Goizueta Effect

Emory University's Goizueta Business School

When you change your perspective you can change business for the better. Join us on Goizueta Effect to hear from leading faculty at the Goizueta Business School on the latest trends, research, and innovations in business, and find out how you can achieve more, do more, and create more in today’s ever-changing marketplace.

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Ready for Career Growth? Advocates are Key!
Aug 30 2022
Ready for Career Growth? Advocates are Key!
Career advocates are critical to career growth. In fact, employees with advocates are 23% more likely to advance at work. However, many people assume that their success is based purely on capability.   Renée Dye joins to discuss the key role and critical attributes of advocates, how you can cultivate and attract influential players to meet your goals, and the impact of remote work on relationship management and organizational culture.Renée is an associate professor in the practice of Organization & Management at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. Prior to this role, she served in McKinsey’s Global Strategy practice for more than 12 years and as chief strategy & innovation officer for Navigant. Her expertise has been featured in leading publications, including the Harvard Business Review, McKinsey Quarterly, and Fortune.  Organizational Politics: A Big Challenge for New & Emerging Leaders  During a recent survey of MBA graduates at Goizueta, Dye uncovered a startling insight. Of the many challenges new and emerging leaders face, these graduates felt least equipped to navigate organizational politics. She encourages universities to add curriculum around this topic–and devotes an entire class to this area to support her students. It takes more than strategies and skillsets to propel yourself to the C-suite; career advocates and champions are key.    Organizations are Not Meritocracies While organizations are not meritocracies, many workers and students feel that career success is predicated purely on capability. Dye shares that excellence is critically important, but it’s not enough. Relationship management is a crucial skill everyone should cultivate.   Research shows that employees with advocates are 23% more likely to advance at work. So, what should you look for in a career advocate?  Mentors vs. Advocates Mentors and advocates are both important for career growth, but the set of attributes necessary for each varies. A mentor is a personal coach that provides a safe place to share. You can go to this person with no fear of judgement or consequence. You can be completely transparent and open about mistakes. On the other hand, an advocate needs to be above you vertically in your own or outside of your organization. They have likely been in the job market longer than you, have accumulated more experience, and can open doors for you. They are in a position of authority and have political power. They also need to have a deep and abiding faith in you and what you can achieve. They know you are not going to let them down.   Common Mistakes in Identifying Advocates  The most common mistake that employees make, particularly underrepresented individuals, is assuming that an advocate needs to look like them. It can be human nature to search for advocates of your same race and gender, but this can greatly limit your pool of potential advocates. Instead focus on your fit in other areas. Do you share similar personalities? Do you approach problems in a like-minded way? Do you have shared interests?  The Advocacy Value Proposition  When you are working with an advocate, their credibility is on the line. They have worked hard to advance in their career and have accumulated social, political, and relational capital along the way. For them to take you on, you must prove that you will add to their store of capital rather than deplete it.   So, what can you do to make it a mutually beneficial relationship?   First off, do excellent work. You will not even be considered unless you always bring your A-game.   Next, make yourself indispensable to your potential advocate. It’s important to note that this does not have to be in the confines of your job description. For example, if they support a nonprofit that is near and dear to their heart, support their work on the board, chair a committee, and get involved. Leaders appreciate this effort because it shows that you're not just in it for a narrow job evaluation, but that you are committed for the long haul.   Show gratitude. Individuals want to know they're making a difference in your life. Communicate gratitude in a heartfelt and thorough way to cement your advocacy value proposition. Remote Work & Career Growth In recent years, we've seen a major shift in employer policies surrounding remote work. Surveys show that workers are eager to embrace the flexibility of this approach, but there are costs to working off site, including diluted company culture and waning employee engagement.   Younger workers benefit most from in-office culture because they are exposed to advocates and can participate as apprentices. It’s very difficult to cultivate a relationship with an advocate remotely, and the exchange can feel transactional. For older employees who have built relationships for decades, remote work may not impact career trajectory; however, while it may seem attractive, you’re not giving back to the younger generation through the advocacy and apprenticeship that you enjoyed earlier in your career.     To learn more about Goizueta Business School and how principled leaders are driving positive change in business and society, visit www.goizueta.emory.edu.
Ready for Career Growth? Advocates are Key!
Aug 30 2022
Ready for Career Growth? Advocates are Key!
Career advocates are critical to career growth. In fact, employees with advocates are 23% more likely to advance at work. However, many people assume that their success is based purely on capability.   Renée Dye joins to discuss the key role and critical attributes of advocates, how you can cultivate and attract influential players to meet your goals, and the impact of remote work on relationship management and organizational culture.Renée is an associate professor in the practice of Organization & Management at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. Prior to this role, she served in McKinsey’s Global Strategy practice for more than 12 years and as chief strategy & innovation officer for Navigant. Her expertise has been featured in leading publications, including the Harvard Business Review, McKinsey Quarterly, and Fortune.  Organizational Politics: A Big Challenge for New & Emerging Leaders  During a recent survey of MBA graduates at Goizueta, Dye uncovered a startling insight. Of the many challenges new and emerging leaders face, these graduates felt least equipped to navigate organizational politics. She encourages universities to add curriculum around this topic–and devotes an entire class to this area to support her students. It takes more than strategies and skillsets to propel yourself to the C-suite; career advocates and champions are key.    Organizations are Not Meritocracies While organizations are not meritocracies, many workers and students feel that career success is predicated purely on capability. Dye shares that excellence is critically important, but it’s not enough. Relationship management is a crucial skill everyone should cultivate.   Research shows that employees with advocates are 23% more likely to advance at work. So, what should you look for in a career advocate?  Mentors vs. Advocates Mentors and advocates are both important for career growth, but the set of attributes necessary for each varies. A mentor is a personal coach that provides a safe place to share. You can go to this person with no fear of judgement or consequence. You can be completely transparent and open about mistakes. On the other hand, an advocate needs to be above you vertically in your own or outside of your organization. They have likely been in the job market longer than you, have accumulated more experience, and can open doors for you. They are in a position of authority and have political power. They also need to have a deep and abiding faith in you and what you can achieve. They know you are not going to let them down.   Common Mistakes in Identifying Advocates  The most common mistake that employees make, particularly underrepresented individuals, is assuming that an advocate needs to look like them. It can be human nature to search for advocates of your same race and gender, but this can greatly limit your pool of potential advocates. Instead focus on your fit in other areas. Do you share similar personalities? Do you approach problems in a like-minded way? Do you have shared interests?  The Advocacy Value Proposition  When you are working with an advocate, their credibility is on the line. They have worked hard to advance in their career and have accumulated social, political, and relational capital along the way. For them to take you on, you must prove that you will add to their store of capital rather than deplete it.   So, what can you do to make it a mutually beneficial relationship?   First off, do excellent work. You will not even be considered unless you always bring your A-game.   Next, make yourself indispensable to your potential advocate. It’s important to note that this does not have to be in the confines of your job description. For example, if they support a nonprofit that is near and dear to their heart, support their work on the board, chair a committee, and get involved. Leaders appreciate this effort because it shows that you're not just in it for a narrow job evaluation, but that you are committed for the long haul.   Show gratitude. Individuals want to know they're making a difference in your life. Communicate gratitude in a heartfelt and thorough way to cement your advocacy value proposition. Remote Work & Career Growth In recent years, we've seen a major shift in employer policies surrounding remote work. Surveys show that workers are eager to embrace the flexibility of this approach, but there are costs to working off site, including diluted company culture and waning employee engagement.   Younger workers benefit most from in-office culture because they are exposed to advocates and can participate as apprentices. It’s very difficult to cultivate a relationship with an advocate remotely, and the exchange can feel transactional. For older employees who have built relationships for decades, remote work may not impact career trajectory; however, while it may seem attractive, you’re not giving back to the younger generation through the advocacy and apprenticeship that you enjoyed earlier in your career.     To learn more about Goizueta Business School and how principled leaders are driving positive change in business and society, visit www.goizueta.emory.edu.
Partnering with the Frenemy
Jul 28 2022
Partnering with the Frenemy
Corporate partnerships can serve to expand the pie of joint benefits, improve profits, and gain sustainable competition, but successful partnerships don't often last or come easy. Despite the good intentions of both parties, partnerships often don’t pan-out as intended which leaves both sides frustrated and unable to reach their full potential together.Sandy Jap joins the Goizueta Effect Podcast to discuss frenemies in business, including how you can take your partnerships to the next level. She is a Sarah Beth Brown Professor of Marketing at Emory University's Goizueta Business School. Prior to this, she held faculty positions at MIT's Sloan School of Management and the University of Pennsylvania's, the Wharton School. She has published widely on topics such as strategic partnering and organizational relationships, go-to market strategies, and e-procurement. She is the author of Partnering with a Frenemy, a book on the dark side of business relationships. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, CFO Magazine, and Harvard Business Review.This episode of the Goizueta Effect was co-created in partnership with Emory student Scott Masterson. A Successful Partnership Partnerships are exceedingly important in today’s competitive business environment. A successful partnership often creates a “1 + 1 = 3” scenario: an outcome where both companies are better off collaborating than existing separately.  Common Partnerships Business collaboration comes in many forms. Most simply, you can think of manufacturers working with distributors, distributors with wholesalers, and retailers with suppliers.  All distribution activity in the US accounts for over $3 trillion or about 30% of our nominal GDP. In essence, the sales activities that happen between firms that are often the basis of partnerships represent a huge amount of money in our nation and our economy. If there is such a great incentive for upholding the “1 + 1 = 3” principle, then why are partnerships so difficult to maintain? A Not-So Successful Partnership “Frenemies” Once harmonious partners often become frenemies – organizations that pretend to be friends, but that are also enemies and/or rivals.At the beginning of a partnership, often both parties get a lot out of collaboration, but many times this dynamic turns a corner and starts to unravel. The souring process can be rapid or lengthy. For example, Google and Samsung have collaborated for years to maintain a large market share in the cell phone market: Google provides the operating software for the cell phones, while Samsung is the manufacturer of the phone itself. The partnership resulted in beating Apple in market share handily; however, as the partnership became more successful, it bred dependence between the two companies.  Samsung worried that Google might become too strong and that they, as a partner, might desire a larger share of the pie. At the same time, both partners realized they were heavily dependent on the other. To combat this dependence, firms will often do something called counterbalancing. They will try to push back on the feeling of dependence by doing something that makes them feel like they have power.  In the case of Samsung and Google, Samsung began developing an operating system known as Tizen and Google purchased Motorola...and thus, the unraveling began.  Partnership Life Cycles  When academics discuss life cycles, they are talking about how something unfolds over time. In terms of partnerships, typically, a life cycle will have distinct phases that describe the status of how two firms feel about one another. The Awareness Phase In this first phase, two firms become aware of each other and might get to know each other by engaging in small-scale collaboration. The awareness phase often goes well, and there is little at stake for both parties if one were to disengage from the other.  The Buildup Phase The second phase is all about increasing the connection between the two companies. There may be more monetary transactions taking place between the firms and more sharing of knowledge.  The Mature Phase After the buildup phase, companies often get a gauge of optimal interaction and prefer to remain constant at that level. Firms will have stable transactions over a period without one firm encroaching upon the other’s territory. In this phase, both firms are reaping the greatest rewards from collaboration, and fluidly interacting for mutual benefit.  The Dissolution Phase The last phase occurs when one firm’s growth flattens out. Firms grow suspicious of one another and oftentimes pull back because the benefit isn’t as fruitful or apparent as it once was.   Building Rapport: Helpful or Harmful While building rapport is essential and can grease the wheels of a partnership, you can have too much of a good thing. Sometimes rapport between partners can lead them to make irrational economic choices, throw their clients under the bus, and even discard their morals.  In a recent study, Sandy Jap, Goizueta marketing professor Ryan Hamilton, and Wharton professor Diana Robertson were interested in analyzing the relationship between a buyer and a seller. Most often we think that negotiations should begin by building rapport; however, sometimes focusing too heavily on creating a sound relationship with the person with whom you are partnering may not be in your or your client’s best interest. The experiment used the common Bullard Houses framework, where negotiators attempt to make a deal between a condo owner and a potential purchaser- a deal that using sound negotiating practices should end at an impasse. What Jap and her team found was that when you build rapport, you and your partner may become so overtaken with the importance of building the relationship that's right in front of you that you'll prioritize that relationship over the requests of the client who may not be present. Instead of accepting an impasse, you will move forward with less-than-optimal terms. In fact, at times, the study reported negotiators engaging in unethical behaviors such as lying to one another, misrepresenting details, and over-promising just to appease the other person. Ultimately, the result of these behaviors was that the client’s best interests were compromised.  Tips to Preserving Partnerships: Extending the Mature Phase The Building Blocks Ultimately, organizations are made up of people. We can think of the relationships between people as the building blocks for what's happening at an organizational level. In partnerships, relationships need healthy frequency, a controlled amount of positive rapport, and an appropriate level of clarity in mutually beneficial goals. Relationships at any level take effort from both sides – and this is true for businesses too.  Safeguard Interests Partners can use several tools to ensure they reap the benefits of collaboration. The most common safeguard is to use a contract and identify what happens when things do or do not work out.   A relationship map is a more in-depth tool that sets expectations upfront. As an example, at Cisco they start all relationships by asking questions like:  Conflict If conflict comes up, how will it be resolved?  What would be a suitable escalation path?  Who's going to get involved?  What's the speed of escalation in various situations? Changes How can we effectively manage changes and assumptions? What's the framework for discussing changes in goals, desires or needs? Investments What if we have long term investments at stake? How will we handle that? How will we remedy investment imbalances?  Communication How often should we be in communication? Weekly? Monthly? Quarterly? What are the follow up protocols?  Who at various levels of the organization should be talking to whom?  When it comes to having a successful partnership, you need to put the work in. You can either pay the price upfront in terms of establishing it well or you can pay the price on the back end when everything falls apart.  Reciprocal Investing: The Golden Bullet? Research shows that one of the main ways that partnerships succeed is through reciprocal investment. When organizations dedicate resources to preserving the relationship: human capital, equipment, and new logistical patterns, this goes a long way in strengthening the partnership. Monetary and temporal investments ensure both parties are feeling valued and important, but these investments must be non-fungible: the organization cannot just take those investments and easily redeploy them to another relationship; they lose value if either partner walks away.   Exiting Respectfully: Dissolution is Sometimes Inevitable When two firms agree to disengage from collaboration, they should consider the real reasons for dissolution. Each partner needs to be upfront about their perspective and challenges to ensure the maintenance of a positive reputation for future partnerships: it is mutually beneficial to exit respectfully.  To learn more about Goizueta Business School and how principled leaders are driving positive change in business and society, visit goizueta.emory.edu.
