UNC Kenan-Flagler Blogs

Monthly Archives: February 2011

A “To Do” List for Small Businesses Navigating Recovering Economy

This post was written by Ted Zoller, director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and associate professor of strategy and entrepreneurship. 2011 is shaping up to be our first year of recovery after one of the most challenging economic and fiscal environments in decades, but consumer spending and confidence still will continue to wane until tangible changes are observed and the recovery will be slow.  So do not expect more than a marginal improvement in purchasing and market growth this year, but position for the next when likely it will be stronger. If you are in the discretionary spending markets, you will see marginal improvements while consumer staples should rise considerably.  But I would caution not to bet on market Read More

Hot search words on Google can reveal hot investments, new research finds

Hot search words, captured in tools like Google Trends or Yahoo’s “Trending Now” feature, typically point to juicy celebrity gossip, breaking news headlines or idle interests of the web-browsing masses. For instance, on the morning of Jan. 16, during a weekend that brought revolution in Tunisia and continued coverage of the Tucson shooting that seriously injured U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, eight of the top 10 searches on Google were related to Miss America 2011, who had been crowned the night before. But popular search terms can also reveal hot investments, finds UNC Kenan-Flagler finance professor Joey Engelberg. In recent studies, Engelberg discovered that stock ticker symbols searched for frequently on Google can forecast a bump in the company’s share price Read More

Why innovative companies should not fear competition

In studying mergers between competing firms, finance professor Paolo Fulghieri found that mergers can destroy value because they can reduce the incentive for employees to push their creative thinking. In industries where innovative intellectual property (IP) is critical to the company’s success – pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and other high-tech markets – competition tends to stimulate innovation. “Innovative companies should not fear competition,” Fulghieri said. “Competition between rival companies increases the value of employees’ human capital and can be a great motivating factor for employees, and ultimately, that is good for both the employees and their company.” Fulghieri’s research with Merih Sevilir of Indiana University  details the pros and cons of mergers to explain why many mergers fail to create value even as they reduce product competition. Though reduced competition resulting from a merger Read More

Emerging Markets: Africa as a Learning Laboratory

For Lisa Jones Christensen, Africa is a vibrant learning laboratory for researchers, students, businesses, and business schools interested in pioneering sustainable approaches to economic development. Christensen, UNC Kenan-Flagler assistant professor of strategy and entrepreneurship, is faculty advisor to the school’s Center for Sustainable Enterprise and advisor to the dean on African issues. The Kenan Institute speaks one-on-one with Christensen about Africa, its challenges, and the opportunities it offers to those who invest in its growth. Kenan Institute: How did you become interested in Africa? Christensen: When I was in an MBA program, I was given the opportunity to go to Africa, to Mali, and it was a life-changing experience. My project was to help local community members run their own Read More

How to avoid a Baby Boomer brain drain

This post was written by Kip Kelly,  director of marketing at UNC Executive Development. As aging baby boomers reach retirement age over the next two decades, many organizations face a potential mass exodus of their senior leaders. While the economic downturn may have delayed retirement for many baby boomers, these valued employees will retire eventually, taking with them a lifetime of knowledge and skills that are difficult, if not impossible, to replace. As of Jan. 1, 2011, a baby boomer turns 65 every eight seconds – more than 7,000 per day. A recent Ernst and Young survey of Fortune 1000 companies found that 62 percent of employers believe future retirements will result in a labor shortage Here are five steps Read More

Inside the Leadership Playbook of a CEO

Have you ever wanted to take a peek at the leadership handbook of a highly successful CEO or executive to peruse the principles that fueled their wins? Ron Lattanze (MBA ’93, AB ’85), former president of the fastest growing division of a $3.8 billion company, shared his leadership playbook with students at UNC Kenan-Flagler during the school’s Leadership Day in January. He draws his lessons of experience from his time as an executive with Guidant Corporation, where he led the operations group to support sales growth of the company’s stent manufacturing unit from $0 to nearly $1 billion in less than two years and transformed Guidant Japan to almost double its sales to $340 million. Lattanze’s leadership playbook has three Read More

Difficulties of doing business in China

Rob Gifford, NPR’s Shanghai correspondent, spoke about the difficulties of doing business in China on a recent visit to UNC Kenan-Flagler.