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Current Readings

Secret Formula

James Richardson, Ph.D.  |  Business Strategy

Leading apparel retailer Zara rejects the label fast fashion because of the company's focus on design. Yet its designers are driven by sales and consumer data as they deliver fresh styles to stores twice weekly.

Secret Formula

Thomas Coe  |  Business Fundamentals

Zara is competing with more established apparel design and retail stores by focusing on three main areas for its business: paying attention to customer trends, quickly responding to demand, and having independent design teams collectively decide on which lines to stock. With revenue growth surpassing that of its competitors, Zara is showing that it’s a cut above the rest.

A Rush to Regulate Before Inauguration

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

The Obama administration has accelerated its issuance of regulations as the president's term nears an end. There is some concern that Congress may use the Congressional Review Act to overturn some of these regulations.

Secret Formula

Michael S. Raisinghani, Ph.D.  |  Marketing

A unique management formula may be why Inditex’s revenue growth—up 11 percent in the first half of 2016—far outpaces its rivals. The biggest fashion retailer is thriving as rivals falter. It has virtually no ad budget apart from social media marketing.

The Trolls Are Coming

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

Elon Musk attracts a wide array of real and fake online antagonists criticizing his work on electric cars, rockets, and solar panels. His shrouded online attacks include phony op-ed pieces, websites with shadowy backers, and individuals who hide behind aliases.

Pet Food That Comes With an Oil Painting

Craig A. Turner, Ph.D.  |  Entrepreneurship

Chewy, a pet supply store that specializes in creating a superior customer service experience online by sparing no expense, has developed into an $880 million revenue company. Unfortunately, its expenses have exceeded its revenue, but the company has solid financial backing and dreams of becoming even larger.

India’s Cash-Canceling Experiment

Derek Abrams  |  Economics

By immediately ceasing to accept the 500-rupee and 1,000-rupee notes as legal tender, India Prime Minister Modi is trying to end tax evasion and impose a tax-compliant, above-board economy at all levels. His vision of the new economy would expand banks’ deposits and install an almost cash-free transaction system.

Secret Formula

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

As competitors struggle, Zara continues to thrive. It's known as a fast-fashion company supported with a supply chain that allows quick turnarounds. Some facets of Zara’s business model may be imitable, but its approach to management, unique decision-making process, and organizational culture may be able to sustain the company's success.

"I mean, is there anti-murder training?"

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

For decades, U.S. companies have addressed sexual harassment in the workplace with corporate policies, awareness programs, and compliance training. Nevertheless, data from the EEOC and other sources indicate that sexual harassment remains prevalent, raising questions about the efficacy of corporate policies and HR training in addressing more than corporate liability. Related content describing the personal experiences of nine women, research about why so many women wait to come forward, and podcasts on the Bloomberg Businessweek website help illustrate the impact and complexities that surround this pervasive workplace issue.

Secret Formula

Bob Cohen, MBA  |  Exploring Your Potential

A data-driven fashion retailer with a design-by-committee approach to its line of products turns the industry on its head by foregoing "fashion forward" principles for flexibility, speed, and efficient distribution. The result? A company that's thriving as its competitors falter.

Pet Food That Comes With an Oil Painting

Bob Cohen, MBA  |  Exploring Your Potential

Chewy bets on a “high tech, high touch” approach to building customer loyalty and to successfully scaling its business in a pet supply market dominated by PetSmart, Petco, and Amazon. Or has the company bitten off more than it can handle?

Secret Formula

Duane Helleloid, Ph.D.  |  International Business

Inditex's business model for fast fashion allows it to frequently update its inventory and adapt its offerings to different tastes in different countries. Rather than rely on lead designers to try and predict or create fashion trends, the company uses data and a team of designers to continually shift production at its factories. Since a large portion is produced near the Inditex's headquarters in Spain, new designs can move quickly into production and onto store shelves in Europe.

A Would-Be Uber Rival's Ride to Nowhere

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

With a quarter billion cash in the bank, how could a startup like Karhoo suddenly declare bankruptcy and shut its doors? Maybe creditors and employees asked all the right questions but never saw any financial statements.

For Manufacturers, Russia Is Now a Bargain

Duane Helleloid, Ph.D.  |  International Business

The fall in the value of the ruble, along with real wage declines, has contributed to a boost in Russian exports of some manufactured goods. Although the cost of doing business in Russia is still higher than in many other countries, it is very competitive with eastern Europe, and exporting to Europe can make sense for goods with high transportation costs. Both IKEA and Samsung have recently expanded production at factories in Russia.

Pet Food That Comes with an Oil Painting

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

Chewy has a new strategy for selling pet supplies. You may just end up with an oil painting of your pets.

The Buybacks Aren't Working

Delvin D. Hawley, Ph.D.  |  Finance

An index tracking European share buybacks is underperforming the broader market. That may be a sign that it's time for CEOs to stop spending on buybacks and start reinvesting in their business.

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