B-School Bulletin: Will Parkland Flip The Switch On Gun Control?

News from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania

“The images are as familiar as they are chilling: Aerial footage of children walking out of a school single file. Anxious parents being interviewed. Advocates and opponents of gun regulation sparring on the screen.

“The pattern has grown depressingly predictable. But after the shooting last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, Fla., that took 17 lives, public outrage took an unexpected turn. Rather than fading, the resolve intensified. It began to take concrete form in action, with students staging protests and walkouts. Several major corporations ended their relationships with the National Rifle Association, and large retail chains announced plans to limit sales of firearms.

“Something seems different in the aftermath of the Parkland massacre. Its influence has been greater and lasted longer than reverberations from the shootings at Sandy Hook, Las Vegas or Orlando. Businesses responded quickly and decisively. Why? It has to do, in part, with who the victims and survivors are.”

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Imogene Powers Johnson

Imogene Powers Johnson, Cornell ‘Pillar’, Dies Aged 87

News from Cornell University Johnson Graduate School of Management

“Imogene Powers Johnson ’52, widow of Samuel C. Johnson ’50 and an avid ornithologist, died on Saturday at the age of 87.

“One of her four alumni children, H. Fisk Johnson III ’79, M.Eng ’80, M.S. ’82, MBA ’84, Ph.D ’86, chairman and CEO of SC Johnson & Son, a manufacturing company, called his mother ‘the pillar’ of the family.

“’She exposed us to the love of learning, taught us about the wonder of nature, shared her values and incredible care for people, and devoted her life to support, and help guide the four of us,’ he wrote in a statement on his Facebook page. ‘She was always there when we needed her.’

“Johnson attended Cornell on Standard Oil Co. academic scholarships and received her bachelor of arts degree in mathematics in 1952. There, she met her future husband.

“Johnson and her husband, who served on the Board of Trustees from 1966 to 1988, were major contributors to their alma mater, according to a University press release from January 2017. Both were distinguished as presidential councillors, the highest honor the University Board of Trustees can bestow. Together they gifted $20 million in 1984 to the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management in honor of Samuel Johnson’s grandfather, the press release said.”

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Heavy Lies The Crown: High Anxiety Often Accompanies Being A CEO

News from Notre Dame University Mendoza College of Business

“Before joining the Mendoza College of Business, Professor Viva Bartkus was employed for 10 years as a management consultant for McKinsey and Company. Over that decade, she worked closely with countless business executives, and learned that behind many a confident facade was a highly anxious person struggling to meet performance goals.

“’Oh my gosh, I think there are more insecure CEOs out there than the world or the press is willing to acknowledge,’ she said, laughing ruefully.

“Bartkus knew from experience how stressful a business executive’s life can be, but it wasn’t until she began conducting research into the subject with two Mendoza colleagues that she was able to substantiate her intuition. Together with professors Michael Mannor and Adam Wowak, she investigated the effects of high job anxiety on the decision-making process of 84 CEOs and other top executives of major corporations.”

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College Appoints Members To Sexual Misconduct Committee

News from Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business

“The College announced the members of the Presidential Steering Committee on Sexual Misconduct, which will review College policies on sexual misconduct, ensure they are clear and present recommendations on policy development, education and training.

“The committee members, announced on Feb. 14, hail from both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Leslie Henderson, dean for faculty affairs at the Geisel School of Medicine, serves as chair of the committee. Other members include senior associate dean of student affairs Liz Agosto ’01, assistant dean for postdoctoral affairs at the School of Graduate and Advanced Studies Victoria Blodgett, vice president for institutional diversity and equity Evelynn Ellis, biology professor Mark McPeek, Title IX coordinator Allison O’Connell, director of M.S. and Ph.D. programs for the Thayer School of Engineering Brian Pogue, associate dean for faculty at the Tuck School of Business Richard Sansing, senior athletics director Megan Sobel and government professor Lucas Swaine.”

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Study: When CEOs’ Equity Is About To Vest, They Cut Investment To Boost The Stock Price

News from Harvard Business School

“Are today’s businesses plagued by short-termism? The narrative is compelling. Executives cut investment to hit short-term earnings targets and trigger bonus payouts, the argument goes. They are egged on by short-term shareholders, who care only about making a quick buck, rather than growing the company for the long term. Moreover, long-term investments — such as reducing carbon emissions, developing blockbuster drugs, or training workers — benefit more than just shareholders. So, the charge that businesses are deprioritizing them leads to concerns that business no longer serves society.

“But despite how common the charge of short-termism has become, rigorous evidence of short-termism is surprisingly difficult to find. Eighty percent of CFOssay that they’d cut investment to meet earnings targets — but what they say isn’t necessarily what they do. A recent McKinsey study found that a ‘long-termism’ index (including how much a firm invests) is correlated with future long-term stock returns, suggesting that long-termism pays off. But causality could easily run the other way. When a firm’s long-term outlook is worse, it should invest less. This is taught in any Finance 101 class, and is presumably what McKinsey advises its clients.”

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