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Current Readings

Alibaba Tries to Get in the Game

Michael S. Raisinghani, Ph.D.  |  Marketing

China's disproportionately small sports industry and amateur community reflect decades of limited government support and insufficient disposable incomes. Alibaba's tiny sports arm is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to nurture China's interest in sports and related merchandise.

Wal-Mart Cracks the Whip on Suppliers

Michael S. Raisinghani, Ph.D.  |  Operations Management

The latest chapter in Wal-Mart's history of badgering suppliers to improve efficiency and performance is the "On-Time, In-Full (OTIF)," program. Items that are late or missing during a one-month period, or delivered early (leading to overstocks), will incur a fine of 3 percent of their value.

Now It's Revamp, Not Replace

Thomas Coe  |  Business Fundamentals

Unlike the decision to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Trump Administration hasn’t been as decisive with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The "worst trade deal" may just need tweaking and upgrading.

It's Happening Again

Delvin D. Hawley, Ph.D.  |  Finance

It’s classic subprime: hasty loans, rapid defaults, and, at times, outright fraud. This time, it's the auto industry and not mortgages. Investors love the high-yield asset-backed securities composed from these loans, but some are starting to question whether the yield premium is worth the substantial and increasing risk.

Wal-Mart Cracks the Whip on Suppliers

James Richardson, Ph.D.  |  Business Strategy

As it increases wages, cuts prices, and moves to compete with Amazon, Wal-Mart is looking for efficiencies wherever it can find them. By stepping up the pressure on suppliers to make nearly perfect deliveries, Wal-Mart expects to both increase revenue and lower costs.

Globalism Is Alive and Well

Duane Helleloid, Ph.D.  |  International Business

Carlos Ghosn has assembled an alliance of auto manufacturers that has a global reach. He successfully turned around the struggling French auto company Renault, and later was successful with Nissan. The alliance now includes Mitsubishi, AvtoVaz, and Dongfeng.

Saving Face

J. Vincent Eagan, JD, Ph.D.  |  Business Law

Illinois passed the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) in 2008. BIPA requires user permission to collect and store iris, fingerprint, voice, or facial scans. The tech industry has lobbied strenuously against the extension of BIPA to other states.

Globalism Is Alive and Well

Katherine Campbell, Ph.D.  |  Org Behavior & HR

As chairman and CEO of a global alliance of auto companies, Carlos Ghosn has had success with helping struggling companies become more profitable. He believes in cutting marginal operations so that he can invest in the more profitable ones and help them thrive. He is an advocate of globalization.

Now It's Revamp, Not Replace

Derek Abrams  |  Economics

Although President Donald Trump nixed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, many of the NAFTA modifications that his administration is seeking are straight out of the 12-nation trade pact. To date, Canada and Mexico have responded positively to negotiating with the U.S. to update the treaty.

Where Minority-Worker Networks Are Passé

Katherine Campbell, Ph.D.  |  Org Behavior & HR

Many employers have encouraged and supported the development of workplace affinity groups. Now Deloitte has decided to eliminate workplace affinity groups and try to focus more on inclusion and working together on diversity issues.

Pins and Needles in the Heart of the Alps

Duane Helleloid, Ph.D.  |  International Business

Forster Rohner AG produces fine textiles and lace in factories in Switzerland, Romania, and China. The factory in Switzerland is highly automated, while also employing highly skilled workers who prepare very detailed work by hand. In addition to its 250 Swiss employees, the company employs another 640 at factories in Romania and China, where lower priced goods are produced.

The Future of Fishing

Larry Walther, Ph.D., CPA, CMA  |  Accounting & Taxation

Orvis is launching its newest fly-fishing rod, the H3. This beauty will sell for $850, and avid anglers are expected to be lining up to buy them. So what does this have to do with accounting? It provides the perfect case to discuss the U.S. and global approaches to accounting for research and development (R&D) costs, and to consider the huge implications on reported income measures.

Love in the Time of Mass Incarceration

Angelina I. T. Kiser, Ph.D.  |  Information Technology

Prisoners may lose their online dating privileges. Is this good or bad?

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