Posts Tagged: Business insights

“Cut-throat business competition” isn’t real

Contrary to popular opinion and thousands of movies recent research shows that global syndicated markets take a relational approach to competition.

The perception of competition in business is often negatively skewed, with images of Wolf of Wall Street types running greedy firms who are out to win at any cost.… [read more]

Depression, burnout and low quality of life.

Human stress is simply a result of our modern society forcing us to try and exceed our genetic design specs. We are simply not designed to live in a materialistic unequal society and work in the ways and for the long hours that we do.… [read more]

Empowering workers can cause uncertainty and resentment

Attempts by managers to empower staff by delegating different work to them or asking for their opinions can be detrimental to employee productivity, research shows. On the face of it this finding goes against current conventional wisdom.

What the researchers say: Giving employees more authority can have a negative impact on their day to day performance and perhaps give the impression that their boss is just seeking to avoid doing their own work, according to the study.… [read more]

Market bubbles are all in the mind

We all know that market bubbles are based on irrational behavior. However up to now we didn’t know what part of the irrational brain was responsible. A fascinating study reported in my favorite journal Neuron comes up with the answer. Bubbles, the researchers say, are based on some of the relationship-forming parts of the brain.… [read more]

It’s all too complex

Probably one of the most important papers of the last decade has been published in the current edition of Nature. In the article, written by Professor Dirk Helbing of the Swiss National Institute of Technology, the author warns that the systems we have created in business, politics, finance, communication, and health (to name but a few) are much too complex to be either understood or controlled and because of this complexity, are subject to inevitable, and probably catastrophic, failure.… [read more]

“Statistics prove nothing”

A fascinating new primer on statistics by Dartmouth economics professor Charles Wheelan called “Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data” received a rave review in the April 5 edition of Science. It is unusual, to say the least, for a book on basic stats to receive that accolade.… [read more]

Physicians don’t seem to want to hear about stress

A study by the American Psychological Association reported in the current edition of Monitor on Psychology indicates that doctors, by and large, are not prepared to listen to patients who think that stress may be part of their problem. I have observed this first hand in my work in hospitals.… [read more]

Companies that restate their financial statements more likely to fail

Investors, stakeholders, employees all want to know whether they work for a well-run company. Until now there has been no quick, sure-fire, way of knowing. However University of Concordia has come out with the results of a longitudinal study which might throw some light on the subject and give a strong indication of which companies to work for or invest in.… [read more]

“Financial crime one of the biggest business and social issues of our times.”

…according to Prof. Michael Levi of Cardiff University. He has studied financial crime for years and has concluded that it is really little understood and most of the ways we deal with it are wrong. For one thing we punish minor offenders (such as social security offenders) with criminal records and even jail terms whereas large tax cheats and other white collar offenders usually get off with a fine, often anonymously.… [read more]

Competition leads to corruption

A study to be published in Management Science raises an interesting question about the value of competition and customer loyalty. The researchers found that competition breeds both better customer relations and corruption. For example, in an effort to please their customers, firms in New York that carried out obligatory smog-testing on cars allowed cars owned by loyal customers to pass when they should’ve failed.… [read more]