Stacy Blackman’s B-School Buzz

This week, we take a look at what business school professors are blogging about outside the classroom.

Three lessons from the Bernie Madoff scandalDan Ariely, the James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University, sees many lessons, both useful and non-useful, coming on the heels of the Madoff scandal. The urge to over-diversify, search for more bad apples and define “acceptable” levels of cheating are just some of the negative downstream consequences of the Madoff fiasco, Ariely writes.

The dangers of selection bias — In his latest post, London Business School professor of strategic and international management Freek Vermeulen raises the issue of selection bias, using the firing patterns against World War II military aircraft as an example. When selection bias occurs, we only see a selection of the outcomes and therefore draw false conclusions, Vermeulen says, and this happens in the business world all the time.

VCs deeply afraid of missing the next GoogleDavid Hornik, who teaches intellectual property and business at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, says the best reason to continue to invest in search is that search engines are getting worse by the day. In this entry, Hornik discusses Aardvark, whose founders want to inject human knowledge and relationships into the search process.

Two sides of Health ITAndrew McAfee, associate professor in the technology and operations management area at Harvard Business School, takes issue with a recent opinion piece in the New York Times by Dr. Anne Armstrong-Coben, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia. The physician writes that the computerization of healthcare depersonalizes medicine–and McAfee disagrees wholeheartedly.

The future of financial economicsRobert Salomon, assistant professor of management at NYU’s Stern School of Business, has been talking to academics across several disciplines to determine what the future of the field of financial economics should/will/might look like. As he sees it, the field of financial economics should be more inclusive when it comes to behavioral approaches to human behavior (whether from economics or psychology) and behavioral views of the firm.

 

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