough economic times. The goodwill write-offs are “not the end of the tragedy,” Gu said. “Things continue to get worse.”
The Associated Press
The Associated Press ran a story on research by Kenneth Kim, associate professor of finance and managerial economics, on the correlation between well-liked Super Bowl ads and stock prices. The story, which appeared in newspapers throughout the country, focused on Kim’s research showing that companies with commercials that ranked in the top 10 “most-liked” outperformed the S&P 500 Index at a rate of 2.98 percent over the 20 trading days after the Super Bowl.
In addition to the AP story, Kim’s research was featured in several national publications in the days before and after the big game.
The Wall Street Journal
In The Wall Street Journal, Kim said, “The statistical evidence shows that those commercials that [people] feel positive towards, they also feel positive toward those firms that represent those commercials. It’s sort of like a used car. We’re drawn to the used car that’s the most clean, when there’s clearly no correlation between car cleanliness and car quality…It doesn’t mean the company should be a good stock pick.”
The Washington Post
In a story by Kiplinger.com that was reprinted on the Washington Post Web site, Kim said that while picking the best stocks based on Super Bowl ads is not the best idea, it may have added appeal due to the economy. “During times of uncertainty, we hang on to such signals even more,” he said. The Associated Press also ran a story on Kim’s findings that appeared in newspapers throughout the country.
BusinessWeek, Psychology Today
Kim’s research also was featured in the “Mind on My Money” blog on Psychology Today’s Web site, and on BusinessWeek’s Web site, which picked up a story about Kim’s findings that originally appeared in The Buffalo News.
School of Management Dean Arjang Assad was quoted in an article on BusinessWeek’s Web site on how the current economy is affecting business schools. Faced with a 5 percent cut in state funding, the school added an extra, mandatory student fee to help fund the Career Resource Center. Assad believes the fee is a better alternative than making cutbacks that would negatively affect students. “I was convinced this was the way to go because otherwise you cut services, and when you start cutting services it is a slippery slope,” he said.
A book co-authored by Brian Becker, senior associate dean and professor of organization and human resources, was reviewed in the Financial Times (see related story). In The Differentiated Workforce: Transforming Talent into Strategic Impact, Becker and his two co-authors, Mark Huselid and Richard Beatty, make the case that companies should devote time and resources to make sure they are using their employees’ talents effectively. The reviewer said, “The idea that companies would benefit in the long run from putting more into preparing the right people for the right jobs seems timely.”
Becker’s book also was mentioned in BusinessWeek in an article on companies rewarding top performers. The economic downturn is leading many companies to slash pay and perks, and co-author Huselid said they will “pay dearly” when the economy rebounds and top players leave for better situations.
Many of our School of Management professors were called upon by The Buffalo News for their expertise on various issues this spring. Below is a small sampling.
Arun Jain, Samuel P. Capen Professor of Marketing Research, was quoted in a story on local grocer Wegmans lowering prices on prescription drugs. “It’s a way to show customers, ‘We feel your pain,’ and at the same time, by taking a small hit on pharmacy profit, they’re protecting the rest of the grocery basket,” he said.
Rajiv Kishore, associate professor of management science and systems, was quoted in an article on Dell offering “North American” tech support to customers for a premium fee, instead of using customer service representatives in India. “One thing that is basically very clear is that tech support is not just about technical skills. It’s a very communication-intense service,” Kishore said. Jain was also quoted. “I, as a consumer, may want to see that this job stays in the U.S.,” he said. “But am I willing to pay for it? We want it both ways.”
Jerry Newman, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor and chair of the Department of Organization and Human Resources, discussed local executive compensation, which grew at a slower rate than in previous years. “It takes an economic downturn of this type for this to happen,” he said.
Nallan Suresh, UB Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Operations Management and Strategy, was called upon repeatedly by the News and local television stations to discuss the turmoil in the auto industry. In February, Suresh discussed the possibility of GM reacquiring Delphi. “In terms of local impact, the good news is that this may not lead to major loss of jobs, but merely a transfer of ownership of parts of the chain from Delphi to GM,” Suresh said.
Harold Star, assistant professor of operations management and strategy, was quoted in a story on local companies that have been in existence for more than 100 years. “The secret to all of this is a customer focus, the idea of making the customer a strategic asset,” he said. “It’s easy to do cost-cutting, but it’s more important to do everything in your power to hold onto your customer.”
Charles Lindsey, assistant professor of marketing, commented on the increase of vegetable gardens during the recession. “In a scary economy, even if it’s more work, people want to feel like they’re doing something, like they’re in control,” he said.