From C-Suite to Me-Suite
Jun 28 2022
From C-Suite to Me-Suite
You’re a high performer who wants a career on your own terms. Maybe you’re exploring the best next step? Maybe you feel stuck? Maybe you want more? No matter where you are right now, you need options. When you have options, you’re in control. It may be time to change your mindset from C-Suite to Me-Suite. A well-planned strategy can help you answer the question: “How can I achieve the pinnacle of my career and have a life I cherish, too?”. Donna Peters joins the Goizueta Effect Podcast to discuss strategies for career-driven individuals who want more out of their work and life. She is an adjunct lecturer for Emory University’s Goizueta Business School’s Executive MBA program where she teaches healthy career-growing strategies. She is the founder and CEO of a career coaching organization, The Me-Suite. Her book, Options Are Power, helps high performers understand how the pursuit of their next career success, and a focus on a healthy lifestyle, are inextricably intertwined.  This episode of the Goizueta Effect was co-created in partnership with Emory student Scott Masterson. The “Me-Suite” Mindset Defined In most businesses, the C-Suite is composed of key positions including the chief executive officer, chief financial officer, and chief marketing officer. Among top priorities, these leaders handle three core duties: They marshal the core values of the company, keep the day-to-day operations running smoothly, and stay fresh and relevant for the future of the organization. When looking to lead our fullest lives, we should be thinking as C-suite leaders.   Peters developed this idea while on a business trip and has lived by it ever since. Like the C-Suite, we all need core values, a definition of primacy for ourselves (a sense of what is most important at any given time), a financial plan, a personal brand, relationships, an understanding of skills and strengths, and care for physical and mental health.  Usually, a company has one executive to oversee one specific area -- we should try to think like each of those executives across different scenarios given our lives are riddled with micro and macro decisions, like a business.  Components of the Me-Suite Mindset  Thinking Like a C-Suite: Companies that Lead by their Core Values Airbnb has a core value of “accessibility of home” which creates a warm place of family-like interaction. When the refugee crisis was peaking over this last year, Airbnb started offering free housing to refugees. It was an example of how the core value of the company as a moneymaker was also being used to say, "But this is who we are. And this is what we do. I'm not changing my company and my values. I'm just applying the value in a different situation. Still staying true to the core value of the company."  Airbnb’s decision directly aligned with its positive core values. Companies actively make these decisions since core values are the foundation holding their business up.  Primacy: Not Everything is of Equal Importance When at a crossroads between choices consider asking yourself, “What matters the most right now?” For example, you may need to decide between salary and title, or salary and company reputation. You need to decide which aspects matter more to you in that moment.  While high performers want to achieve, they often always say “yes” to everything. Primacy can provide a great guide in learning to say “no”.  Developing Your Personal Brand in a Remote Working Environment  We have a personal brand whether we like it or not and we need to own it. Develop your brand so it signals what you want to attract.  Think about the mediums you have access to online: What does your LinkedIn profile say about you? What about your punctuality to online zoom meetings? On your screen, what’s behind you and how are you dressed while on call? It’s all up to you and there are no wrong answers if each decision is intentional.  Relationships and Networking: It’s Necessary and More Natural than You May Think People often describe networking as “slimy.” Think of it as a bank account: we’re constantly making deposits and withdrawals by helping one another.  Connections can also be characterized like a temperature on a thermometer; hot, those who will respond to you in 20 minutes with an emoji; room-temperature, people you may have just met or you connected with on LinkedIn because you went to the same university; to frozen, unfortunate relationships that are not helpful to you. Networking is crucial in creating powerful options that you can draw from. Understanding where your connections fall on the temperature scale is a great first step. Career Phases: The Different Career Personas Careers are incredibly dynamic, and individuals face different choices and challenges along the way. The Me-Suite mindset helps us understand ourselves better so that we can navigate these fluctuations and understand which persona(s) we fall under at a given time. When you look in the mirror, what do you see? The vast majority of individuals fall into three personas: Exploration Erica, Crossroads K.T., or Hamster Wheel Hank. Each can be described with thoughts that come to mind if one of the personas were to look in the mirror: Exploration Erica thinks, “I want more out of my career.” Crossroads K.T struggles between choices, "I must now make a big decision. I've got to decide. Do I stay inside this industry? Change industries? Do I go back to school?" And Hamster Wheel Hank may think, "I'm stuck. I don't know where to turn. I'm not sure what my options may be. But whatever it is, this isn't it." Throughout your career you may experience any one of these for any amount of time. By acquiring options and strategizing like a C-Suite leader, you can reach an understanding of how to address them and adapt.  “Options are Power” When we feel trapped, neurological research shows that the amygdala activates a variety of negative responses. In response to the feeling that we don't have options or when we are paralyzed by choices, the amygdala increases cortisol in the body, which has a stress-inducing effect. It can impact the quality of our sleep. If it goes to extremes, it can have outcomes of anxiety and depression. Like an options contract in investing, options in this context give us the right, but not the obligation, to make a change in our life. Being a Hamster Wheel Hank is never a great feeling. That’s when possessing the Me-Suite mindset comes in handy.  Assessing if your current life decisions align with your personal core values allows you to determine if you’re where you should and want to be. Likewise, if you’re at a crossroads in your career, you may consider your own personal brand and which decision aligns most with your next step.   To ease decision-making, ask yourself the following questions: “Does what I’m doing support my core values? Does this decision align with my personal brand?” The process will reduce stress, clear your mind, and boost your decision-making skills in your career.  To learn more about Goizueta Business School and how principled leaders are driving positive change in business and society, visit goizueta.emory.edu.
The Journey of an Idea
May 23 2022
The Journey of an Idea
When CEOs are asked, "What is a skill you most value in your people?" time and again, creativity, problem-solving, and innovation top their list. However, according to Ad Age, 75% of people believe they are not living up to their creative potential.  It’s easy to see why. It can be a long slog from initial concept to final product. Even in organizations that pride themselves on rapid iteration and experimentation, most truly novel ideas either stall out or lose their originality along the way. How do you defy those odds? Jill Perry-Smith joined the Goizueta Effect Podcast to discuss creativity and how businesses can take ideas from the mind to the marketplace. She is a professor at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School where she has researched the intersection of creativity, innovation, and business for nearly 20 years. She received her PhD in organizational behavior from the College of Management at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has consulted numerous Fortune 100 companies, and has been featured in the Harvard Business Review, CNN, and Fast Company. This episode of the Goizueta Effect was co-created in partnership with Emory student Scott Masterson. Can You Learn Creativity? Similar to the question, “are leaders born or made?,” creativity may come naturally for some, but everyone has the capacity to develop a creative skillset. Nowadays, the workplace is more flexible than ever before. Creativity is rewarded and encouraged in the most successful firms.  Harnessing a Broader Definition Typically, when we think of creativity, we think of artistic expression. In the workplace we think of breakthroughs in technology, but some of the most important creativity has to do with creative problem-solving.  The Process of Creating an Idea   One fundamental way of studying the journey on an idea is categorizing the different phases that an idea goes through from the time the idea is birthed to the time when the idea is implemented.  The journey an idea takes isn’t always linear: ideas have a bumpy journey. The ideas may cycle backward several steps in the process after months of planning. Creators may get less confident in their idea and be less willing to take the risk and put it forward. They must also deal with an onslaught of input and valuable feedback from others along the way, which lengthens the process. Alongside such a complex process, the novelty often gets snuffed out of the essence of the idea. The Phases of the Idea Journey: With Whom Should I Collaborate? Each phase of the idea journey is unique and requires specific attention to ensure optimal results. For example, the collaborative needs change across phases. Risk must be considered when developing an idea as well: an idea is original since it has not been done before. As humans, we tend to stick to what is most comfortable and this can combat the innovation process. The Generation Phase The generation phase is when a concept is born. For this phase, the best people to associate with are acquaintances and strangers. Innovators need inspiration and an open mind. Speaking with strangers is a great tool for spurring this inspiration. Since people that are close to us tend to be more like us and potentially over supportive, going outside our comfort zones and talking to people in different social spheres will facilitate open-mindedness.  The Elaboration Phase During the elaboration phase, creators need support and encouragement to develop their ideas. It's risky so friends and close peers are extremely beneficial to the process. Typically, managers are not the most helpful as they can be viewed as evaluative.  Deeply analyzing the idea with one or two other people as opposed to sharing it with a larger collective is most valuable.  The Promotion Phase During the promotion phase, influence and reach are critical due to the risk associated with the idea and lack of precedent. This phase can entail the acquisition of resources and the selling of the idea to others. It's not always easy to get decision-makers to understand or buy into an idea, because of these inherent characteristics of creative concepts or ideas. At this point, we want to seek network brokers: people who are linchpins connecting otherwise disconnected people across the organization. They provide access to people and exposure.  The Implementation Phase Shared vision and trust are what's needed during this phase. A cohesive team with a shared north star can drive success. Tips and Best Practices for Facilitating Workplace Creativity  You don’t have to hire a Chief Innovation Officer to encourage creativity and innovation in your workplace. You can make simple changes to the way your organization and teams operate.  The first tip is to make creative problem-solving a priority. This means always asking for more problem-solving alternatives: the more alternatives, the more likely there is to be variety and creativity.  The second tip is to be collaboratively flexible and reduce conformity processes: think of teams as a tool that is helpful when necessary. Companies that are experts in facilitating workplace creativity are Apple, Google, and 3M. Apple and Google are likely not surprising choices, but 3M is a case-study in its own right.  3M has weathered economic storms and existed for a long time in part due to its creative decision-making practices. They were at the forefront of understanding the value of providing time for people to work on what they want to work on, because people are very intrinsically motivated when they can make decisions about how to spend their time. They have also made it possible for workers to see the end results of their innovation. Innovation and the Pandemic While the pandemic created many challenges, it also opened up new opportunities for unique problem-solving. The pandemic pushed us to put our creative problem-solving skills to the test as the world of business has drastically changed.  The negative effect of the pandemic is the reduction of valuable network-building and face-to-face communication: people are working at home now more than ever. It’s important to continue having in-person communication to allow for creative inspiration and the facilitation of ideas: you can’t have those valuable talks with acquaintances as easily in an online setting.  We also need to consider who is most likely to work from home - more junior employees, women, parents – and the effects of that shift on innovation and career progression.  To learn more about Goizueta Business School and how principled leaders are driving positive change in business and society, visit goizueta.emory.edu.
Climate & Business: Are Net Zero Targets Enough?
Apr 21 2022
Climate & Business: Are Net Zero Targets Enough?
