Private equity: finding 'vintage' returns in times of economic turbulence
This year and next could well be “vintage years” for private equity returns, even though the private equity market has shrunk dramatically from its peak in 2006 and 2007, says Peter Cornelius, Chief Economist of AlpInvest Partners, a private equity shop which manages assets of US$40 billion.
Cash is king, so work your working capital
With credit so hard to get during this recession, the old adage that “cash is king” is even more relevant. But most companies have access to more cash than they realise, say two INSEAD professors, and it’s right in front of them, in their company balance sheets.
Soft information or 'cheap talk' in company announcements: filling the 'void'
Next time you listen to a CEO talk about his or her company, play close attention to whether the person is being unusually optimistic or pessimistic. This sentiment can give you a good indication about where the company's stock price is headed.
Muhammad Yunus: Helping the less privileged unleash their entrepreneurial skills
Some thirty years ago, economics professor Muhammad Yunus made his first loan of $27 to a group of 42 women so they could expand their bamboo furniture making business.
After the success of his initial loan, Yunus saw that such a small amount of money could change the lives of the people and thought why not do more? Since then, small collateral-free loans known as microcredit have been provided to 100 million people across all continents. With 94 per cent of the worlds income going t
Women and Money
Are men or women better at investing?
This is not only a fun question but it is of great practical value, says INSEAD Assistant Professor of Finance Lily Fang, who hosted a Women and Money forum at INSEAD recently. Some studies suggest that women are better investors than men. Dig a little deeper and the picture isnt so clear.
Reputational risk management: A key determinant of competitive performance
When WorldCom collapsed in 2002, its investors lost billions – and so did shareholders of Citigroup. Markets punished the financial giant for its part in the financial scandal. Citigroup had risked its reputation by developing a web of intimate business relationships with the fraud-ridden telecoms firm. Modern financial groups such as Citigroup are particularly vulnerable to issues of reputational risk, says INSEAD visiting professor Ingo Walter.
IPOs: Evaluating failure risk
INSEAD Assistant Professor of Accounting and Control Liz Demers says the risk of failure may not be fully priced into new listings as of the offering date.
The innovation value chain
Innovation isn’t all about great ideas. INSEAD Professor of Entrepreneurship Morten Hansen and visiting professor Julian Birkinshaw argue that companies often fail because they don’t recognise that innovation is a chain that requires strength at every link to succeed.
Cost innovation and the dragons
INSEAD Affiliate Professor of Asian Business and International Management Peter Williamson says Chinese companies are tapping niche markets and customising products, but instead of looking at premium pricing they’re choosing to go mass market with ‘everyday low prices on steroids.’
UO Today #458: Maxine Burkett
Maxine Burkett, 2010 Wayne Morse Chair for Law and Politics; Law, University of Hawaii; director, Island Climate Center: Center for Climate Adaptation and Policy. Burkett’s work focuses on climate justice, the disparate impact of climate change on poor and of-color communities, and our moral and legal obligation to these communities. UO Today, the Oregon Humanities Center’s [...]
Physics in Action: Barrel Crunch
Professor Ephraim Fischbach demonstrates barrel crunch in this video from Thinkwell's online Physics series. They began by heating water inside the barrel to create steam. They then capped the barrel to keep the steam inside and poured liquid nitrogen over it to make sure that the can cooled down quickly. The steam condensed and created a partial vacuum. The atmospheric pressure outside the can was stronger than the pressure inside, causing it to collapse. Run time 04:30.
Leadership today: less charisma, more consensus
When you think of words to describe good leadership, ‘charisma’ usually comes somewhere near the top of the list. After all, all the good ideas in the world won’t get anywhere if you aren’t compelling enough to get people to listen to you. But not all successful CEOs are charismatic and today’s complex and profound economic crisis has created a real challenge both for executives and for the professionals who train them.
The leadership diversity puzzle
They say it’s never a bad time to invest in leadership. But is that still true, even during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression? Unilever, the food and personal care products giant, thinks so and is putting its money where its mouth is.
Taking leadership research global
The global dimension of leadership is becoming a key area of interest for leadership research, says Cristina Escallon, director of the INSEAD Leadership Initiative, speaking on the sidelines of the first INSEAD-Wharton Research Conference on Leadership.
Most leadership research around the world is based on US-centric models, be it US companies or American leaders. This is because the US is where most academic developments have taken place in this field over the last couple of
“Diversity is not diversity is not diversity”
Measuring diversity in terms of broad demographic categories such as gender, race or age fails to take into account the underlying dynamics that can play a more decisive role within groups of people – diversity in attitudes, skills, knowledge and power, for example. “It’s hard to just say ‘oh, there’s a group whose members vary in their age’ and to really understand what that dynamic will be,” says Katherine Klein, Professor of Management at Wharton.
Unshackling the ‘double bind’ of the female leader
According to Robin Ely, a Professor of Organisational Behavior at Harvard Business School, women often end up in a ‘double bind’. “If they try to enact the traits that are seen as ‘leaderly’ – and these tend to be the traits that are more associated with idealised images of masculinity – they tend to be respected for that, but not necessarily liked. Whereas if they take up a more stereotypically female role of being nurturing and caretaking, they may be liked but not necessarily re
CEO view: Fadi Ghandour of Aramex
The Aramex story – that of a small player in the Middle East rising to compete against the biggest companies in the global transportation and logistics market – has been heralded by Thomas L. Friedman in his book The World is Flat as a model for companies benefiting from the ‘flattening’ of the world through globalisation – the levelling of the economic field and the destruction of barriers to entry, opening the door wide for individuals or companies anywhere in the world to collaborat
Visual equity: being front and centre increases sales
“Unless you’re Coca-Cola,” says INSEAD Associate Marketing Professor Pierre Chandon, “it’s important to be visible on the shelves.”
New CSR marketing trends: transparency and dialogue
Companies are changing the way they market their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives – more and more of them are becoming increasingly transparent about their supply chains and are fostering dialogue with their customers, says Per Grankvist, editor and founder of CSRiPraktiken.se, and senior advisor on sustainability to multinational corporations such as the Coca-Cola Company in Sweden. Companies such as Nike, Gap and Hewlett-Packard have led the way by making information availab
The Money Illusion
Consumers are commonly subject to what economists call ‘the money illusion’, whereby a consumer’s perception of the value of money is influenced by the nominal value of the currency. In other words, it’s psychologically easier for an American consumer to buy a widget for one dollar in the US than it is for that same consumer to purchase the same widget while on a trip in Vietnam for 16,000 Vietnamese dong, the equivalent of one US dollar. INSEAD professors Klaus Wertenbroch and Amitava C