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Kogod in the Media/February 2011

 

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The latest headlines from the Kogod School of Business.

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Boardrooms lack diversity
Kogod's research on women serving on corporate boards in D.C. and Virginia, commissioned by Women in Technology, was recently cited in a Washington Post article on the lack of diversity in boardrooms. Gender and racial disparities, the article said, is common in many publicly traded and privately held organizations.

Only 115 of the 1,427 board of director positions surveyed are filled by women, the research found. Women in Technology has specifically identified the lack of women on corporate boards as an area of focus, the article said, because boards wield influence over the direction of companies. View Full Article (2/28/11)

Professor talks fair hiring practices, collaboration in post-conflict Egypt
In her second interview with Justmeans, Kogod Professor Jennifer Oetzel talked about fair hiring, job training, and the benefits of collaboration in post-conflict Egypt. The country is currently plagued with poverty and joblessness, but Oetzel said that if corporations can provide employment through partnerships or educational organizations, it could have a significant and positive impact.

"Increasing employment and providing jobs is the most important thing in Egypt in the long term. If people don't have the skills that the businesses are looking for, then businesses can help find ways to provide them with those skills," Oetzel said.

Also important, said Oetzel, are fair hiring practices that hire across sectors, regions, family backgrounds and regardless of political connections. Companies new to Egypt may not have an understanding of the specific social divides in the country, she said, and could benefit from partnering with an NGO to help them understand how different groups see one another. View Full Article (2/21/11)

Kogod professor analyzes open government initiatives
Kogod professor Gwanhoo Lee and the co-author of his report on open government, Young Hoon Kwak, were recently featured on the IBM Center for the Business of Government's The Business of Government Hour.

They discussed their report, which studied the Obama administration's call for increased openness in government. Their research focused on how federal agencies followed through on the directive to make their data more accessible to the public.

The three core principles of open government, Lee said, are transparency, collaboration, and participation. Lee spoke about how social media tools could be used to implement open government initiatives, and how social media has enabled new forms of collaboration, allowing engagement between various groups.

"I believe social media will play a big role in realizing the vision of the open government directive," Lee said. Listen to interview (2/9/11)

Corporate Social Responsibility in post-conflict Egypt
Kogod international business professor Jennifer Oetzel, an expert in conflict-zone corporate social responsibility, recently spoke with Justmeans about CSR in post-conflict Egypt.

According to the article, for socially responsible businesses, Egypt presents an opportunity to take part in the socioeconomic restructuring of a country in the areas of human rights, workers' rights, consumer rights, sustainable development and ethical consumption.

Oetzel said there will be huge opportunities in the construction and tourism industries. "In terms of a company that is CSR-oriented, that specifically wants to make a difference in the country, because tourism is such a huge contributor to the economy, anything that can be done to boost tourism, bring in more people and promote stability in the region will have a huge impact in rebuilding and maintaining that sector," she said.

Companies that have tested, workable CSR policies already in place may have an advantage over those simply rushing into Egypt, said Oetzel. "Anyone going in to make a quick buck is not going to have the same understanding or appreciation of the conditions in which they operate. Certainly viewing one's business as a member of the larger Egyptian community would have a valuable impact in terms of how they do business and how they might react to conditions on the ground." View Full Article (2/14/11)

Students turn to specialized real estate programs
The International Council of Shopping Centers recently reported that many students aspiring to careers in commercial real estate are turning to specialized real estate programs rather than general business training. Professor Dawn Eisenberg, the director of Kogod's master of science in real estate program and a member of ICSC, said that to make it in commercial real estate, students need real world experience and networking opportunities with alumni and trade organizations.

According to Eisenberg, students need to see how topics such as refinancing, sustainability, public-private partnership and loan default issues affect the real estate business. "Every single lease affects the bottom line," Eisenberg said. "[Bad] co-tenancy can destroy a shopping center."

New real estate programs are heavier on experience than on theory, the article said. In Kogod's real estate program, Eisenberg makes sure students get a real-world view of the business by taking them to local planning commission hearings so they can see first hand the effects of zoning, entitlement requirements, and community involvement.  View full article (2/7/11)

Carlos Slim beats Gates, Buffett as Forbes wealthiest person
Carlos Slim's Mexican holdings in industries from mining to communications have him already beating out Bill Gates and Warren Buffett on the stock market, and gains in 2011 may put him even higher on the global wealth list, according to a recent article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

Latin American and Asian markets are in an "enviable" position for growth, Slim said in November. His publicly disclosed holdings rose about 37 percent, to $70 billion, in 2010, according to BusinessWeek. The shares of Buffett's firm, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., rose only 22 percent last year, and Gates's Microsoft Corp. fell.

Gerald Martin, a finance professor in the Kogod School of Business, told BusinessWeek that Slim's success could be partially attributed to the fact that his holdings are mostly in Mexico, where investing is riskier than in the US. If Buffett's stock performance last year were adjusted for risk, Martin said, he may have come out ahead of Slim. View Full Article (2/2/11)

Report finds obstacles to open government initiative NextGov.com, an online journal for federal executives, recently featured Kogod professor Gwanhoo Lee's research on the Obama administration's open government initiative. Lee's report, which was published by the IBM Center for the Business of Government, said that although the initiative launched almost two years ago, numerous obstacles keep federal agencies from implementing the policies.

Federal agencies face challenges such as outdated technology, online privacy risks, and a lack of public engagement and resources when it comes to implementing open government policies. Last month, the Obama administration issued instructions to federal agencies directing them to develop plans the make information about the enforcement of rules accessible within four months, but the Lee's research found that this may cause agencies to attempt too many projects at once, beyond what their current resources can manage.

"Without sufficient funding and dedicated personnel," the report said, "government agencies will find it challenging to develop and sustain new engagement tools and programs." View Full Article (2/1/11)