Review highlights of recent news coverage of Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business' people and programs.
• Open to Interpretation: Accounting professor Charles Mulford commented in an CFO article on "goodwill impairment," a term used to indicate that a company paid more for a business acquisition than the asset's actual fair value. Market price is a factor often overlooked in determining whether a company made a smart acquisition, according to CFO. But the article noted that a corporation's decision to use market prices in looking at goodwill impairment may not be clear cut. "In the short run, market value declines may or may not be a symptom of developing financial problems in a business unit that call for the recording of goodwill impairment charge," said Mulford, director of the Georgia Tech Financial Reporting & Analysis Lab.
• Return on Investment: Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business is ranked 8th nationally in Forbes' recent ranking of the "10 Best Business Schools for Salary." This ranking, pertaining to the Undergraduate Program, lists the average starting salary for the Scheller College as $50,449.
• Student Satisfaction: Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business is ranked 7th for Best Classroom Experience among Top MBA programs, according to The Princeton Review's latest annual guidebook The Best 296 Business Schools. "No doubt Georgia Tech boasts a great brand name, but that's hardly all this school has to offer its MBAs," according to The Princeton Review. "With a curriculum designed to integrate management and technology, Georgia Tech positions its grads well in the increasingly technologically focused world of business."
• Practice What You Preach: "Business schools, like businesses, are no longer paying lip service to customer service," reported Bloomberg BusinessWeek. The article, which described how business schools are taking customer-service more seriously, quoted Manpreet Hora, assistant professor of operations management at the Scheller College, who wants his students "to live and breathe customer service" as he strives to do. "Students are customers themselves," Hora said. "And teaching them is a form of customer service."
• Team Spirit: Scientists who share advice and expertise enhance their colleagues' productivity, according to a report by Scheller College's Alexander Oettl in Nature. "My results suggest that scientists who are helpful have a major impact on their colleagues’ careers — and have been undervalued by a scientific enterprise that rewards individual achievement above all else," says Oettl, an assistant professor of strategic management.
• Embracing Diversity: The board of directors of companies should be more inclusive, reflecting the demographics and composition of the global marketplace that the companies serve, according to Scheller College's Seletha Butler. She was interviewed on this topic by the SHRM Online (Society for Human Resource Management).
• Dim All the Lights: A new study by Georgia Tech marketing professor Koert van Ittersum shows that softer lighting and relaxing ambient music in a fast food restaurant affects the eating patterns of customers. The report, published in the journal Psychological Reports, shows that customers in fancier dining areas will eat up to 18 percent fewer calories than those in typical restaurant conditions. This research won widespread media coverage in such outlets as Reuters, The New York Times, ABC News Radio, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, BusinessWeek, U.S. News & World Report, and The Times of India.
• Naming Gift: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Standard-Speaker of Hazelton, Pennsylvania reported on the $50 million gift by Ernest Scheller Jr., IM 1952, to rename Georgia Tech College of Managemnt to the Scheller College of Business. Scheller, chairman emeritus of Silberline Inc., resides in Pennsylvania.
• Freedom to Decide: Scheller College Dean Steve Salbu expressed his opinion on the controversy surrounding Chick-fil-A's stance on gay marriage through his op-ed in The New York Times. "Freedom, after all, is at the heart of the controversy over same-sex marriage," he wrote."True individual freedom includes allowing consenting adults to marry the partners they choose, regardless of gender. To those for whom same-sex marriage is personally objectionable, their free choice is simple: Don't enter into one. But don't impede the freedom of others to do so. As long as Chick-fil-A operates within the boundaries of the law, municipalities and institutions should leave the decision about whether to eat at Chick-fil-A to individual consumers."
• Price Is Right: The winners of the Eighth Annual Revenue Analytics Revenue Optimization Challenge at Georgia Tech's business school were featured in Manufacturing Close-Up. The Challenge is designed to promote excellence in the creative use of Pricing and Revenue Management techniques to solve complex business problems and increase revenue and profits. Robert G. Cross, Revenue Analytics' Chairman & CEO and author of The New York Times business bestseller Revenue Management helped judge the contest.
• Mother & Daughter Grads: A feature story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution highlighted Lois and Becky Rule, a mother-and-daughter team who opened the gallery 2 Rules Fine Art in Marietta, Georgia. Both women hold MBAs from the Scheller College. "We approach this as a business first and as an artistic venture second," explained Becky Rule, MBA 2011.
• Supreme Decision:As the U.S. Supreme Court prepared to rule on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, CFO turned to accounting professor Charles Mulford for insight on the impact to revenues of the nation's health care providers. A thumbs-up decision would improve cash flow for much of the industy, said Mulford. "If national health care goes through, I view it as a positive for the health care industry, because we'll have more people covered by insurance," says Mulford. "If they were to get more care, better care, I would think that somebody's got to provide that care - and it's the health care industry."
• Color Contrast: According to Georgia Tech marketing professor Koert van Ittersum's research, the color contrast between dinnerware and what's placed on top can affect how much we serve ourselves and consume. For example, instead of scooping vanilla ice cream into a white bowl, you'd do better to pick a different color dish, he explains. His research, which identifies the illusory phenomena leading people to over-serve themselves when given larger plates and bowls, won coverage from numerous media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, NPR, Scientific American, Forbes, Herald Sun, and ABC's "Good Morning America."
• Using Time Wisely: Instead of kicking back over the year-end holidays, smart MBA students use that time to keep looking for full-time jobs or internships, reported Bloomberg BusinessWeek. The article quoted Jim Kranzusch, executive director of MBA Career Services at Tech, who said, "The biggest mistake students make is to just take three and a half weeks off," he says. "You have to be ready to go if you are a second-year without a job or a first-year anticipating on-campus recruiting for internships."
• Future Opportunities: What kinds of new jobs and titles will the 21st century bring? Computerworld turned to IT management professor Sandra Slaughter for insight. "When you look at what's emerging today, usually the new jobs are tied to the new technologies," she says. Continued growth of the outsourcing/offshoring manager is one she predicts. "Outsourcing and offshoring are getting more complicated. The work may be going on in four or five different places now, not just in one place, so you need someone who can manage all the projects."
• Breakdown Blues: Financial analysts are growing increasingly concerned about supply-chain practices and how they affect shareholder value, according to a CFA Magazine article. The article extensively cited research by operations management professor Vinod Singhal showing that supply-chain disruptions significantly impact stock price when announced. These companies continue to suffer from lower performance levels for at least two years after experiencing a disruption. Singhal's research on supply-chain disruptions was also cited in a major report of the World Economic Forum.
• Lifestyle Adjustment: Learning to live like a student again is an adjustment for MBA students, reported a Bloomberg BusinessWeek article. Ann Scott, director of graduate programs for Georgia Tech College of Management, offered prospective students extensive advice in the article. "Start cutting back your life before you quit your job," she says. "You have to get out of that steak-and-potatoes lifestyle and get back to peanut butter and jelly."
• Hall of Fame: Distinguished alumni recognized by Georgia Tech College of Management were featured in the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Award winners included Edward J. Brown, president and CEO of Hendrick Automotive Group; Thomas A. Fanning, chairman and CEO of Southern Company; and Jeni Bogdan, founder, owner and president of The Saxon Group.
• Job Engine: A CNN story on patent reform cited research by Stuart Graham, assistant professor of strategic management. Senator Patrick Leahy pointed to the study as an indicator that patent reform could lead to major job contribution through the issuing of higher-quality patents at a faster pace.
• Expert Opinion: When new banking fees generated major controversy, WSB-TV turned to Sudheer Chava, assistant professor of finance, for his insights.