Despite huge hurdles, we are seeing traction in the climate space. In his 2020 letter regarding corporate governance, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink turned heads when he asserted that “climate risk is investment risk”. In 2021, money held in ESG and other sustainability focused funds rose globally by 53% to $2.7 trillion. This past March, the SEC proposed new requirements for publicly traded companies to report detailed information on greenhouse-gas emissions and risks related to climate change.Suffice it to say, climate change is and should be front and center as a key business issue for a diverse set of stakeholders across all sectors including leaders, investors, and regulators.Brian Goebel and Sonia Sharma joined The Goizueta Effect Podcast to discuss climate change and business, including the enormous influence and responsibility business holds in driving toward a climate-smart world.Brian is the Managing Director of Goizueta’s Business & Society Institute. Through the Institute, students, faculty, staff, and partners focus on addressing complex challenges confronting people, the planet, and the business community through academic discovery and purposeful action.Sonia is a second-year MBA student at Goizueta Business School. She’s also a Social Enterprise Student Fellow and future consultant at McKinsey. She recently attended the ClimateCAP Global MBA Summit, along with hundreds of leading students across the nation to dig in on these issues.This episode of the Goizueta Effect was co-created in partnership with MBA students and ClimateCAP delegates Sonia Sharma, Vaishali Nijampatnam, Margot Merwin, and Carlos Vazquez.  Defining the Climate Issue  Climate Change  In 1992, the UN held a framework convention on climate change. The UN determined that climate change is attributable directly or indirectly to human activity and that human activity has altered the composition of the global atmosphere. In addition to natural climate variability, human activity has accelerated the change by adding more carbon and impacting the environment.  Sustainability  In order to promote sustainability, we must ask ourselves, “how do we integrate our future generation into our decision today?” In 1987, the UN defined sustainability as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.  ESG ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) is a set of metrics that helps investors and organizations prioritize making a positive impact on the planet and its people in addition to generating profits. Environmental metrics help corporations refine their practices that affect the environment. For example, companies have begun examining how their supply chains and carbon footprint impact the environment. Social metrics involve serving the community of which the corporation is a part. How much does the corporation support the people in their community, especially with regard to diversity, equity, and inclusion? Lastly, governance metrics involve how the company, its board, key directors, and employees make decisions and how to hold themselves accountable.  Climate Justice Should Be Front & Center   Dr. Adrian Hollis is a senior climate justice and health scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists. She explains that minority communities are harmed “worst and first” when it comes to the impact of climate change both globally and here in the United States. To promote climate justice, we must shift beyond a business mentality that only considers decarbonization and shift to a system that recognizes and challenges the disproportionate effects the climate crisis has on diverse communities.Too often, companies claim to care about climate change, yet they are only involved in greenwashing. Greenwashing is a form of deception: it’s when companies spend time, money, and resources marketing their products, aims, and policies as environmentally conscious, but in reality, they are not doing anything to minimize their environmental impact. For example, Starbucks released straw-less lids in 2018 but the lid contained more plastic than the old lid and straw combined. Greenwashing reflects a broader accountability challenge for companies and governments. For more examples of corporate greenwashing click here.On the positive side, 20% of the world’s 2,000 largest publicly-listed companies have announced commitments to reach net zero emissions in the coming years. Keeping companies transparent and accountable is the key for tracking their progress toward environmental goals.Climate-Conscious Decisions Drive Growth Climate-conscious business can be broken down into four different areas: growth opportunities, justice issues, leadership imperatives, and accountability challenges.MBA Edge, a resource developed by Duke University, provides an insightful report called, “Climate Change in Business-What Every MBA Student Needs To Know Today.” The facts in this report speak to how climate-conscious business decisions can promote growth. The report notes that 225 of the world’s 500 biggest companies estimated that climate-related opportunities represent a financial impact totaling over $2.1 trillion across all industries.For example, General Motors has been a successful company for many years, but recently began losing revenue. Now, GM is reinventing itself with electric vehicles (EVs) and different forms of mobility. GM is committing by investing billions in EVs and planning to go all-electric by 2035.Further, Inland Empire Energy Center in California, a fossil fuel power plant, is being demolished years ahead of schedule because it cannot compete economically with electricity generated from wind and solar. In fact, in the last decade, wind energy prices have fallen 70%, and solar has fallen about 90% on average in the United States. Globally, the cost of solar has also fallen 99% in 40 years. Now, solar is a cost competitive option and is leading the renewable energy field.  New MBA Graduates and the Potential for Meaningful Change  There are many ways that new graduates can move the needle. While in the past, specific environmentally-focused roles were siloed or did not exist, now climate work is embedded across all core functions, as well as management. Companies that commit to driving positive climate change stand to benefit as many students are looking for companies that match their values.   Goizueta’s Business & Society Institute  Goizueta’s Business & Society Institute asks tough and important questions and engages in in-depth research on topics including climate, equity, economic empowerment, policy, and management practice. While research is a large part of the institute, developing Goizueta students is also fundamental to its mission. The Institute develops current students by preparing them to become change-makers in their industries and helping them create meaningful networks.  To learn more about Goizueta Business School and how principled leaders are driving positive change in business and society, visit goizueta.emory.edu.
Emerging Trends in the $450 Billion Wine Industry
Feb 28 2022
Emerging Trends in the $450 Billion Wine Industry
Giacomo Negro is a professor of organization and management at Emory University's Goizueta Business School. He holds a PhD in management from Bocconi University where he also received a Laurea degree in economics and business. He recently published the book Wine Markets: Genres and Identities. According to Fortune, in 2020, the global wine market was valued at nearly $349 billion dollars. By 2028, it’s expected to grow exponentially – topping $450 billion. Wine market identities and genres play a key role in shaping the industry. Giacomo joined The Goizueta Effect Podcast to discuss the core audiences that impact how producers make and sell wine – and how wine communities react to evolving trends, like mixing genres. He also shed light on how organic and biodynamic farming are changing the way wine is produced and evaluated.  What are Wine Genres and What Features Define Them? Wine has incredible diversity with hundreds of thousands of labels in the market introduced every year. Whether you are a producer or consumer, genres are useful in understanding and communicating about wine. They also affect how wines get interpreted, evaluated, and valued in the market – and serve as the building blocks of the collective market identities of producers.   Key genre-defining feature may include region, grape, vintage, producer, effervescence, and source materials, among others.   The Important Role of Terroir Terroir is the complete natural environment in which a particular wine is produced, including factors such as the soil, topography, and climate. Terroir can be a source of competitive advantage in the market to the extent that it identifies a unique place, both geographical and cultural, that is not possible to replicate or imitate. While locations are vital to the notion of terroir, the concept also includes the people that work in and inhabit these places and the history of the culture.   What are Market Identities of Wine and Why Do They Matter? Market identities are different from brands. The two concepts are interconnected, but separate. A brand is created by a producer or an agency, while a market identity is attributed to a producer by an audience. A brand is fungible and can be purchased and sold, whereas a market identity cannot. Market identities are a sociological concept that the audience controls.   Who are Key Audiences in the Wine Market? When referring to audience in the wine market, we are referring to those individuals and groups who screen and evaluate the products and services available. Several audiences have decisive influence including consumers, producers, and market intermediaries such as critics and retailers. State authorities also influence the market dictating rules of production.    The Important Role of Intermediaries With producers changing practices all the time in response to shifts in climatic conditions and technical developments, wine is constantly changing. Without a base, wine quality can only be accessed accurately through consumption.   Intermediaries have significant influence on these matters, especially for fine wine that requires more interpretation and more knowledge to be understood.  One role that critics play is gatekeeping by narrowing the field of wines from hundreds of thousands to the top picks. Critics are also able to better evaluate features such as terroir with complex social context that require expert knowledge to decode.   The Reaction of Communities to Shifting Wine Genres  In cognitive psychology, people like and value objects that fit in their conceptual distinctions. More typical objects are valued more positively than atypical ones which is dependent on cognitive fluency; an experience with an object or situation is fluent for someone if they have to exert little cognitive effort in understanding and interpreting that object or situation.  Similar to the outrage of certain fans when Bob Dylan began using an electric guitar, new wine genres or the mixing of genres can generate great uncertainty.   In Wine Markets: Genres and Identities, Giacomo Negro identifies a key difference between the success and failure of wine genres lies in the social structure of production and the resulting community solidarity among producers.   He argues that more homogeneous communities of producers develop greater social cohesion within them that helps establish a genre, which in turn organizes and galvanizes a producer's identity.  How Findings May Apply to Other Industries  In the book, Giacomo provides three examples of successful mobilization by winemakers around wine genres and one failure to create a powerful market identity. He shares findings can be applied to many social movements. Examples include the interplay between categories of chefs and cuisines, like molecular versus traditional gastronomy, fashion, including the tension between ethical fashion and traditional fashion, as well as artistic styles.   The Rise of Organic and Biodynamic Farming  In the regions Giacomo studied, in 1980, only one winery was biodynamic and one organic. By 2010, roughly half of the wineries in his study had joined one of these categories.   Organic farming is defined by the use of fertilizers solely of organic origins, such as compost manure and green manure, to improve the humus content of soils. Organic farming also emphasizes techniques such as crop rotation and companion planting, biological pest control, and mixed cropping. The fostering of insect predators is also encouraged. Legal standards regulate production methods for organic agriculture.   Biodynamic farming shares many features with the organic technique; however, this type of farming takes it a step further. It proposes a unified approach to agriculture related to the ecology of the farm and its association with planetary and cosmic rhythms.  Biodynamic farming includes a set of preparations to promote healthy soil and plant growth through prohibiting certain practices and mandating others. For many, the practices are colorful and mystical.   Should The Market Pay a Premium for Organic and Biodynamic Wine? In blind taste tests by critics, organic and biodynamic wines receive higher scores than traditionally produced wines, however, biodynamic wines do not outperform organic varieties.  Wines produced through non-conventional farming methods are sold at higher prices on average, but the price increase does not necessarily cover the cost increase. Thereby, non-conventional wineries often make less profits. The fact that they continue to work using these practices demonstrates their commitment to quality. It is also possible that they are working to drive repeat purchases and long-term relationships.   To learn more about Giacomo Negro and his work, visit goizueta.emory.edu/faculty/profiles/giacomo-negro.   To learn more about Goizueta Business School and how principled leaders are driving positive change in business and society, visit goizueta.emory.edu.
Combatting Urgency Overload
Jan 27 2022
Combatting Urgency Overload
Brandon Smith is an Adjunct Faculty in the Practice of Management Communication at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School and author of “The Hot Sauce Principle: How to Live and Lead in a World Where Everything Is Urgent All of the Time”. He is the founder of the website “The Workplace Therapist” – a resource dedicated to eliminating dysfunction at work, improving workplace health and restoring a sense of optimism and hope. Brandon has consulted numerous Fortune 100 organizations and leading individuals – and has been featured in Market Watch, Nasdaq, and Wall Street Journal.   He joined The Goizueta Effect Podcast to discuss how we can live and lead in a world ruled by urgency – and put ourselves back in charge. As he states in his book,we are in the middle of an urgency epidemic. More and more, people find themselves in an environment that cuts them no slack, provides no respite, and is ever pushing them on. We’ll talk about the history of urgency in our culture and how things have changed over time. We’ll discuss when urgency is necessary and how you can apply it in just the right amount to bring out the best in your work and home life. And when uncontrolled urgency strikes, we’ll give you tips and best practices to protect and bring balance to yourself and your loved ones.   Uncontrolled Urgency  Urgency is a lot like hot sauce. When applied in the right amounts, both urgency and hot sauce can create focus and add flavor, but too much can easily overwhelm the consumer. When people and organizations face too much urgency, chaos and confusion ensues – and productivity decreases.   What’s the History of Urgency and What Forces Drive It? Urgency has always been part of the human condition and is necessary for survival, change, and growth. However, in recent years, we’ve seen a major uptick.  Over the last 10 to 15 years, there have been two leading factors at play.   First, through the advent of technology and the smart phone, many workers are “accessible” all of the time and the natural boundaries between work and life have eroded. Second, many organizations feel pressured to transform and produce more with less. With most organizations lacking strong bench strength paired with the constant availability of workers, teams are at a breaking point.   Trust Before Urgency: A Key Component  When you're creating urgency, you're intentionally creating a state of discomfort. Essentially, urgency is anxiety. To use this tool effectively, trust is essential.   In “The Hot Sauce Principle: How to Live and Lead in a World Where Everything Is Urgent All of the Time”, Brandon Smith has created the following trust formula: [authenticity + vulnerability] * credibility = trust.   If credibility goes to zero, there is no trust. To earn credibility, consistency and responsiveness are key. Authenticity and vulnerability are also extremely important, so leaders need to get comfortable being more transparent.    Tips and Best Practices for Responding to Uncontrolled Urgency  Too much urgency creates chaos. Overusing urgency causes a loss in productivity and creates burnout.   In order to reduce urgency, it’s import for leaders and team to make urgent items more visible. Leaders should focus on prioritizing the number of urgent items for their teams. It’s also important that leadership has a clear sense of urgent items being handled by the team already.  As a worker facing urgency, protecting your time is key. You need to create air in your calendar to allow time to complete the action items from endless meetings. It’s healthy and necessary for teams to have boundaries, such as no emails on weekends.   Keeping Kids Safe from the Urgency Epidemic With competition for college at an all- time high, parents are getting caught up and involved in crafting the resumes and college applications for their children. They’re not creating room and space for kids to breathe and play.   Play is where we learn agency. Play is where we learn we're enough. As a first step, parents should take a step back and make sure that they’re not getting overly involved and contributing to the urgency.   Finding time for vacations and breaks is a great way to reduce the pressures from the world- and reconnect with family.  Hope for the Future The pandemic has shifted how leaders think. They have a greater openness to authenticity and vulnerability, which can lead to higher levels of trust. In general, people have a desire for more connection and community.   In many areas, communication and collaboration have increased and improved. Leaders are getting better and more thoughtful about clearly communicating their expectations and the why behind their decisions.   New Release: Author Versus Editor  Interested in learning more? Check out Brandon Smith’s new release - Author Versus Editor – set to publish in spring 2022. The book focuses on maximizing and managing our time as leaders, including tips on team structure, time management, delegation, and boundaries.    Check out more about Brandon and his work at theworkplacetherapist.com.   To learn more about Goizueta Business School and how principled leaders are driving positive change in business and society, visit www.goizueta.emory.edu.
