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B-School Bulletin: Profs Weigh In On Cambridge Analytica

Alexander Nix, CEO of Cambridge Analytica, speaking at Web Summit 2017 in Lisbon. Nix and Cambridge Analytica have come under controversy for unethical data mining and usage of as many as 50 million Facebook users

News from NYU Stern School of Business 

“After five days of near-silence from on the Cambridge Analytica scandal that harvested data from millions of Facebook users, Mark Zuckerberg set out on an apology tour by sitting down for interviews with a number of news organizations last week including Wired, The New York Times and CNN.

“Beginning in 2014, Cambridge Analytica used data captured from over 270,000 Facebook users through a personality quiz. Data was then accessed from friends lists, ultimately amassing information from over 50 million profiles.

“Christopher Wylie, a former employee at Cambridge Analytica who left the company in 2014, blew the whistle on the unethical data usage earlier this month. The information gathered — including status updates, likes, location and sometimes even private messages — was sold to several political campaigns in 2016, including that of President Donald Trump.”

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A Penn Grad’s Company — With Ties To Trump — Is Under Fire For Allegedly Cheating Investors

News from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania

“An Indian real estate investment company co-founded by a Penn graduate and School of Engineering and Applied Science board member Anurag Bhargava has been accused of defrauding foreign investors of at least $147 million, according to The Washington Post.

“IREO, which the 1989 Wharton and Engineering graduate co-founded, has allegedly ‘illegally (siphoned) off’ close to $150 million of invested money. IREO was founded in 2004 to attract foreign investment in the Indian real estate market, and has become one of the most successful real estate private equity firms in India.

“A criminal complaint — filed by ‘two global investment companies based in New York and London that have invested nearly $300 million’ in IREO — named Bhargava as a perpetrator of ‘large-scale fraud.’”

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Carola Frydman’s detailed, hands-on research approach is a hallmark of her scholarship. Photo by Eileen Molony

A Big Thinker With An Eye For Detail

News from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management 

“Carola Frydman spends most days in a library, poring over public records and other documents as she excavates the world’s economic past. A well-regarded authority on financial history, especially of large firms and public corporations, the Kellogg School of Management finance professor relies on archival research for insight into the social and market conditions that have led to today’s economic climate.

“That research could lead to a comprehensive understanding of how corporations have evolved and shaped the modern American economy, as well as how financial markets and institutions can create sustainable long-term growth.”

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The Truth About Gender Stereotypes

News from INSEAD

“Negative stereotypes are intertwined with bias in organisations. Even when they aren’t openly expressed, stereotypes can disadvantage members of under-represented groups on several levels: recruitment, demands on time, resource allocation, evaluation, retention and promotion. In addition to the usual pressure to succeed, these employees are sometimes acutely aware of being judged on the basis of stereotypes. The ensuing psychological burden, combined with the above-mentioned disadvantages, can increase their likelihood of underperformance, thus ‘proving’ the stereotype was correct. Bias gets stacked upon bias.

“For women, the issue is complicated by documented gender differences. (How accurate they are and whether those differences are due more to nature or nurture is another matter.) For example, some evidence shows that women are more risk-averse than men. Even in the studies that show this, however, there are many men who are more risk-averse than the average woman and many women who are less risk-averse than the average man. Yet people generally see women and men as categorically different. Why does this matter and what can we do?”

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Eric Johnson

Kelley’s Eric Johnson Discusses New Prebys Career Services Center

News from Indiana University Kelley School of Business

“Since Kelley’s graduate and undergraduate career offices moved into the new Conrad Prebys Career Services Center in January, I’ve been asked dozens of times what I think about the new building. My answer surprises many.

“‘It’s very nice,’ I tell them, ‘as a building. But as a statement, it’s one of the most important buildings on any campus in the world today.

“Hyperbole? I think not. It’s true that the new Prebys center provides the Kelley School of Business with sorely needed upgrades in its career services spaces, all of which will help our teams better support our students.”

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