- Positive Leadership
June 16-21, 2013
- Advanced Human Resource Executive Program
July 8-19, 2013
- Find More Programs
- Register Now
- View Catalog
About Ross Thought in Action
Ross Thought in Action provides content for business leaders, thought leaders, and the media. Our editorial team focuses on research that is clearly applicable to organizations and presents text, video, and audio features about faculty and ideas. We update this page frequently, and we send an email newsletter to subscribers every other month.
Emotional Ambivalence Leads to Accuracy
MAY 16, 2013
Think that emotions have no place in business? Think again. New research from U-M Ross professors Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks and Reuven Lehavy, as well as Ross PhD student Laura Rees, shows that people who feel conflicting emotions at the same time (emotional ambivalence) make more accurate forecasts. Why? The broadened perspective allows them to make more informative decisions.
Outdoor gear retailer REI has found that renting some equipment instead of selling it fits with its mission to please adventurous customers, make a profit, and take care of the environment. But a poorly managed rental program can sabotage all of those goals. A new case study by Professors Wally Hopp and Damian Beil shows how operations tools can be used to create an efficient system, manage inventory, and meet sustainability targets. The case also prompts a wider discussion of where it makes sense to rent rather than sell, and what it means for all parties to manufacture fewer goods.
Read Article // REI Rentals (Click "Inspection Copy" for Free Case // More Case Studies
The tragic building collapse in Bangladesh has put a sharp focus on supply chains and where our goods are made. Professor Jerry Davis, writing in the New York Times, says culpability for the incident goes all the way down the supply chain to us. His letter sparked a spirited debate on the role of consumer responsibility as part of the Times' "Sunday Dialogue." Not all responders agreed with Davis. He responded. "(W)hy should the buck stop with a retailer that buys from a wholesaler that buys from a brand licensee that sources from Bangladesh? The retailer is three steps removed from factory conditions; we are four."
Conventional wisdom holds that one's personal characteristics drive the decision to speak up about bad behavior at work. But new research by Ross professor David Mayer shows that the work environment plays a bigger role than previously thought. While the ethicality of one's supervisor matters, co-workers also must model ethical behavior to encourage employees who witness unethical conduct to report it to management, Mayer's research suggests.
Sustainability 2.0: Flourishing
APRIL 24, 2013
Sustainability has fully permeated the business strategy mainstream, but Professor Andrew Hoffman isn't pleased at how it's being translated. He and his mentor, retired MIT Professor John R. Ehrenfeld, have observed more mitigation, more "doing less bad" than transformation. Their new book, Flourishing: A Frank Conversation About Sustainability (Stanford University Press), deals with what sustainability should be, compared with what it's become. The book is a conversation between the two, posing provocative questions and challenging ideas on consumption and the use of resources.
Weather Data Scrutiny Spurs Government Efficiency
APRIL 18, 2013
When the National Weather Service says the temperature reached 75 degrees on a given day, can you believe it? Probably so, if you live in one of the 24 cities where the Chicago Mercantile Exchange sells weather derivative contracts. Finance Professor Amiyatosh Purnanandam found measurement error rates of National Weather Service stations fell by about 10 percent after the exchange offered weather derivatives for that area. Purnanandam says his research is proof that financial markets change behavior.
Innovative and efficient firms prosper, while those that are weaker in such areas die. That's the law of the business jungle. Or is it? Professor Brian Wu has found that law doesn't hold in China. His research shows that more efficient companies are more likely to exit the country's market. That's because incumbent firms in China have advantages with social, institutional, and governmental connections. Wu, a professor of strategy, outlined his research on this topic during a talk at U-M's Center for Chinese Studies at the International Institute.
Read Article and Watch Video
Making Sense of our Senses
APRIL 11, 2013
How did a scent become important for an airline? Why is eating a Hershey's Kiss so much different than eating a bar of the same chocolate? In her new book, Customer Sense: How the 5 Senses Influence Buying Behavior (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), Professor Aradhna Krishna explains how these companies tap into sensory marketing — using visual, audio, tactile, olfactory, and taste cues not only to sell a product, but to engage customers. Krishna brings together the fields of neuroscience, psychology, and consumer behavior to show how our senses work, and how successful companies master this art to build powerful bands.
High-Stakes Leadership Lessons from Everest
APRIL 5, 2013
Professor Scott DeRue is stepping out of the classroom and onto Mount Everest to climb the world's tallest mountain. But he's not taking a break from teaching. Co-written by David Morton, DeRue's Harvard Business Review blog shares what he's learning about high-stakes leadership. Many of the same lessons on Everest apply to the high-risk, high-uncertainty environments that business leaders experience.
Alien Innovator Syndrome (and How to Avoid It)
APRIL 5, 2013
You've seen certain shows on certain networks that go like this: Ancient mystery? Aliens. Weird, old building? Aliens. No other possibility. It drives Professor Jeff DeGraff nuts. Problem is, a lot of people employ a similar mentality when it comes to innovation. In this Huffington Post Business blog, innovation expert DeGraff describes the signs of Alien Innovator Syndrome and how to avoid them.
Ross Ranked No. 1 in Management Journal Productivity
APRIL 1, 2013
Ross School of Business faculty have been the most productive over the past five years in getting research published in the top eight management journals. That's according to a joint study of U.S. and Canadian business schools performed by Texas A&M University and the University of Florida. Ross topped the 2008-12 Aggregated Management Department Productivity Rankings list with 78 articles.
Read Article // View Rankings
If you have a question or topic you'd like to see addressed in the next issue of Ross Thought in Action, email us at email@example.com.