The Science of Decision Making
Dec 15 2021
The Science of Decision Making
Ryan Hamilton is an Associate Professor of Marketing at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. He joined The Goizueta Effect Podcast to discuss the science of decision making.It's estimated that the average adult makes more than 35,000 decisions each day. They can be small like where to grab your next cup of coffee or big like who to pick for president. As individuals, how can we make better decisions for ourselves, families, and communities? As business leaders and managers, how can our understanding of the human mind and key motivators help us position our products, services, and teams for growth?Ryan’s work centers on consumer psychology, pricing, branding, and effectively managing customer experiences. He has been featured in the Harvard Business Review, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and CNN Headline News. He also cohosts the podcast – The Intuitive Customer.Why Decision Making All human behavior can be boiled down to decision making; the behaviors of customers, employees, and family are all just a series of decisions. When you model how others make decisions, that model is either informed by the science of decision making or it's not. Researchers who explore the human decision-making process are contributing to the body of knowledge around this complex topic and hoping to provide better insight so individuals can anticipate the actions of others and understand themselves better.Grounding Tenets: The 4R’s of Decision Making Ryan Hamilton developed the 4Rs framework after teaching decision making to students and business executives. With so much research on decision-making and new studies constantly being published, this framework gives people a starting point to approach decision making in our own lives and in business.   Reference Points - People evaluate things by comparing them to a reference point. If you want to understand how people make decisions, you need to understand their options. These are not always direct competitors. In business, often, customers compare you to things in a completely different category.   Resources– When talking about resources with decision making, we’re focused on cognitive resources – the amount of time and energy we have available to devote to a decision. In marketing, organizations often assume that customers are fully engaged, but in reality, they almost never care as much as the company. When customers are in a low-resource environment where they're distracted, overwhelmed, or just don't care, it affects how they make decisions.   Reasons - Choice justification is a huge research topic. When people generate reasons to justify their decisions to themselves or others, it changes their choices and evaluations. Some reasons might be subconscious or difficult to articulate. From a business standpoint, do companies know the reasons why people choose their products and services and are they accidentally giving people a reason not to choose them?  Replacements - Many times, people face evaluations that are too difficult for them to make. Instead of giving up, people often replace that decision with an easier one. For example, we may replace difficult questions like “Who should I vote for president?” with easier questions like “Which candidate is more likable?” These replacement evaluations guide our choices.  How Cognitive Resources Impact the Decision-Making ProcessOur minds consume fuel in the form of attention and cognitive energy. When we have a lot of fuel on hand and apply that to a decision, we make different decisions than we do when we're starved of those resources. In addition, we're all cognitive misers. When it comes to exerting mental effort, we don't want to spend it or think about things we don't have to. As human beings, we’ve developed a number of ways to conserve cognitive resources, for example, habits. Habitual purchases and behaviors are easier because they conserve cognitive energy. Therefore, it's important to understand how people approach decision making, not just when they're fully engaged and motivated and really want to make the best decision, but also when they're tired and distracted and looking for an easy way out.The Mental Load of COVID There's no question that, for many people, the pandemic has been cognitively exhausting. Stress, changes in routine, and multitasking/ switching between roles is cognitively depleting. We should expect to see more self-regulatory failures and less self-control when we have fewer resources. For example, many people exercised less frequently or didn’t adhere to diets during the COVID pandemic because they didn't feel like they had the cognitive resources to do so and because their habits were interrupted. We’ve also seen an uptick in emotional regulation failures, such as unexpectedly snapping at others. Hopefully, as we come out of the pandemic and return to some semblance of normalcy, we'll start to see improvements related to our mental load.  Importance of Reference Points for Businesses The canonical example of reference points is when you have a reference price for something you buy frequently, like milk or gas. But many reference points are vague. In business, if you're trying to anticipate someone's decision making, try to figure out what reference points they're using. Marketers have some power to influence those reference points to their advantage. Sometimes, you can change a failure into a victory by doing nothing more than changing customers' expectations around it. Halo Effects: Impact on Perceived Prices and Satisfaction Levels The halo effect is the tendency for an impression created in one area to influence opinion in another area. For example, when people have a positive evaluation of one personality characteristic (“she seems really nice”), they draw additional judgments based on this one overarching evaluation (“she probably did well in school”, “she must be a good mom”.) This is true in the business world and in marketing, too. Part of what a brand does is create a halo so that consumers make more specific inferences about that offering based on the data. Ryan Hamilton’s recent research shows consumer decisions are influenced not only by the prices of individual items but also by a retailer's price image, which reflects a consumer's impression of the overall price level of a retailer. Halo Effects: Impact on Satisfaction Levels Satisfaction levels can be measured in different ways, from ratings on a scale to functional magnetic resonance imaging machines. In one study, experimenters had people taste test the same wine, but were told that it was either cheap or expensive. The subjects physically experienced the wine as being better when they were told that it was more expensive; the reward centers in their brain actually lit up. Halo Effects: Impact on Individual Perception The earliest research on the halo effect focused on person-to-person perception. Stereotypes, positive and negative, are a type of halo. We form an overall evaluation of a person partially based on the class or group they belong to, then make assessments influenced by that.  Attractiveness is a characteristic that's been very well studied in psychology. The attractiveness of a person can be assessed almost instantaneously, and it influences almost all other judgments that we make about a person. Attractive people are assumed to be smarter, nicer, more successful, and happier. Negative stereotypes, however, become a huge problem to overcome.  To be fairer when engaging with people, we must take this hardwired effect into account and take steps to accommodate this bias. In general, halo effects are more pronounced when we don't have any other information from which to base our judgments. So halo effects are a mental shortcut that humans use. One solution is to get to know people better before we make evaluations around them. With more and better information, we don't need to rely on a halo. This is true in business too; when you have good price information, you don't need to rely on the price image of the retailer.   Does Hamilton’s Research Influence His Behavior?  Hamilton doesn’t consider himself to be a super savvy shopper, but he’s more aware of the biases that influence him. There are certain biases that we can overcome just through brute force effort, if we know about them and decide that we want to do better. However, Hamilton doesn’t know whether he is any less susceptible to biases as a result of his research. A lot of these biases are adaptive; from an evolutionary standpoint, they help us. The fact that we use halo effects as a mental shortcut to make things more efficient, on average, is a benefit. Occasionally, however, these mental shortcuts fail and can produce a lot of negative consequences.  To learn more about Goizueta Business School and how principled leaders are driving positive change in business and society, visit www.goizueta.emory.edu.
Sports Fandom: Diehard or Dying?
Nov 2 2021
Sports Fandom: Diehard or Dying?
Michael Lewis is a Professor of Marketing at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, faculty director of the Emory Marketing Analytics Center, and host of the popular podcast Fanalytics. He joined The Goizueta Effect Podcastto talk about the future of fandom, what defines a fan, and why fandom is an important measure of modern culture. He discusses what sharp declines in fandom for Generation Z mean for sports leagues, teams, networks, and studios. Finally, he unpacks how young women may represent an unanticipated and untapped opportunity for the industry. Lewis’s work centers on the intersection of sports analytics and marketing, with research ranging from player performance to brand equity. His thought leadership has been featured in The New York Times, Yahoo Sports, USA Today, Bleacher Report, and NPR. To access his research and find out more, visit Lewis’s website at fandomanalytics.com.  What Is Fandom and Why Is It an Important Reflection of Culture? When people hear the word fan, they often conjure trivial examples, like a jersey-wearing individual sitting in the rafters, or a kid excited for the latest big rock concert. But if you take a step back, at its core, fandom is intense passion for elements of culture. Understanding what people care about, and what they are passionate about, is an important pursuit.   Declines in Fandom in Gen Z Males Typically, in his academic studies, Lewis conducts quantitative research measuring fandom across teams.   Last summer, however, he commissioned original survey research - The Next Generation Fandom Survey- to take a deeper look into what's happening across generations. America is continually going through a shift in generations. Lewis expected Gen Z to behave similarly to millennials because both are digital natives, albeit with greater intensity for Gen Z. The results surprised him.   Research shows a tremendous drop-off in sports fandom for Gen Z. Millennials turned out to be the most avid fans, with Gen X and the baby boomers slightly less interested than the millennials. In particular, Gen Z males demonstrate a sharp decline in fandom.   To dig deeper, sports fandom is driven by two psychological constructs: self-identity and the need to belong to communities. Gen Z males’ scores on those traits were much lower than Gen Z females, as well as other groups. Gen Z males seem to be alienated from sports with an apathy to commit or connect. Sports fandom is public and lifelong, which sets it apart from other kinds of fandoms, and Gen Z males seem particularly uninterested.  This apathy is mostly reported in the sports realm, not within all fandoms. Gen Z males are lagging, in terms of their peers and other older generations, across all sports except esports. However, in terms of entertainment categories, like music, movies, television, comedy, they score relatively closely to their female peers.   Sports, Gen Z Females, and Female Leadership Research shows the idea of belonging to something bigger, to proclaim that you are a fan, is more consistent with Gen Z female psychology. This suggests Gen Z females feel less alienated and represent an opportunity for leagues to grow their female fandom.   When it comes to sports and female leadership, positive trends have emerged such as the San Antonio Spurs' hiring of Becky Hammon as assistant coach, to last year's hiring of Kim Ng by the Marlins as the first GM in Major League Baseball. This shift may have to do with women starting to take on more important roles in male-dominated sports. A larger cultural force may be driving both sides, leading to more female representation in sports management and, simultaneously, more fandom on the side of young women.   Until now, the marketing of sports has been segmented to males. However, now we're seeing this shift where different leagues and teams are seeing growth opportunities with women. Businesses want to grow their fan bases, and the female fan has always been a little bit elusive. The classical marketing issue is that businesses want more customers, but new fans and consumers affect the image of the product.  Lewis raises the question: as sports become more inclusive, do they become less appealing to different segments? As a pure theoretical marketing idea, most marketing remains segment-based rather than to the masses.  So as a sports league markets to different groups, does it become less interesting to other groups? Does sports shift away from the domain of boys? While this may be positive change, does this shift make sports less appealing to males? While Lewis doesn’t know the answer to that question, he thinks it is interesting to consider.  Measuring Fandom In The Next Generation Fandom Survey, Lewis and his colleagues studied attitudes, preferences, and behaviors to capture the elusive concept of fandom. They polled participants about the types of sports they engaged with, whether they wore team clothing and collected memorabilia, as well as social media engagement and spending habits. They drilled down further into fundamental psychological concepts like the need for belonging and the importance of self-identity. Fandom is an elusive concept that can be measured in different ways, but fandom also includes an element of magic. Data can’t explain everything. That extra human element is where the magic happens.  Millennials as the Biggest Sports Fans According to the study, by far, millennials are the most willing to connect with organizations and display their fandom. These fans show loyalty through social media, attendance, and active display of sports shirts and jerseys. Millennials had the highest scores for almost every sport. This generation received a lot of criticism when they were growing up; for example, kids were regularly given participation trophies. But they were also more connected with the internet, had smartphones at a relatively younger age, and received higher levels of encouragement and positive reinforcement. In terms of being connected to society, it could be theorized that the environment millennials grew up in helped them become the most committed fans of any generation. This is an advantage for sports organizations right now because millennials are the core audience. Gen X may pay for pricier tickets, but the millennials are, across the board, the most connected generation. This is why the falloff to Gen Z was so surprising.  The Future of Fandom: Sport by Sport  At the moment, every sport is operating in a slightly different context.   Football Football, both college and pro football, seems to be the most protected from decline. Whether it's SEC or NFL football, the experience is a true spectacle. Many football stadiums are like huge modern-day cathedrals, built for once-a-week experiences for tens of thousands of people. Football is also almost designed for gambling with millions of fans in a fantasy football league. Across almost all generations, football is the favorite American sport. One potential threat to the sport is the research and concern around lasting side effects of concussions. If kids don’t play football moving forward, will there be a decrease in participation, which translates to a decrease in viewership?  Baseball Baseball is fascinating from a fandom perspective. The sport features many of the oldest fans, perhaps because it's too slow-paced for the younger generation. Baseball has adopted more of a local model of fandom, where people are fans of the local team and don't really follow the game on a national level. For example, people in Atlanta love the Braves, but are not so interested when the Mariners play the Pirates. So, baseball marketing ends up being more segment-focused than mass-market focused.  Basketball Basketball seems to be the opposite of baseball. Basketball is more of a national game with a younger fan base and tends to do relatively poorly locally. It operates based on a star system. This mantle has been maintained and passed on for a long time, from Larry Bird to Michael Jordan to Kobe Bryant to LeBron James. The atmosphere of the basketball court feels like going to a concert and seeing the stars. Do people age out of being a basketball fan because it lacks the relaxing, laid-back pace of baseball games?   Soccer The popularity of soccer has been rising in the past few decades and is now especially popular among younger viewers. When Atlanta United started playing, something unusual and unexpected occurred. The Atlanta United team is owned by the same managers that own the Atlanta Falcons, so they have NFL-level production values and resources and the opportunity to play their games in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. At the start, no one expected more than 60,000 fans to show up. Atlanta United became a local phenomenon, and the team won the MLS championship a few years later. Lewis reports that when he teaches on campus, he sees more Atlanta United T-shirts than he does for any other Atlanta teams.   On a more national level, the U.S. Women's Soccer Team is one of the big sports stories of the last 20 years and has a ton of fans. It is a team with international dominance that has received a lot of attention. Players like Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and Hope Solo back in the day, largely became household names. However, this enthusiasm isn’t translated to all professional women's soccer. While the women's professional league is not growing rapidly in the U.S., the men's professional league is experiencing growth, which may be a case of the substitution effect.  Esports  Esports is also a rising phenomenon that is growing in popularity, especially among the younger generation. Fans devote hours a day to playing and watching these video games. The esports environment is all digital, so it provides an unobstructed view into what happens in the fandom. Analysts can see people watching influencers or streamers on places like Twitch, and then actually see how that translates to game usage. So esports gives great insights about fandom. The question is whether esports engenders a fundamentally different kind of fandom, whether the fandom behind these video games is comparable to going to a stadium to watch a game in person.  Sports as a Business Fans are ultra-passionate consumers; this idea of fandom or passion is relevant to multiple industries. People feel passionate about brands beyond sports. Sports just happen to offer an almost ideal laboratory to study the business side.    Even with recent declines, sports leagues have opportunities and are actively trying to build their businesses. As mentioned previously, the NBA is very much the star-driven league, greatly influenced by star athletes with millions of fans. For example, LeBron James has 80 million followers on social media, while the Lakers have approximately 15 million. But the NBA views that disparity as a positive because they see these athletes as opportunities to develop more of a global business and have been very public about trying to grow their business in places like China. In some ways, the NBA doesn't care if there is a decline in interest in the United States, because there are 1.5 billion Chinese consumers. However, in terms of both sports and Hollywood, indications are that China is less interested in having American culture dominate the Chinese marketplace. To be clear, major, geopolitical forces may dictate where sports as a business evolves.   In baseball, the fan base is relatively aging. It will be interesting to see how the baseball industry will adapt and whether baseball will follow the basketball model and start to move more into the social media space, to make the players the stars rather than the teams.   To summarize the data on the Gen Z fandom suggests that, in the future, the world of sports is likely to become a little bit smaller. Lewis doesn’t know what the decline in sports popularity means for businesses. Each team and league is competitive and will make every effort to figure out a way to keep growing their businesses and bringing in fans. Lewis is curious to see what the future brings in this space.   Find out more about the Emory Marketing Analytics Center and check out Michael Lewis’s research at fandomanalytics.com.
What Goes into Your Cup of Coffee?
Oct 1 2021
What Goes into Your Cup of Coffee?
