B-School Bulletin: Gender Wars & More

When Corporations Donate To Candidates, Are They Buying Influence?

News from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management

“Two months after taking office, President Donald Trump approved the construction of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline. The project had been halted by President Obama. But Trump made reversing that decision a priority.

“Did campaign donations impact Trump’s decision?

“’During the 2016 presidential campaign, oil companies gave a lot of money to Donald Trump,’ says Jörg Spenkuch, an assistant professor of managerial economics and decision sciences at the Kellogg School. The energy sector had contributed nearly one million dollars to Trump’s campaign. Now that he was in office, the speculation went, he had to pay those companies back for their support.

“Spenkuch, however, hesitates to draw a clear line from the donations to the president’s decision. From the very beginning of his candidacy, Trump had vigorously supported the energy sector. So, Spenkuch wonders, did their money actually change Trump’s mind in any way?”

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Why Employers Favor Men

News from Harvard Business School

“It’s not news that women are much less likely to get hired for jobs than men, even when the candidates have the exact same qualifications. Now, new research sheds light on why this happens.

“Employers favor men not because they are prejudiced against women, but because they have the perception that men perform better on average at certain tasks, according to the forthcoming research paper Is Gender Discrimination About Gender?

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Carlson Offers Veteran A New Start After Brain Injury

News from University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management

“On March 19, 2012, Brian Grundtner fell 50 feet during an airborne training jump, sustaining multiple broken bones and a traumatic brain injury.

“Four years later, the former special operations staff sergeant overcame his TBI to graduate from the Carlson School of Management with his Masters of Business Administration.”

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When Succession Skips A Generation

News from INSEAD

“Next-generational succession is one of the main challenges facing family businesses globally today. Owner-managers who are confronted with this issue often have to turn to professionalising the family firm by bringing in outsiders.

“The process of professionalization — transitioning from a founder-led company into a management-led organization — is meant to enable founders to focus more on their core competencies. But it is very difficult to get right because it touches on emotional issues that non-family firms never have to confront. It can also lead to some unexpected consequences, as the story of Zhang Gang, the founder of the franchise-based restaurant chain Little Sheep, demonstrates.”

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When Picking The Wrong Person For The Job Is The Right Move

News from Northwestern Kellogg

“When there’s an important job to fill, it seems obvious that an offer should go to the best person for the role. Ditto when there is a big contract to be awarded, or capital to be reallocated across an organization: whichever supplier or division will serve the firm best ought to win the opportunity.

“That’s just good business. Right?

“Yet there is a wrinkle, according to new research by Daniel Barron, an assistant professor of strategy at the Kellogg School, and Michael Powell, an associate professor in the same department: sometimes it might be in a firm’s interest to promote the wrong person, or sign a contract with the wrong supplier, because that party has performed very well previously.”

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