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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Wharton on Global Economy, Law, Finance, Marketing and HR...

Super newsletter from the University of Pennsylvania.
A great resource!


Jan 9 - Jan 22

What's Hot
What's Ahead for the Global Economy in 2008? Reports from Around the Network

Though the subprime mess and rising oil prices slammed the U.S. economy during much of 2007, other emerging markets -- especially China and India -- seem to be on a roll. China's growth rate of more than 11% is likely to continue, and India, too, should be able to sustain a high rate of GDP growth, even if it slows from last year's 9%. Latin America, meanwhile, is cautiously optimistic but could see a moderate decline in 2008. The Knowledge@Wharton Network sites -- including Universia Knowledge@Wharton, China Knowledge@Wharton and India Knowledge@Wharton -- spoke with Wharton faculty and other experts about what to expect during the coming year.

Law and Public Policy
(Podcast with Transcript)
How Arab Countries Are Coping with Globalization

At the beginning of 2008, crude prices are at record highs, creating immense wealth for oil-exporting nations in the Middle East. Yet the Arab economies also face what economists call "a demographic bulge of a fast-growing labor force" -- and the challenge of creating enough jobs for the population. This is happening at a time when the arrival of China and India is raising the competitive stakes for other emerging economies that want to make their mark on the global economic stage. How are the Arab economies dealing with these challenges? Howard Pack, a professor of business and public policy at Wharton, and Marcus Noland, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, address these issues in a book titled, The Arab Economies in a Changing World. Knowledge@Wharton recently spoke with Pack about his book.

Human Resources
From Incentives to Penalties: How Far Should Employers Go to Reduce Workplace Obesity?

This month, more than half of Americans probably made health-related New Year's resolutions, but few are likely to fulfill them. Employees at CFI Westgate Resorts in Orlando, Fla., might consider themselves lucky: They have an incentive to get healthy. If they join in the company-wide weight-loss contest and reach their goals, they could win cash prizes or a luxury vacation. Westgate isn't the only employer trying to push employees, especially obese ones, into healthy lifestyles. But using incentives, and in some cases penalties, to change employee behavior raises a host of legal, moral and practical questions, according to Wharton experts and others.

Managing Technology
Marketing Presidential Candidates on the Web Goes Mainstream: But Does It Get Votes?

The January 3 Iowa caucuses and the January 8 New Hampshire primary showcased the 2008 presidential campaign's ongoing political dogfight as candidates battled for their parties' nominations. Under the surface, however, the scrum represents a tipping point in the use of the Internet as a campaign tool, say experts at Wharton. In many respects, the 2008 race resembles any sophisticated Internet marketing campaign that lets consumers swap information, connect with friends and perhaps make a purchase -- or, in this case, a donation. Indeed, selling a candidate may not be much different than selling any other high-end item, although possibly less effective.

Leadership and Change
The World Wildlife Fund's Carter Roberts on the Bushwhacking Theory of Life

The ability to "connect the dots" -- work the connections between local conditions and global forces, and between the non-profit, private and government sectors -- is necessary whether you work in the private sector or for a conservation group, according to Carter S. Roberts, president and CEO of the United States' World Wildlife Fund (WWF). During a recent Wharton Leadership Lecture, Roberts spoke about corporations' responsibility to promote environmental initiatives, the need for communication skills, the WWF's latest successes and the importance of thinking about, in advance, "what you want your legacy to be."

'What Are You Giving Away?' The Challenges of Marketing in Asia

Western companies looking to do business in Asia, especially in China, don't always confront a homogenous market, and the ways that consumers make decisions about what to buy aren't always predictable, according to a group of marketing experts who spoke at the 2007 Wharton Asia Business Forum. Like developed-world consumers, many urban Chinese people are technologically savvy and comfortable seeking product information on the web. But unlike them, they don't typically show brand loyalty and are often more motivated by price than perceptions of product quality or prestige. Panelists included executives from Estee Lauder, Bain & Co., Colgate Palmolive and Swain Tours.

Finance and Investment
How Investing in Intangibles -- Like Employee Satisfaction -- Translates into Financial Returns

Contrary to management theories developed in the Industrial Age, employee satisfaction is an important ingredient for financial success, according to a new research paper by Wharton finance professor Alex Edmans. His findings also challenge the importance of short-term financial results and may have implications for investors interested in targeting socially responsible companies. The paper is titled, "Does the Stock Market Fully Value Intangibles? Employee Satisfaction and Equity Prices."

Leadership and Change
Is One Global Model of Corporate Governance Likely, or Even Desirable?

In Germany, labor unions traditionally have had seats on corporate boards. At Japanese firms, dozens of loyal managers cap off careers with a stint in the boardroom. Founding families hold sway on Indian corporate boards. And in China, Communist Party officials are corporate board fixtures. But as companies continue to globalize, should they consider adopting one uniform model of corporate governance? Or do global investors benefit from diverse governance structures? Wharton faculty and others offer their opinions.


Articles from Around the Network

China Knowledge@Wharton
Building Workplace Trust in Some Cultures Blurs the Line Between Professional and Personal Life

Universia Knowledge@Wharton
David Bach: 'Managing Nonmarket Relations Proactively' Is a Key to Business Success

India Knowledge@Wharton
Does Microfinance Need Regulators? Nobel Laureate Yunus Thinks So...

Games People Play: Can Singapore Power-Up Fast Enough to Claim a Share of the Bounty?

Knowledge@W. P. Carey
New Attitudes, Technology Paint a Brighter Future for Videoconferencing

Is the Private Equity Buyout Boom on the Decline?


Articles and Links from Knowledge@Wharton Sponsors

Cisco Systems, Inc.:
Innovation: Transforming the Way Business Creates

GE Commercial Finance:
Industry Research Monitor Special Issue: The Liquidity Crisis of 2007

HCL Technologies:
Envisioning the Medical Device Company of the Future
Register now to listen to the latest research findings on this topic.

Wharton Executive Education:
Creating and Leading High Performance Teams
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The Emergence of The Relationship Economy
The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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