Peter Roberts, Professor of Organization & M anagement at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, was founding academic director of Social Enterprise @ Goizueta. He joined The Goizueta Effect Podcast to explore the vast inequities between growers and retailers/roasters, how historical movements like colonialism and slavery have shaped the origins of this industry, and what role climate change and the pandemic are playing today. He also delves into how consumers, roasters, and retailers can work together to balance the scales. Peter also serves as the academic director of specialty coffee programs for The Roberto C. Goizueta Business & Society Institute.His research focuses on how the behavior and performance of organizations evolve over time. His current projects focus on social entrepreneurs and accelerators, microbusiness development, and the global specialty coffee industry. He has been featured in the Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Bloomberg, Food and Wine, and Salon. The Magnitude of the Coffee Industry By the Numbers In 2019, roughly two-thirds of American adults drank coffee every day. Over the past 30 years, the specialty coffee market has expanded exponentially and now accounts for up to 40% of all coffee consumed.  In 2020, the coffee market was valued at more than $102 billion.  With 25 million families around the world responsible for growing coffee, the economic and social impacts of this industry are broad and deep.  Evolution of the Coffee Industry The global coffee industry has always been characterized by stark contrasts. Retailers, roasters, and importers often do very well financially, while those who grow coffee struggle to break even.  This is not a new phenomenon. The coffee industry only exists because of colonialism and slavery. Originally, coffee was not grown in Central and South America, but when Europe and the United States started consuming inordinate amounts of coffee, coffee plants and people were brought from Africa.  In the late 1800s, formal slave owning and colonialism went out of fashion. At this point, global markets kicked in, and coffee became a lucrative way for middlemen, such as roasters and sellers, to maintain low coffee grain prices.  Major brands like Folgers and Maxwell House dominated the first wave of coffee consumption, then Peet's and Starbucks and Caribous set up a second wave of coffee. Recently, the third wave of coffee has become popular, which is the movement focusing on small, micro lot-oriented, and direct-trade roasters.  While coffee has often been lucrative for retailers and roasters, most coffee producers in the world are not able to cover the cost of production. From Bean to Cup Consumers often assume that all the magic happens in a coffee shop. However, the people that work on coffee farms, or in beneficios, pour a lot of skill, talent, work, and time into the production of coffee. Before coffee is roasted, it's a bean. Before that, it’s a cherry. And prior to this, it’s on shrubs. Before the beans are ready to be harvested, the grower cares for the plant for at least three to four years. Often, at least 25 sets of hands play a role in shaping a single pound of coffee.  Coffee growers handle much of the heavy lifting and shoulder much of the risk. However, the payoff is not even. On the retail end, $15-$20 is a reasonable per-pound price for specialty coffee, but the median price that coffee growers receive is just $2.60.   Specialty Coffee Production Exchange grade coffee or commercial/commodity coffee has fairly low standards for quality, which allows for many defects. However, specialty coffee must secure a grade of at least 81, which involves cupping and scrutinizing all of its elements. This product cannot feature green beans that would change its flavor profile. The coffee has to be picked, processed, and sorted multiple times. The world of specialty coffee involves high quality expectations. All of that extra work needs to be paid for. The Effect of Climate Change on Coffee Growing Coffee production is impacted by many external forces, including climate change. In the next 20 years, 60-70 percent of the land that currently grows coffee may become ill-suited for cultivation.  For instance, in Nicaragua just a decade ago, coffee farmers set their watches by when the weather changed from wet to dry to determine when it was time to pick coffee. Now, the weather is variable, which makes it difficult for farmers to grow. Economic and social mobility proves difficult for coffee farmers who don’t have hefty savings. If we don't start valuing the work that goes into coffee, paying the people that do the work, accounting for some of the investment and risk, we may not have enough coffee to satisfy demand in 10 or 20 years. Rural communities are oriented around growing and selling coffee, so their economy is built around their core industry. Farmers who are looking ahead to an unsure future can invest in climate change adaptation, using concepts such as shade-grown coffee, which shifts conventional agriculture back to growing coffee in forests. Organizations such as The Nature Conservancy are exploring coffee growing as a form of reforestation. If we can figure out how to pay farmers for growing excellent coffee the right way, there is a built-in incentive for people to reforest, contributing to both adaptation and mitigation of climate change. The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Buying Patterns, Growers, and the Coffee Industry The initial shock of the COVID-19 pandemic hit the coffee industry as hard as the general public. The industry had several concerns: If people go back to drinking coffee at home, then would they stop drinking better-produced or specialty coffee? What happens to local retailers and coffee shops? What price would consumers be able to pay? Like many products, the industry also faces multiple supply chain issues. For instance, without shipping containers for coffee coming from certain suppliers, coffee can’t reach consumers quickly and its quality decreases. Industry leaders also worry about workers’ and farmers’ health and safety as they grow the coffee.  However, “the new normal” did introduce a few silver linings such as subscription services. As people missed specialty coffee, producers realized that people would be willing to spend more to have better coffee to brew at home. Therefore, subscription services and online sales of the specialty shops did fairly well during the pandemic. Nonetheless, the industry is still uncertain about how the specialty coffee industry will settle down over the next few years.  Coffee Movements Create a More Equitable System Many movements over the years including fair trade and direct trade have helped drive progress in the coffee industry, but they have introduced challenges as well. Today, organizations like Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, and Smithsonian's Bird Friendly certifications are working in the right direction. The unbalanced marketplace always puts downward pressure on prices including what the farmer gets, so the next step in the world of specialty coffee is getting consumers to pay for it. What we need is a larger share of what we spend on coffee to continue to flow back to coffee-producing countries and growers. How You Can Engage in Conscious Consumerism When addressing the issue of disparity in the coffee industry head on, the majority of the onus is not on the consumer.  Consumers have actually been paying dramatically more for coffee over the last 30 years, but the benchmarking New York C-price is lower now than it was 30 years ago. So even though consumers have been paying more for the things that producers do, we haven't figured out how to enable and empower producers to recognize their value and effectively negotiate better prices. That being said, it’s important for more people to get more excited about paying more money for coffee. When looking at the wine industry, consumers are willing to spend a lot of money for a glass of wine in a restaurant or a bottle of wine in a bottle shop, and the same needs to happen for coffee. Consumers need to appreciate quality coffee and good farm stories.  While the consumer problem is being addressed, the producer problem is not. We, as consumers, expect that if you pay more, the money goes back to producers in the appropriate ratios, and the farmer gets paid. However, in the 1940s, producing countries took home about 40 percent of what consumers paid for coffee; now, it's less than 10 percent further evidence that the problem lies with empowering the producers. Educating Growers and Buyers – The Specialty Coffee Transaction Guide  The challenge in the coffee industry is that the only green price that people track is the New York C-price. The pricing for specialty coffee is still following a very low and volatile commodity C-price, but it needs better reference prices. That’s where the Specialty Coffee Transaction Guide comes in. Through a partnership between Goizueta Business School and more than 80 roasters, importers, exporters, and cooperatives, the group has developed a low, medium, and average price for different kinds of coffee. The guide allows specialty coffee producers and buyers to have a critical reference point for transactions.  It also allows policymakers and advocates to determine whether coffee prices are even covering the cost of production, then use that information to drive necessary change.  In addition, many retail and roasting organizations are pledging to be more transparent and make market information widely available. For example, Onyx Coffee tells consumers everything about the producer, including what they paid for their coffee.  Goizueta’s Grounds for Empowerment Program The mission of Goizueta’s Grounds for Empowerment program is to provide women specialty coffee growers the business know-how, market connections, and investment funds that will allow their farms to reach full economic potential. With the help of a diverse group of advisors, including Goizueta leaders and students, farmers participate in a series of workshops and gain unique perspectives on topics like storytelling, social media, cost of production, and relationship management. Producers are also empowered with information to recognize the value of their coffees and make plans to secure prices consistent with these valuations. Participants leave with a stronger vision for the future of their farms, and with plans and connections to achieve more prosperous and sustainable businesses. To learn more about Goizueta Business School and how principled leaders are driving positive change in business and society, visit www.goizueta.emory.edu.
Millennials at Work
Aug 31 2021
Millennials at Work
Andrea Hershatter has led the Undergraduate BBA Program for two and a half decades, overseeing its growth and curricular development and helping to secure its place among the most elite undergraduate business programs in the world. Andrea holds a faculty position in organization and management and teaches entrepreneurship. She regularly provides consultation to top corporations and leaders in academia on the millennial generation.  Defining Generations Each generation has a particular personality and role in society. Biologically, a generation is defined as a range of anywhere from 15 to 23 years. As babies are born, their parents raise them in response to what's going on in the world. Therefore, they are influenced not only by societal dynamics but also by what they see in the generation coming of age. Dynamics about child rearing emerge that lead them to have certain propensities in the way that they raise their kids. What Makes a Millennial? Millennials are so named for the high school class of 2000, born in around 1982, that started the generation that entered adulthood at the turn of the millennium. This was a dynamic generation that the media shone a dynamic spotlight on. Strauss and Howe’s theory of fourth turning suggests that generations move in cycles and that the generation coming of age is being raised to fulfill the societal gap being abandoned by the generation that's phasing out.  Therefore, millennials are being conceived of as the generation that will replace the GI generation. The GI generation was the generation that became profoundly impactful leaders whose job was to change and protect the world. Millennials were put in a similar spotlight of being expected to grow up to shoulder heavy societal burdens and have a profound impact on the world.  Exploring Boomers Boomers are associated with the baby boom and, at their moment of coming of age, were in the center of a generational war and redefined culture. They fought in and protested Vietnam. As boomers created their own culture, they shut out older generations and have held onto that role until now. These boomers responsible for creating culture retain a profound influence on how American culture is depicted in movies because even if they are not directly acting or producing them, they control the flow of money. That entertainment gets disseminated all over the world. A Look at Gen X Gen X was the victim of the educational wars and performed poorly on standardized tests because they lacked a common body of knowledge. At the same time, mothers went back to school, but society lacked after-school support and infrastructure. Therefore, Gen X became the latchkey kids who came home to empty houses, becoming free thinkers that were dismissed as slackers. They also came of age at the dawn of the technological revolution, creating the infrastructure and changing the capacity of information to revolutionize our current lives. Zoomers According to the fourth turning, Gen Z, or Zoomers, will replace the “silent generation” in terms of their societal role. The silent generation actually ushered in the civil rights and women's rights movements, so Gen Z is fighting systemic inequities, pioneering movements about gun access, climate change, and Black Lives Matter. This generation understands diversity as non-binary and not fixed, which is difficult for older generations to grasp. They think about self-identity and roots in ways that have created an entirely new language. They will likely shape the world in fascinating ways that are unimaginable right now. Millennials and Technology For millennials, technology was embedded into their earliest ways of knowing, rendering it a noncognitive sixth sense instead of an intellectual endeavor. Millennials approach a problem using technology without thinking about it and are capable of multitasking while using it. In terms of how it influences the workforce, there are two important aspects. Technology impacts how millennials work and how firms reach consumers. In the workforce itself, millennials demonstrate competence in using the technology that suits the task at hand. It is important to them that others understand which mode fits a certain message and intention. Through social media, millennials and zoomers have created a performative life that expects immediate feedback, a cycle which leads to extrinsic motivations. That influences how, for example, millennials expect to be acknowledged for the work they do in a company. This can be stress-inducing if you don’t receive positive feedback, affecting your sense of personal agency. Using Steve Nowicki’s assessment of locus of control, over time, generations have developed a more external locus of control. This is problematic because when you feel out of control (such as in a global pandemic), your locus of control determines what you believe you can do to influence your own personal circumstances. Ages of Millennials in the Workforce Early studies showed the leading edge of Millennials demonstrating a strong desire to have personal purpose aligned with their company. However, with younger respondents, that importance drops as people work to fulfill Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Research shows this younger cohort is more concerned with stability and economic security. In a recent Harris poll, it was determined that millennials are willing to take on supervisory responsibilities leading to career advancement, but feel burnt out and find it difficult to unplug. Millennial managers also have a less traditional focus, prioritizing communication, culture, and people rather than operational results or budgetary responsibility. As the younger millennials enter the workforce, they want feedback, collaborative opportunities, flexibility, and autonomy. However, peer-to-peer, millennials are harsh judges with high expectations who have been held to high standards. The question is, how will older managers, whether they're millennials or Xers, motivate younger workers by giving them flexibility, while maintaining the accountability and performance standards? Millennials’ Relationship with Organizations Across every socioeconomic dynamic, the parents of millennials devoted more of their discretionary income into raising their children than ever before, including enrollment in expensive schools and extracurriculars. As consumers of those, parents micromanaged these organizations to shape them into the ideal experience for their children, demanding what they wanted to see. Millennials who grew up being told they were the future were accustomed to the organization molding itself to meet their needs. Many millennials or zoomers entering a workplace will demand the tools they need to contribute to the organization and improve it, which clashes with older generations’ ideas of an organization with set principles and rules. This clash results in the older generation seeing millennials as entitled. Google is a prime example of an organization that has molded to is employees. The entire campus is lifestyle-based, which builds trust and makes employees feel cared for by the company. Google knows that if they fuel the whole person, employees will be able to bring something better, more innovative, and more creative to the table. How COVID-19 Has Impacted Millennials and Zoomers For millennials and zoomers, their comfort with technology and their capacity to multitask has given them a leg up during the pandemic, because the notion of remote work was not as derailing as it was for older generations. COVID also led to an enormous amount of burnout, cutting organizational learning but also providing the opportunity to develop many other skills and expand reach. Geographic diversity led to new insights and increased opportunities for learning. Online school and work also leveled the playing field for different types of thinkers and workers, as well as those with differential access to resources. Decreased commute time provided flexibility and more prominently underscored the concept that time spent in physical locations does not make someone a better worker. Mental health is also important; while a workplace is important for productivity, time spent at home is equally important. Dynamics Between Boomers, Millennials, and Zoomers Boomers and millennials had a particular bond, where the leading edge of millennials were very interested in finding purpose and meaning in life and learning from their elders. Gen X managers have had to deal with economic erosion and a lack of organizational training. They were simply thrown into the deep end. Gen X and older millennials are beginning to be caught in that pressure moment where they are responsible both for young children at home and for aging parents, so they really strive for a work-life balance. In comparison, zoomers are still young and want flexibility for pursuits like travel.  The Next Generation and The Future Gen Z is resource-savvy, works cooperatively, and excels at finding each person's fundamental abilities. Through the use of technology, they have a reach and a capacity for mobilization that enables them to invent technology-dependent solutions. This generation is looking at what’s structurally or systemically broken and focused on fixing it.  Dean Hershatter’s Motivation  My energy comes from the relationships I've developed; some are short term but some are lasting relationships. When I bring in speakers who are returning to Goizueta, I can still see the 18-, 19-, or 20-year-old in them, but I also see these wonderful, amazing people they have become and what they've been able to accomplish in their personal and professional lives. I derive enormous pride and vicarious fulfillment from that. Playing even the tiniest role in who our students become is a privilege of working at a place like Goizueta. We attract incredibly talented and dynamic people. I often hear from our alumni that they were incredibly inspired by a comment or idea shared by a faculty member that has shaped their life in a deep and meaningful way. That to me is so fulfilling and energizing, and it is for sure what drives me.
