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Current Readings

Are You There God? It's Me the Pillow King

Thomas Coe  |  Business Fundamentals

There's no denying the fast rise to success for the entrepreneurial, energetic Mike Lindell, founder of MyPillow.

When Bad Things Happen to Good Funds

Delvin D. Hawley, Ph.D.  |  Finance

A shift away from actively managed equity funds to index funds has been gathering force for a decade, driven by index funds' lower costs and years of underperformance by the majority of active managers. Even fund managers with outstanding long-term records are seeing investors pull billions of dollars from their funds.

Designed in Davos, Tested in Zimbabwe

James Richardson, Ph.D.  |  Business Strategy

Bringing insurance to the world's poor would seem to be a difficult proposition. Blue Marble Microinsurance, backed by industry giants like American International Group, is starting with crop insurance, which could be a key to agricultural development and longer term emergence of other insurance markets.

The Latest Shortage: Fast-Food Workers

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

A falling unemployment rate is contributing to rising wages for workers at fast-food restaurants and discount stores. Many fast-food restaurants are finding that they need to work harder to keep employees, including paying higher wages and providing better benefits. Some managers are also finding that it is more important to pay attention to employees, including knowing their names and making them feel valued and important.

Unionize Me

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

The on-demand economy is changing consumer behaviors and business models. It is also creating challenges for classifying workers as employees versus independent contractors. Uber and other well-known enterprises continue to grapple with this issue, but Handy, a less well-known startup, is proposing legislation that could create a compromise offering workers limited benefits without full employee rights.

Are You There God? It's Me the Pillow King

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

MyPillow, the pillow made popular by a TV pitch man, has become an overnight sensation. (Pardon the pun, and perhaps the next pitch line?) This article chronicles how huge sales were initially not met with equal profitability, because of a lack of an accurate cost accounting system, and provides a great case study in the importance of cost measurement and control.

Unionize Me

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

Gig-economy firms such as Uber and Handy continue to face legal challenges to their treatment of workers as independent contractors. New York state is currently considering legislation that would allow firms to provide portable benefits to workers who would still retain their independent contractor status.

When a Startup Means a Fresh Start

Craig A. Turner, Ph.D.  |  Entrepreneurship

It is difficult for ex-convicts to get solid jobs after they have served their time. Defy Ventures, a nonprofit started by Catherine Hoke, believes that one way for them to find jobs is to start their own company. Using money and expertise from some of the largest tech-industry experts, Defy Ventures provides training while the inmates are finishing up their sentences. Their ideas are then considered for funding, and thus far, more than 150 have received support for their startups. Most importantly, their recidivism rate is 3 percent. This is dramatically lower than the normal rates.

Boxed Vodka Just Wants to Be Loved

Bob Cohen, MBA  |  Exploring Your Potential

Vodka in a box. The worst idea since canned beer?

The Sundance Kid

Bob Cohen, MBA  |  Exploring Your Potential

How Shivani Rawat, a 31-year-old Indian American woman, became the "it" indie producer.

The Latest Shortage: Fast-Food Workers

Eric Cardella  |  Economics

As unemployment levels reach all-time lows and tighter immigration reform looms, there is a shortage of lower skilled workers in the fast-food industry. This shortage has left franchise owners resorting to paying higher wages and offering greater perks to attract and retain workers.

TFW Your Country’s Shredding Money and You Own a Payment App

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

Fintech upstart Paytm is leveraging an anti-corruption campaign to establish itself as India's dominant digital payments player. It wants to be India's first $100 billion company by value.

When Bad Things Happen to Good Funds

Michael S. Raisinghani, Ph.D.  |  Marketing

Interestingly, a strong long-term mutual fund performance record is not enough to hold on to investors. A long-term shift from active to passive funds affects even managers with outstanding records.

Netflix Presents: Building a World of Binge-Watchers

Duane Helleloid, Ph.D.  |  International Business

Netflix has been gradually building a subscriber base in Central and South America. A key step in attracting customers to its subscription video service was to help develop the infrastructure that facilitated high-speed streaming. Netflix has also developed original content specifically for South American consumers.

When a Startup Means a Fresh Start

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

Defy Ventures is giving parolees a second chance. It seems to be working.

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