Archive for the ‘Harvard Business School’ Category

Corporate Social Responsibility in a Downturn

August 3rd, 2009 Comments off

A short Harvard Business School piece about Corporate Social Responsibility in rough economic times contends that it is more important than ever for companies to push CSR programs when times are tough.  This echoes the sentiments in some pieces I’ve posted recently such as the one that discussed the importance of spending on quality initiatives even when the economy is hurting.

Corporate Social Responsibility in a Downturn.  Q&A with V. Kasturi Rangan. August 3, 2009. By Martha Lagace.  HBS Working Knowledge.

Language & Culture in Mulitnational Organizations

June 16th, 2009 Comments off

The link below is to a lengthy piece about native and non-native English speakers working together globally within organizations where English has been mandated as the “lingua franca” either formally or informally.  Reading the whole analysis is probably overkill as far as how it relates to our course, but the example of the role organizational culture (and cultures of different geographic regions too I suppose) plays in the process of sharing information/knowledge, even among those that want to share this information, is interesting.

We can draw similar parallels in our classroom environment given the high percentage of students that do not speak English as their first language.  This class is hard enough, but throw in a language barrier and it is truly admirable the effort and performance exhibited by so many that could very easily choose to give up instead.  Congratulations to those of for whom English is not your first language — perhaps the attached study will give us all some insight into the kinds of choices we can make to make the communication barrier lower for everyone.

Walking Through Jelly: Language Proficiency, Emotions, and Disrupted Collaboration in Global Work. By Tsedal Beyene, Pamela J. Hinds, and Catherine Durnell Cramton. Harvard Business School, 2009.

Gray Markets and Multinational Transfer Pricing

April 15th, 2009 Comments off

Harvard Business School often publishes longer papers about concepts we cover in class.  I was alerted to one released today that deals with transfer pricing, specifically with regard to “gray market” goods.  Gray market goods are those that are meant to be sold in one geographic region but because shipping and discovery costs are so low they become available in different markets.  An example would be prescription drugs that are made in the USA but intended for sale in Canada making there way back into the US marketplace.  Another would be VW autos meant for sale in Europe being privately shipped to North America for use because doing so is cheaper than purchasing goods through the normal wholesale/retail channels.

Visit this link to read the executive summary and abstract:

Or access the PDF report directly at:

This paper is very in-depth and beyond the scope of what we cover in class in terms of transfer pricing, but it may be interesting to you nonetheless.  Consider looking it over if you have time as the first several pages are fairly easy reading, but once it dives into the mathematical models and such it gets overwhelming rather quickly.