Entrepreneurship Done Right
Jul 27 2021
Entrepreneurship Done Right
Charlie Goetz, Senior Lecturer in Organization & Management and Distinguished Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, joined The Goizueta Effect Podcast to discuss the world of entrepreneurship, including key advice for success, the psychology of purchasing, and the dreaded cold call. Goetz, a serial entrepreneur and three-time author, has started and built nine new ventures and employed more than 1,000 individuals in industries as diverse as finance, healthcare, broadcasting, sports, real estate, and advertising. In addition to teaching and writing books, Goetz is actively involved in investing in new businesses and sits on a number of boards for both private businesses and not-for-profit organizations. Goetz is also responsible for the development of “Marketnomics”. Why Businesses Fail According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while most small businesses survive the first year, by year 5, about half will have failed. And at year 10, the rate climbs to 70%. The number one reason is lack of sales; running out of money is simply a symptom. Lack of sales can happen for many different reasons, including things like poor product market fit, ineffective marketing, or selling processes. While creating sales on an Excel spreadsheet is easy, many businesses find out later that selling in real life is a lot harder than it is on a computer program. The “Entrepreneurial Trait” People who build successful businesses have the ability to pivot when necessary. Most businesses don’t go as planned when starting. This is the beauty of being an entrepreneur. One day, you're doing business one way. The next day, you have changed the business to do something in a totally different way that the market prefers. And sometimes it ends up being a totally new business and a totally different market. Many successful companies have had to pivot multiple times to find just the right product, market, and strategy to be successful. Why Marketing is Essential for Entrepreneurial Businesses Entrepreneurial ventures have a lot to overcome, and a very small budget to do it. The average person remembers less than 0.2% of the hundreds of ads they see every day. Every one of these companies has spent valuable time and money crafting their advertising messages and placing them where the market sees them. However, almost all of them have failed in gaining your attention. While large companies can play this game because they have robust marketing budgets and can afford to use the strategy of frequency and reach, small businesses and startups must think differently. In order for companies to be more effective, first, they need to understand their true cost of acquisition, which is the cost in both marketing and sales dollars spent to obtain a new customer. Many small business owners spend money ineffectively with messages that are minimally impactful and/or sub optimally placed. These practices cause businesses to run out of money because the cost of acquisition is frequently higher than the lifetime value of the average incremental customer. Second, business leaders must craft messages that stand out and are memorable. If your message isn't memorable, they will forget it, and they will forget you when it comes time to buy. Overcoming Barriers Faced by Entrepreneurs Small businesses and entrepreneurial ventures have little to no credibility in the market in their early days. Without trust and market awareness, it's difficult to garner the number of customers that a business needs in order to build their reputation and credibility. Without credibility, the cost of acquisition becomes extremely high. But, there are a number of different ways to gain credibility if you don't already have it. Build a board of advisers who include people from your industry that prospects already know and trust. In this way, the company can leverage their credibility to the benefit of their business. Partner with a larger company where they either sell your product for you or provide you referrals for a commission. Get well-known leaders, celebrities, or influencers in the market to promote your company.  Find leaders in your market and give them your product for free, then solicit them for positive references that you can use to market to your prospects. The majority of people are followers when it comes to buying something new, so new products in the market fail at a greater rate. So, position your product or business in a way that your product does not look new to the market, as a truly valuable extension to what is already out the market.  The 3 Core Components of a Compelling Value Proposition Define the need you are solving.  Differentiate yourself from competitors.  Ensure your message is clear and concise. Large established companies have the marketing budget to create a well-known brand that anchors a specific feeling in prospects’ minds. Lacking this budget, small businesses can start with a well-known brand that recalls a specific image, then differentiate themselves in one way. This one way is what the company does best, and what it believes will attract a certain percentage of that brand's market to try its product. The idea is that prospects will appreciate the company’s similarities to the big company but also value how it’s different. Pricing Products The number one way that most companies price their product is in relationship to how others in the market price theirs. Entrepreneurs are no different. Frequently, this results in many businesses leaving a lot of money on the table. Price creates a certain perception in the minds of your prospects and customers in the market. Low price implies good value, but not as good for service. High price is perceived as high quality and good service, and special because it’s exclusive. A price in the middle doesn't stand out and frequently is seen by the consumers as not saying much about the product or service, and in turn, about the buyer who's purchasing these products either. First time entrepreneurs often price their products too low, confident that this will add to its attractiveness, and expect to raise the price later to create a more favorable impression and higher margins.  However, this is a mistake since most CEOs of early-stage entrepreneurial ventures are not confident in their products' perceived values. Low pricing results in lower margins, which makes it difficult to cover future marketing and operating costs. This results in the company never being able to grow sufficiently or later raise prices, as its image has already been created as being a discounter.  Tips for Cold Calls The best way to make a cold call is to not to make a cold call. Instead, use a series of well-scripted, value-added voicemails. Each voicemail needs to feature a key component of the sales pitch. In cold calling, the relationship is much more important than the product itself in making a sale. The first voicemail provides prospects with information they can use to do their job better or an interesting fact related to their industry or business that they can tell others so they look good. This should only provide value and introduce you, but should not include a sales pitch.  The second voicemail tells a reference story that they are likely to relate to, and how your product helped another company just like theirs.  The third voicemail provides another solid reference story, this time dropping the name of that well-known company to build credibility.  In the fourth voicemail, explain the implications of the relevant problem on the customers and how the risk of not buying is greater than the risk of buying.  If a fifth voicemail is required, say something funny about the person not calling you back.  A simple tip that can go a long way is to stand up when you call, as it makes your voice sound more authoritative, and you feel more comfortable on the call when you do.
Building an Equitable Workplace: Why Social Class Should Be a Critical Component of Your Diversity Strategy
Jun 29 2021
Building an Equitable Workplace: Why Social Class Should Be a Critical Component of Your Diversity Strategy
Andrea Dittmann, Assistant Professor of Organization & Management at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, joined The Goizueta Effect Podcast to discuss the role that social class plays in both career success and team performance, and how to build a more equitable workplace. Her work has been featured in the Harvard Business Review, Politico, and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.  Defining Social Class and Its Impact on Business Social class depends on the context that people grew up in: blue-collar environment or white-collar environment, especially in the United States. In blue-collar environments, people tend to have less than a college degree, lower incomes, and blue-collar type jobs – this is the bottom half of the social class. Whereas in middle and upper-class contexts, people tend to be college-educated, have higher incomes, and white-collar jobs. In recent years, employers have started to incorporate gender, race, and other identities into their diversity strategies. However, the social class context that people are raised has largely been ignored. Social class contexts shape an individual’s values and outlook on life and these differences persist enduringly across the lifespan, from college to the workplace. While this is not as visible as race or gender, that doesn't mean that it's any less important. Different Values are Socialized in Different Social Class Contexts According to cultural and social psychology research, working-class contexts foster interdependent norms and values. Parents convey to children that they should recognize their place in the hierarchy, follow rules and norms, and be responsive to others' needs. In contrast, middle-class contexts foster independent norms and values, through which parents convey messages to children about a sense of self-importance and individual entitlement, emphasizing that their voice matters. Repeated exposure to these different messages fosters different norms that shape people's outlook on life.  These abstract concepts manifest in a number of ways in the workplace. When compared to middle-class individuals, people from working-class contexts tend to be more empathetic and more attentive to others in social conversations. They are better able to integrate different perspectives in conversation. This makes sense considering their understanding of themselves as connected to others. This differs from the classic American focus on individualism, which is characteristic of middle-class individuals who are agentic, have strong personal preferences, make their voices heard, and prefer to be unique from others. Thus, these values affect people's behaviors and approaches to interactions. Due to their relational nature, people from working-class contexts engage in more behaviors that make teams work together effectively. These behaviors include attending to others, integrating people's opinions, and engaging in turn-taking more often. The result is more balance and information-sharing amongst group members, while working together. Thus, organizations that work collaboratively can benefit by bringing in more people from working-class backgrounds. Barriers Faced By Employees from Working-Class Backgrounds Many people from working-class backgrounds do attend college, but this does not necessarily level playing field. Even with the same college credentials, people from working-class backgrounds are less likely to receive a callback for an elite job, less likely to advance to a leadership position once they're in a job, and on average are earning about 17% less than their counterparts from middle-class backgrounds. Employees face barriers in the workplace at several different levels, starting with hiring. According to sociologist Lauren Rivera’s work, hiring managers tend to unconsciously discriminate against applicants from working-class backgrounds because they hire based on cultural fit, or employees that they feel they would enjoy spending time with and who would fit into the company’s culture. While this does not sound harmful, this means hiring managers select people who are similar to themselves, often from higher class backgrounds. Potential employees from higher class backgrounds who grew up with similar travel, sports, and leisure experiences can therefore relate to hiring managers. Meanwhile, people from working-class backgrounds are less likely to have had those same experiences. This disparity in “cultural fit” produces discrimination in hiring.  In addition, the culture of many modern workplaces is not set up to enable differing relational strengths to shine. Research that Dittmann is conducting along with colleagues Nicole Stephens and Sara Townsend reveals that the vast majority of white-collar work environments undermine these collaborative strengths. Even though many modern organizations require collaboration and teamwork, they fail to promote teamwork as part of their broader organizational values. An inclusive work environment for employees from working-class contexts can only be created when the values and practices regarding teamwork are aligned with the company culture.  According to Peter Belmi, professor at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, the promotion process in modern organizations often values the independent values of people from higher class context. People from working-class contexts are less comfortable engaging in the types of behaviors required to rise through the ranks than middle-class individuals. Intersectional Identities and Social Class Professor Erika Hall of Goizueta studies intersectional stereotypes. She finds that certain social identities, like race and social class, are often associated. For example, although many black Americans are not actually impoverished, people correlate African-Americans with lower social classes, which perpetuates an intersectional stereotype that black Americans are less well-off than white Americans. Research on gender and social class indicate that women from working-class backgrounds have to contend with the compounded difficulty of lack of resources and pervasive gender stereotypes, having to work harder to prove their commitment to work. The Impact of COVID-19 on Public Perception of Working Class and Equity in Society Through a longitudinal survey starting in May 2020, Dittmann found that people who had experienced personal harm and adverse experiences early in the pandemic, regardless of their own social class, shifted their attitudes and actions to advocate for equality over time. They had more positive attitudes towards redistribution and indicated a preference for policies that would make American society more equitable. While the pandemic was tragic, this silver lining hints at the possibility that this could be a great moment for change and to implement policies that could help bolster the experiences of people from working-class contexts. The driving factor behind these shifting attitudes is that when people experience harm coming from an external force beyond their control, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, that makes them more empathetic and understanding of how broader forces in society might shape people's lives outside of the pandemic. The individualistic narrative typical in the United States suggests that a person’s life circumstances are the result of their own agentic choices and behavior, so people who are poor would be portrayed as just lazy. However, externally imposed adversity makes people recognize that perhaps people in the lower social classes in the United States were subjected to broader forces in society that hindered their ability move to higher social classes. Removing Barriers for Working-Class Employees Dittmann advocates for the importance of adding the identity of social class to every company’s definition of diversity because it impacts people across their lifespan. While this is more difficult to observe, it can be objectively assessed. People from working-class contexts tend to be more comfortable with interdependent approaches and teamwork, so it is essential to remove barriers for them in the workplace. The first step is to implement more inclusive hiring practices. Creating more structured interviews with standardized questions and activities enables an organization’s more diverse candidates to rise through the ranks by avoiding the bias of cultural fit. While this hasn’t been tested with social class yet, it is true of both gender and race. Once employees from working-class contexts are in the organization, evaluations for promotions should include both individual and team-based assessments. While individual measures of success are important, a more balanced approach that assesses collaboration is critical. Resources Addressing Social Class Inequality and Workplace Diversity  Many organizations combat social class inequality and promote more business diversity. One is FutureMap, a nonprofit that helps smooth the college to career transition for first-generation college graduates. Management Leadership for Tomorrow is another program that helps to increase diversity in race, gender, and social class through every step in a person's career.   Closing  Through her work, Dittmann hopes to shed light on the different abilities that working-class people bring to the workplace and ensure equal opportunity for people from working-class context to succeed. A more equitable society supports people from working-class backgrounds past college degree attainment and supports upward mobility throughout their lifespans. Organizations have the power to create this type of stability and upward mobility. By harnessing the skills and strengths of employees from working-class backgrounds in a more meaningful and authentic way, organizations stand to gain.
