Etsy continues to test the compatibility of a commitment to social responsibility with the demands of Wall Street. Last week, the online shopping site for vintage and handmade goods became the first publicly traded company to be recertified as a "B Corporation" — a designation attesting that a company helps disadvantaged citizens, treats employees well, and is environmentally responsible. But does this put it on a collision course with investors who want to maximize returns and dividends? Read more...
Management & Organization
David Kressler is a full-time lecturer at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, the University of Maryland. His primary teaching interests focus on business strategy and the early stages of entrepreneurship. Kressler received his doctorate and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan.
Yahoo announced last week that it would be laying off 15 percent of its 11,000-person workforce, as the company seeks a profitable way forward. By the end of the cuts, the company will employ 42 percent fewer people than it did in 2012. But you'll never hear CEO Marissa Mayer use the word "layoff." The New York Times reports that Mayer forbids her managers to use the word, prodding them to say instead that Yahoo is "remixing" itself. Does such euphemistic language actually bolster employee morale?
How does one tactfully communicate in the workplace with a grieving colleague? "The mistake most people make is ignoring it as if it didn’t occur," Joyce E. A. Russell, the Smith School's Senior Associate Dean, tells Mashable. "We are afraid we are going to say the wrong thing or set them off into this tailspin of crying." Read more...
Picking up on a recent article in the Smith Brain Trust, this debate examines the utility of applying disruption theory, as formulated by Harvard professor Clayton M. Christensen in the 1990s, as a universal explanation for technological shifts.
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The second Smith School Faculty debate for 2015 will explore the government's current approach to monetary policy. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen has stated that interest rates soon will begin to rise as long as underlying indicators of a recovering economy such as wage growth remain stable. In light of the global economic landscape, what are likely outcomes of the Fed's approach to raising interest rates?
Please join the distinguished panel for a lively discussion!
Dr. Evan Starr is an Assistant Professor of Management & Organization at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. He received a PhD in Economics from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor's degree from Denison University. He originally hails from Claremont, California. Evan's current research examines issues at the intersection of human capital accumulation, employee mobility, entrepreneurship, and innovation.
Serguey Braguinsky is an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business and the Department of Economics, a Research Associate at the NBER Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Program, and an Affiliated Fellow at the Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
American car companies sold more vehicles in 2015 than ever before, with sales boosted by low gas prices and a recovering economy — a remarkable turnaround from the recession years. But at the same time, GM is placing a bet on the industry's next phase: It has announced an investment of $500 million in Lyft, the No. 2 car-hailing service (after Uber). This is the first time a car company has directly invested in either Lyft or Uber, both of which foresee moving away from matching private drivers with riders to letting people summon driverless cars with an app. Read more ...
In this edition of Smith Business Close-Up with the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, host Jeff Salkin sits down with Joyce Russell to talk about the innovations in education and her new role leading the charge at the Smith School.