MBA News Bites

Stacy Blackman’s Weekly Roundup of B-School Intelligence

Two investigators from the Stanford Graduate School of Business have found that when it comes to putting out money for gifts, less may well be more. In several studies, they discovered that although most gift givers assume that a more expensive present will be more appreciated, receivers don’t appreciate expensive gifts that much more. In fact, the old aphorism still holds true: money can’t buy you love.

Two top international business schools, France’s HEC and the MIT Sloan School of Management, have signed a strategic partnership agreement to develop exchanges and collaboration through educational, research, professional and cross-cultural activities between students and faculty. Under the global academic alliance the two institutions will create a double-degree program between HEC’s MBA or MSc and MIT Sloan’s new Master of Science in Management Studies or MSMS.

St. John’s University alumni who have been laid off are being offered a chance to go back to school””at half price. The school said Wednesday that its new Alumni Assistance Program will offer St. John’s graduates who have lost their jobs within the past six months a 50% discount in graduate programs for the upcoming spring and summer semesters. In addition, the $70 application fee will be waived.

Companies are increasingly moving away from a product-centric business model in favor of one that keeps the focus on customers. On January 11-12, 2009, a panel of business leaders, scholars and practitioners will share their ideas on customer-centricity at “Customer-Centric Innovation,” the latest conference in the Kellogg School’s Centennial Conference Series, launched earlier this year in honor of the Kellogg School of Management‘s Centennial Celebration.

Citing the adage that you have to “crawl before you can walk,” filmmaker Spike Lee encouraged members of the Ross School’s Black Business Students Association (BBSA) to pursue their dreams despite any stumbling blocks they might encounter. Lee presented the keynote speech that capped the BBSA’s 33rd Annual Alfred L. Edwards Conference in early December.

It is now frighteningly clear that the world’s dramatic financial rescue efforts are both unprecedented in scope and creativity, and wholly inadequate, says Yale School of Management professor Jeffrey E. Garten. Despite the round-the-clock labor by exhausted officials on a number of continents, the medicine is not taking. The needed response is a big-bang global bailout that is even bigger than what we have seen so far, one that puts governments in front of the contagion rather than always one step behind.

A recent study shows that women typically start a business because they undergo a career change, have passion for an idea that addresses an unmet market need, or see that the environment for the business is right, says Ellen Rudnick, clinical professor of entrepreneurship and executive director of the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship at Chicago Booth School of Business.

Thunderbird School of Global Management president Ángel Cabrera, Ph.D. joined a delegation of more than 250 business school deans and other educators who gathered at United Nations in New York last week to discuss how academic institutions could teach a new generation of corporate leaders to value global social responsibility in their work. The forum provided a platform for sharing perspectives, best practice cases and expertise on the Principles for Responsible Management Education, an initiative launched in 2007 to embed corporate social responsibility and sustainability in the mainstream of MBA coursework.

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