Reimagining Business as a Catalyst for Social Change
May 26 2021
Reimagining Business as a Catalyst for Social Change
Wes Longhofer, Executive Academic Director at The Roberto C. Goizueta Business & Society Institute, joined The Goizueta Effect Podcast to discuss business and the critical role it plays in driving societal change.  His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation and featured in the Washington Post, American Sociological Review, and American Journal of Sociology. Most recently, Longhofer co-authored Super Polluters: Tackling the World’s Largest Sites of Climate-Disrupting Emissions. The Role of Business in Driving Societal Change  Business and capitalism are tremendous engines of prosperity and innovation. Organizations provide much-needed jobs and countless goods and services that undoubtedly make our lives better.  We're also living in an incredibly challenging time. Climate is in crisis. There's mounting inequality. Political polarization seems to be at a peak. Not to mention an ongoing pandemic that's shown us the power of business to urgently create a vaccine, but also raises important questions about the equitable distribution of it.  Recognizing the role of business in driving positive social change begins with acknowledging that there is no business without society. Too often, we think of markets as existing outside of people and the society that comprises them, but no market can exist without a society that sets the rules of the road, without a government that sets up things like property rights, or without an environment that provides natural resources that, if exploited, will threaten the ability of the market to function. If we start by recognizing that business exists in society and that markets are designed for and in the interest of people, then, we can begin to think about how to reimagine business. This view will help us as we work to redesign markets to serve both more of society and the natural world. It's about recognizing business not just as economic actors, but as civic and environmental actors as well.  Stakeholder Capitalism Stakeholder capitalism is messy. Primary stakeholders of a firm include employees, customers, investors, the firm itself, and the community in which the firm is located. That only scratches the surface. There's also government, the media, social movements, competitors, and the earth itself. So how do you make sense of this and which stakeholders matter the most? The classic professorial answer…it depends.  The History of Corporate Responsibility  Throughout history, there is a constant push and pull between business and society - from the expansion of the railroads, to the growth of U.S. steel, to the creation of the automobile. In the post-World War Two period, there was this idea that companies would provide jobs, not just for a few years, but for an entire career. They would provide opportunities for mobility over the life course. They would give you pensions. They would employ not just you, but a lot of your friends. A handful of large corporations really shaped and defined not just business in America, but civic life as well.  As the years progressed, the U.S. began to see momentous social movements and transformative public policy that raised awareness of things like civil rights and environmental degradation. Investors began to look at the old way of companies and decided they were not very profitable. In the late 1970s and 1980s, investors decided it might be better to break up those companies. They identified managers as a problem because companies were trying to do too much. Organizational scholars called this the garbage can theory of decision-making - you throw a bunch of strategies at the wall with ill-defined goals. Some said, "Well, maybe managers should just focus on maximizing profit rather than getting involved in all these other distractions." Very quickly, the idea of the company started to change. Employees started to spend less time at any one company, ownership became more centralized, companies began to invest more in financial markets and less on their own assets and R&D, and managers were compensated for maximizing profit. Companies began to view societal issues, like pollution, as externalities. Purpose-Driven Organizations Today  Today, a number of organizations are embracing purpose as part of their culture and their brand.  Patagonia's the obvious one that comes to mind. They have a deep commitment to sustainability in their supply chain. They work with industry partners to establish certifications that help verify that sustainability. They use their platform to take bold social and political stances that are aligned with their mission. In doing so, they make it easier for competitors to also be more sustainable. Another example of a company with purpose embedded throughout the company is Ben & Jerry's. They took, perhaps, one of the boldest stances on racial justice last summer by outlining specific steps that need to be taken to dismantle white supremacy. Chris Miller is their activism manager, which is not a position that you oftentimes see in a company's org chart. He previously worked at Greenpeace. Chris has described how the marketing department of Ben & Jerry’s gives him greater reach than an NGO ever could. How Social Movements Drive Organizations Accountability is key. It's one thing for a company to make a statement on a social issue, but many movements now want to know if these organizations really mean it. Are they putting resources toward that issue? Are they thinking about their own biases and practices that may have played a role in creating the very problem that these movements are concerned about?  How Purpose Impacts Purchasing Behavior A recent Nielsen report shows that 43% of consumers would prefer to spend more on products and services that support worthwhile causes. Millennials seem particularly interested in this idea, but aren't the ones actually buying these products. Instead, research suggests most sales are driven by older women. Despite the availability of options, a number of obstacles get in the way of shopping your values. A big challenge is a lack of information. There's a lot of greenwashing or just bad marketing that misstates the environmental benefit of a product. Habit comes into play as well, particularly for cheap products. There's also research that suggests that when we make a moral decision on our purchasing, we're more likely to offset that decision by doing something immoral later. The classic study shows that shoppers who take their own grocery bags to the grocery store are more likely to fill it with junk food. The issue of identity and social class represents another complication tied to purchasing with purpose. Sustainable products are usually more expensive and they're not available to everyone.
Racial Bias is Everywhere
Oct 29 2020
Racial Bias is Everywhere
Dr. Erika Hall, assistant professor of Organization and Management at Emory University's Goizueta Business School, focuses her research on the influence of race, gender, and class-based biases on interactions within the workplace and more broadly within society. Racial Bias in the Workplace Bias is an instance of prejudice and racial bias is an instance of prejudice based on a person’s race or perceived race. In the workplace, racial bias manifests in a number of ways such as lower wages, higher job loss, being passed over for a promotion, and so on. It is important to understand the difference between bias in the workplace versus an anomalous outcome versus a true deficiency in performance that led to an outcome. With a sample size of one, that determination may be difficult but Hall has looked at hundreds and sometimes thousands of people and companies in her research studies which enables her to identify trends in discrimination. Organizations can use control groups to evaluate whether or not an instance is due to racial bias. This means looking at a situation and determining if there was another person that had the same type of qualifications, who had the same résumé, would that person suffer the same outcomes as the Black person is right now. Hall says hiring biases are quite common. There are negative stereotypes associated with Black candidates regarding future performance. Many résumé studies show that bias is in play with hiring managers if the name on top of that résumé is perceived to be black versus white. In these studies, a fictitious résumé is created with all the qualifications necessary for a position. Two copies of the résumé ─ one version with a stereotypically Black or Asian or Latino name on it and the other a name that is stereotypically white ─ are submitted to actual companies for real positions. Even though it is an identical résumé except for the name at the top, the callback rate for candidates with names that are stereotypically Black or minority, in general, tends to be lower than for candidates with “White” names. Code-Switching Hall notes that it is not uncommon for people of color to change their name or go by their middle name in order to not be discriminated against when applying for a job. A study published in Administrative Science Quarterly suggested that both Black and Asian employees tend to change their names in a way that will make it whiter, a behavior known as résumé whitening. Making your name seem more “white” is related to code-switching or when a person adjusts their style of speech, appearance, behavior, or expression based on the setting they are in (home vs office, for example) or those who are around them. Hall says everyone has to code-switch to some degree between their personal and professional lives, but it seems to be more distinct and more disparate for Black Americans. Racial Bias Misconceptions The biggest misconception about racial bias in the workplace, says Hall, is that you have to be a racist to be biased. A racist is someone who is prejudiced against people on the basis of their racial or ethnic group.  If you don't hire someone who is Black because you are fearful that your customers would respond better to someone that is white, you have introduced racial bias into the hiring process, even though you personally may not hold any negative feelings toward Black people. Another example of racial bias can be found in the real estate industry. While companies that value homes for sale are bound by law not to discriminate, there are reports that it happens often. Homes in predominantly Black neighborhoods or homes that have evidence of Black owners (such as family photos) are appraised at lower rates than homes with white owners. Hall references an article in which a professional appraiser said that appraisers try to mirror the market. Buyers are less willing to purchase a home that was previously owned by a Black person and their valuation of the home reflects that. The appraisers may not be racist but they are contributing to discrimination and in doing so are disadvantaging Black home sellers. Black vs African American The terms Black and African American often are used interchangeably within the United States but there is a literal difference. Black refers to the entire diaspora of people with African heritage throughout the world, whereas African American refers to Black people within North America. In research conducted in 2015, Hall found that the stereotypes associated with the Black label were more negative, less competent, less warm, and lower socioeconomic status than the African American label. In one experiment, identical job application are submitted for a position with the exception that one candidate is identified as Black and the other candidate is identified as African American. The Black candidate is less likely to be hired and is perceived as lower in competence and lower status. Negative associations for the term Black versus African American are so common that they have become evident when doing Google Image searches. Hall conducted an experiment in which she Googled the term “Black people” and extracted the first 100 image results. Then, she immediately Googled the term “African American people” and extracted the first 100 image result. The image results for “Black people” were more negative, degrading, and stereotypical than the results for “African American people.” Policing and Racial Bias Hall has conducted research specifically exploring racial bias and law enforcement in the killings of unarmed Black males. She found that there were several stereotypes of Blacks that lead to higher rates of police force being used and higher tolerance among whites of force being used against Blacks. The first stereotype is that Black youth as adult-like. On average, whites perceive Black youth to be older than they are. This can lead to police using more force against a Black youth than their age warrants. The killing of 12-year old Tamir Rice is an example of this. The second a stereotypes of Blacks is that they are sub-human. Research by Emory University professor Melissa Williams showed that whites viewed Blacks as more ape-like than other whites. The more that someone had this association, the more they condoned police brutality against Blacks. The third stereotype is that Blacks are super-human, especially as it pertains to strength. Again, this can lead to excessive force being used against a Black person. Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Missouri police officer who killed 18-year old Michael Brown, suggested in an interview that Brown was like Hulk Hogan and he had to resort to the use of extreme force to his super-human strength.  There are also stereotypes of Blacks as violent and Blacks as criminals. This leads to sub-conscious associations that can result in very detrimental outcomes for Blacks in their encounters with law enforcement. For example, in studies in police officers are shown white faces and Black faces with either a gun or cell phone on top of the face and must quickly assess threats, they more often mistake Black faces with cell phones as a threat. This relates to signal detection analysis, which is a tool that researchers use to measure how sensitive a shooter is toward shooting one group of people versus the other. So for example, the studies show that people tend to have a lower bar for shooting an unarmed Black man versus an unarmed white man, and they tend to do so at a quicker rate. Hall notes that racism is cultural and therefore it can be pervasive across society. Black police officers for example can be racist towards Black civilians. Some studies show that there is less of an implicit bias among Black police officers, but they hold some of the implicit biases that the white police officers do. More people and companies are looking seriously at the issue of racial bias and it permeates our personal and professional lives. Organizations are evening hiring researchers like Hall to analyze their practices and policies to identify areas of improvement.
Poor Ethics, Bad Business
Aug 27 2020
Poor Ethics, Bad Business
Business Ethics Matter in the Organization of SocietyDr. Gonzalo Maturana, Assistant Professor of Finance, at Goizueta Business School, Emory University, suggests that society must be organized around an economic system that places competition as the fundamental pillar for economic growth. And, that we can easily lose the benefits of capitalism when rules are violated.An organized society formulated around an economic system that places competition as the competition for economic growth awards merit. The idea is that if one works hard there is an award. This fosters innovation and entrepreneurship, resulting in benefits to society, the entrepreneur hires workers, lower prices and covers a necessity. Central to the idea of merit is fairness. The strength of our economic system is predicated around this idea that the system is fair. There are a set of rules and polices that we have to help us move closer to fairness, but if not followed the system falls apart and a small group of people benefit at the expense of the majority. As a result, we could lose the benefits of capitalism when rules are violated.So now the question is what happens if the public perceives that the system is not fair. A University of Chicago professor argues that without public support, or worse with public resentment, it's very difficult for the economic and financial system to operate.Housing Crisis and Mortgage Back SecuritiesThe 2008 mortgage crisis revealed the negative impact of not following ethics and behaving fairly. Recession mortgage backed securities helped facilitate additional mortgage credit that was not available. This fueled the demand for houses and contributed to the housing bubble. The market grew rapidly around 85 billion in 2000 to 1 trillion in 2006. Catching these during an economic boom is very difficult in part because no one is paying attention and the problem is exacerbated during an economic downturn. Mortgaged back securities are non-agency securities. The mortgages are put together and securities are created out of them which is then sold to investors. This allows banks to transfer credit risks allowing borrowers to default on their mortgages. Homeowners may want larger loans and a lower rate and the loan officer collects important information to determine how risky the borrower is.There are several conflicts of interest when creating such securities. The loan officer is often compensated on loan volume, so there is some incentive to lowering the standards. Originators may also have an incentive to inaccurately report information to the underwriters. Misrepresentation may be difficult to catch due to the complexity of mortgage back securities, the structure of the payments and how you measure risk. Most problems flow directly or indirectly to the incentive of the underwriting bank. Residential mortgage backed securities are extremely complex in terms of the structure of the payments and how you measure risk. Also, credit rating agencies were supposed to certify the quality of the securities, but again they were paid by the underwriters with whom they have repeated business. Dr. Maturana has research that shows that there was a ripple effect that operated house prices and incentivized someone’s decision to expand a credit. When the recession market collapsed and disappeared by these lenders went out of business quickly. Ramifications for Unethical BehaviorDr. Maturana says employees involved in the creation of residential mortgage backed securities that were later found to be misrepresented did not face significant career penalties. These employees remained employed at the same bank, moved to another large bank, or were promoted. This is concerning because the employees that were analyzed, worked at banks that settled with the Department of Justice and admitted wrongdoing during the structuring of these residential mortgage backed securities. Findings show that the system of settlements may not be good. These results and the lack of individual prosecutions send a message to current and future finance professionals that there's little if any place for punishment for abusive practices. This level of repercussion can reinforce cultural norms that allow or encourage employees to ignore the warning signs of fraud and abuse. Dr. Maturana says good business ethics need to be part of the culture and that the guidelines need to come from upper management who should lead by example. If a boss cares about business ethics and good behavior then that's something that's constantly discussed in the work setting. Also, for incentivizing good behavior he suggests having a strong enough deterrent. Increasing accountability and rethinking statute of limitations for example are a way to generate incentives. How Academia Plays a Role in Business EthicsConflicts of interest are driving business decisions all the time. Dr. Maturana says business schools can contribute to business ethical behavior by discussing these issues openly in the classroom and increasing awareness of the importance of these issues beyond just the fact that misbehaving is wrong. Academia can play a role in exposing and challenging unethical businesses practices.
Bonus Episode: Silver Linings for Students Graduating Into a Recession
Aug 6 2020
Bonus Episode: Silver Linings for Students Graduating Into a Recession
Impact of Economic Downturns on Young AdultsCollege students who graduate into a recession certainly experience obstacles according to Dr. Bianchi, Associate Professor of Organization & Management at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. Young adults are often the last to be hired during a recession and this can be quite challenging because they have very few work experience and skills and the entry-level jobs they go after are usually the first to go. As a result, unemployment for young adults usually jumps significantly during recessions, much higher than the unemployment rate for others.  Professor Bianchi became interested in how this shapes young adults for a long period to come. During the Great Recession, there were many stories about the 2009 graduation season and how students were doomed. There have been studies to show that young people graduating during a recession earn less for decades. Other studies have shown that people who graduate in recessions tend to have lower levels of occupational prestige. Even if they do become chief executive officers, they tend to become CEOs of smaller, less prestigious firms. There's no question that, economically, the effects are real, that people who graduate in a recession do earn less, and you see that for a long time to come. But the effects are also pretty small. Given all the worry and all the difficulty of finding their first job could graduates be happier once they are hired by an employer? Dr. Bianchi found that people who graduated in worse economic times reported greater job satisfaction than people who graduated in better economic times. There are hardships and challenges. The difficulties are serious, but there are some long-lasting positive implications down the road. Recessions Long-term Impact on Young Adults There has been a fair amount of work on people's attitudes towards money, right? Economists have found that people who come of age in recessions tend to be more risk-averse with money and tend to choose less financially-risky strategies. Even as CEOs, they tend to be more risk-averse in how they invest their company's money. Using the metric of narcissism, Dr. Bianchi studied how people who come of age during a recession view themselves compared to other people. Narcissism is a sense of entitlement, a sense of grandiosity, a sense that one deserves better outcomes than other people. She looked at the characteristics heightened optimism, and individualism and wondered if people who came of age in that time are more narcissistic than people who came into age in a time where there was more uncertainty. Dr. Bianchi found that people who come of age in recessions score lower in narcissism, clinical narcissism, and sub-clinical narcissism.  According to Dr. Bianchi, young adulthood is a very transformational time in people's lives. Most are leaving their childhood homes, communities, and families and begin to develop an adult identity. They are figuring out who they are, who they want to be, what they believe in, and what they don't believe in. People overwhelmingly mention things that happened when they were young adults. All of these seem to suggest that what's going on in the greater environment, in the greater kind of cultural landscape or economic landscape, helps formulate those identities, helps shape those identities in ways that last throughout adulthood. Dr. Bianchi says this will be an interesting generation to watch over the next couple decades.
How a Recession Changes Our Behavior
Jul 30 2020
How a Recession Changes Our Behavior
In more individualistic societies, such as the United States, there is an emphasis on standing out from others, being different, and expressing one's uniqueness. In more interdependent or collectivistic societies, there's an emphasis on not standing out, on being part of a group, on attuning to the needs and interests and goals of the group, and on ensuring that the group is successful. Individualism is a core part of identity in the United States and that has increased over time. Over time, Americans have become increasingly individualistic and currently, the United States typically scores higher on individualism than any other country. Associate Professor of Organization & Management Dr. Emily Bianchi's research into whether people become less individualistic in times economic hardship, reveals that when the economy is worse, people are more likely to embrace interdependence and collectivism. Examples include parents giving children more common names and articulating that they wanted their children to exhibit such behaviors as helping and getting along with other people, over being independent and standing out from others. Her research also revealed that during bad economic times, American music is less individualistic and more collective, as exemplified by more songs that had more first-person plural pronouns (we, us, ours) than singular first-person pronouns (I, me, mine).In short, in better economic times, Americans, seem to be more self-focused and during worse economic times, they are more interdependent.  Interdependent behaviors and attitudes have limits and can result in derogation of others Even when people are more interdependent or collectivistic, they are not more interdependent towards everyone in society. People are typically more interdependent towards people who are similar to them or are in their in-group. That often is associated with greater derogation of dissimilar others. In societies that are very collectivistic or very interdependent, there is often a great deal of wariness of outsiders.Interdependence – leaning on and taking from other people – is one way people manage uncertainty, including economic and financial uncertainty. Another way is to look for perceptual order, which can involve seeing things in rigid terms, such as being more likely to see people who are not very different from them as being “other.”Racism can be greater during difficult economic timesIn examining state economies, Dr. Bianchi and her colleagues found that in states hit hardest by the Great Recession, there was a greater spike in Whites' negative attitudes towards Blacks. In states that were less hard hit, there wasn't as much of a change.    Racial wage gaps increase during recessions, making diversity efforts crucialDr. Bianchi has also conducted research that revealed that the racial wage gap increases during recessions, regardless of industry, education level, age, and other factors. Moreover, African American employees are more likely than White employees to be fired during a recession and take a greater hit in salary when they are hired or rehired. She concludes that its crucial for businesses to maintain their diversity efforts in recessions and other difficult economic times.
Big Data and the Future of Privacy
Jun 25 2020
Big Data and the Future of Privacy
Commercial uses of personal data The goal of marketers is to better understand their audience so they can offer the products and services that people are going to be interested in. That requires learning about the customer. Marketers used to rely on demographic information. They knew customers’ zip codes and could get census-tracked information and would rely on customer surveys. A lot of that information was gathered or being directly elicited from consumers themselves. That's not necessary anymore.  Today, marketers learn what people are interested in by seeing what they’re posting on social media. People talk about brands they’ve bought and post photos with products in them. They interact with brands on social media. They also express opinions about brands and share experiences with them. For example, if someone posts online about a horrible customer service experience with their cell phone provider, that's a signal to other cell phone providers that this might be someone they can potentially poach. People provide signals of the strength of the relationship they have with brands and those conversations are potentially observable by other brands. This isn’t not necessarily just useful for competitors. If someone reports having a great experience at a retailer or reports they saw great show at a theater, that's information that those venues and brands can use to determine that someone has a good relationship with them and they should keep that in mind for subsequent interactions.The gathering of personal data is widespread. Everyday actions taken on cell phones and computers share data; people share data through apps when they just carry their cell phones around over the course of the day. When people search for something on Google, listen to Spotify, or watch something on Netflix they leave digital traces behind. Some of those are proprietary, such as what people watch on Netflix, and others can be captured by a broader range of firms. For example, mobile location data from cell phones, is packaged, aggregated, and resold to brands and organizations. Data isn’t just for commercial useIn the current pandemic, Google and Apple are collaborating on ways to use mobile location data to do contact tracing, and software developers all over the world are developing contact tracing apps that will run in the background on phones. That will provide the public health community a with great weapon to combat pandemic situations going forward. Social media activity can provide insights into whether people are in the midst of a potential mental health crisis, based on what they're posting online and the type of language they use. This does raise questions about where responsibility lies if a social media platform, such as Facebook, uses this information to determine what ads to show people and whether they should intervene if it seems someone is experiencing depression. The trade-off with privacy On the one hand, we value privacy, on the other, we value the convenience and features of our internet and mobile-driven lives. This balance is addressed in a book on surveillance capitalism by historian Shoshana Zuboff that provides insight into how we ended up where we are today. One factor was that the dot com boom, when a lot of today's behemoth companies like Google were in their growth stages, happened in the wake of 911. Zuboff argues that there was a shift in mentality that you could attribute to that event. Before 911 people believed that privacy was essential and could not be infringed upon; after 911, the mentality shifted to believing that we couldn’t allow something like that to ever happen again, even if it meant sacrificing some of our values with respect to privacy. The TV show Person of Interest takes that perspective. The premise is built on the government building a massive surveillance system In the wake of 911. It’s interesting to explore the ramifications being under surveillance 24/7 and whether that’s a society that we want to be a part of. Now companies are collecting as much data as possible and thinking about how they can turn it into something useful. In return, many tech companies have developed many tools whose usefulness may outweigh privacy concerns, such as Google search engines, Gmail, recommendation engines for shopping, and predictive text for messaging and email communications --  all of which require data collection. A New York Times article examined location data and the question of how it needs to be regulated because of how personally identifiable and sensitive the information is. Now that we’re going through a pandemic, tech companies can help us solve this problem by collecting this type of information. The question is how to build this system in a privacy-friendly manner. Any time there is a massive paradigm shift, we're going to re-evaluate how important privacy is.Marketers will have to make the case for giving up some privacyPutting a premium on privacy means forgoing the benefits that come from allowing organizations to collect data they used to deliver a better experience. From a commercial standpoint, the onus is on marketers to make the case that the benefits outweigh privacy concerns. Marketers have to convince consumers that providing access to their social media accounts and sharing their location and browsing data is worth the benefits they derive from companies having access to that data.  Consumers can control data gathering and use but it isn’t easyThere is some recognition that consumers should have some control over who want more control over what data about them is gathered and how it’s used. Regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation in the EU and the California Consumer Privacy Act have made it easier for people in those respective jurisdictions to opt-out of data collection. It’s also possible for people to opt-out of many websites’ data collection practices, but it’s not a perfect solution because there are data aggregators that accumulate data from public sources and product warranty registrations. They have been the bread and butter of direct marketing for years, and they build very comprehensive profiles of consumers that marketers use. People can opt out of that collection in the moment but need to be mindful that they could take an action online that creates a new profile for them. Each consumer has to make their own decision about how comfortable they are with their social media profiles being accessible, and their mobile location data, browser data, and financial information being collected. And they should be aware that this data is aggregated. People who want to be vigilant need to read terms of service for apps and websites and not click through if they don’t like the privacy clauses.Businesses have a role to play in helping consumers feel comfortable with data collection Unfortunately, terms of service are usually very long and difficult to understand and that’s an area where businesses need to get better. Businesses should be able to show consumers on a single screen what data they’re going to collect and how it will be used. It’s likely that the use of data is going to become subject to government regulation, and part of that regulatory push will be for consumers will have more control over their data. When that happens, consumers will need to be mindful of what rights they have and how to avail themselves of those rights. This is an opportunity for marketers to build stronger relationships with their loyal customers and an opportunity for brands to differentiate themselves as valuing privacy and personalized experience. Brands that are able to deliver a personalized experience in a privacy-friendly manner will have a competitive advantage.
Conscious Capitalism
May 21 2020
Conscious Capitalism
Terminology “Conscious capitalism” describes companies and organizations that have purpose behind the work that they do that goes beyond the core product or services that their organization delivers to have a broader, more positive impact on society at large.  Examples Early examples are Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream and TOMS Shoes, but it is not just the province of small start-ups. The Coca-Cola Company has an initiative around women and water that is examining how the company can mitigate the impact of its product requiring so much water, including on the communities from which that water is being taken. The founder of Whole Foods, John Mackey, is also one of the founders of the conscious capitalism movement.  Increased Relevance Increasing generations of younger people are passionate about being part of organizations that have a meaningful purpose beyond business and profits and as they get into higher education and the workforce, they are articulating the expectations they have of the organizations where they'll be working. In addition, senior leaders in some well-established companies are seeing the need to change the way have done business because it may have a negative effect on the environment or other things pertinent to quality of life.  Business Roundtable In 2019, the Business Roundtable issued a statement related to conscious capitalism which signaled broader support for the concept. Increasingly, political matters are also contributing to a sense of the importance of this work. It is likely that many companies will begin to see positive financial gain by investing and doing work in this manner.  Higher EducationStudents entering business schools now have a clear preference and expectation that they will learn about business and industry in a manner consistent with what matters to them. The fundamental areas of finance, accounting, marketing, leadership, information systems, and operations continue but now with an overlay of how to think about each of those fundamental domains in a way that takes into consideration a much more conscious approach to how business is done.   More institutions of higher education are trying to create opportunities for their students to be grounded in real-world issues and challenges, and to engage in the community in ways that they had not, historically. Gift to the Goizueta Business School The Goizueta Business School recently received a $30 million gift from The Goizueta Foundation which will allow the school to experiment with new ways to deliver online education so it can encompass experiential learning that involves students interacting with people in communities facing real-world challenges to engage in problem solving.  The FutureThe world is much more globally intertwined, so we fundamentally have to think about how we do business differently. Conscious capitalism, 10 or 20 years from now, may look different than today, but the underlying assumption associated with it, having a purpose beyond just profit, will continue for quite some time. Companies are starting to move towards a greater understanding of corporate social responsibility activities and are asking how to move those activities from being tangential to the core of the business to being seamlessly integrated into the business. This is where scholarship from business school faculty can play a role: understanding how to measure some of the activities and work going on in companies and how companies can align their core processes with the aspects of conscious capitalism. We will likely see more intersectionality of the conscious capitalism efforts with the core efforts of the business.The Goizueta Business School is well-positioned to be a leader in some of this work. For more than a decade, the faculty have been invested in laying the groundwork for some of the curriculum we now offer, and some of their research and scholarship puts us ahead of many of our competitors. The additional financial support will allow for ramping up manifestation of this work in powerful and important ways.Conscious CapitalismBen and Jerry’s Values StatementTOMS Shoes ImpactThe Coca-Cola Giving CampaignCoca-Cola’s 5by20 Initiative: Water and Women Creating Change TogetherWhole Foods Founder John MackeyBusiness Roundtable: Purpose of a CorporationThe Goizueta Foundation GiftSocial Enterprise @ Goizueta