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Archive for the ‘MarketWatch’ Category

GM Ending Joint Venture with Toyota

June 29th, 2009 Comments off

The NUMMI joint venture between Toyota and General Motors will end as a result of the GM bankruptcy.  We discussed NUMMI back in chapter 2 because it was the subject of a (rather dated) textbook problem.

GM to cut ties with Toyota venture. By Shawn Langlois, MarketWatch

Battle for Data Domain Opens Culture Clash

June 15th, 2009 Comments off

The Wall Street Journal has a story today about a Silicon Valley company, Data Domain, that is being courted by two suitors in merger talks.  One is NetApp Inc. from a few miles away and the other is EMC Corp., a giant in the industry headquartered on the East Coast.  There is some interesting information here about the role that organizational culture plays in these kinds of combinations and I find it particular interesting that this is being explored up front.  Too often in mergers the partners find out too late that culture-clash has derailed plans that once looked great on paper.

Some merger experts and West Coast technology workers say there may be another motive in the mix: Silicon Valley companies don’t like being taken over by out-of-towners, especially East Coasters like EMC. Twice in its discussions with EMC, Data Domain says in Securities and Exchange Commission filings, its executives discussed “the cultural fit” between the two companies. They rejected EMC meeting proposals.

Battle for Data Domain Opens Culture Clash — Silicon Valley’s NetApp Is Local Favorite Over Buttoned-Down, East Coast EMC in Bid War. William M. Bulkeley, Ben Worthen. Wall Street Journal. (Eastern edition). New York, N.Y.: Jun 15, 2009. pg. B.1

Data Domain to EMC: What part of ‘no’ do you not get?. DD scours EMC proposals for reasons not to sign. By Chris Mellor

Data Domain tells shareholders not to take EMC offer. Termination fee cited as one factor why Data Domain’s sticking with NetApp. By Dan Gallagher, MarketWatch

Behavior/Culture & Information Overload

May 19th, 2009 Comments off

An interesting piece about how behavioral and cultural influences of the process of information impact productivity in organizations was posted today at MarketWatch.  Some companies have a culture of “the person that sends the most emails wins” that drives people to try to “keep up” with the prolific emailers, for example, and that causes productivity to fall throughout the company.  Instead, companies should set up reward systems and/or compensation plans that are based on actual outcomes and not on perceptions that actually are detrimental to the company performance.  Of course, this is easier said than done.

One thing companies could do: Tell employees their productivity isn’t measured in number of emails sent. Currently, “people need to maintain a certain communication noise level to keep up with everyone else,” said Tony Wright, founder of Seattle-based RescueTime, maker of a tool that measures how people manage their computer time. That’s a cultural problem “that businesses need to attack,” Wright said. “It’s honestly lazy management, in my opinion, to let that be part of your culture.”

Are we overwhelmed yet? Workers face huge influx of information, but they’re on their own in dealing with it. By Andrea Coombes, MarketWatch. 5/18/2009.

Airfares are so low, it’s cheaper to bring a friend than an extra bag

April 12th, 2009 Comments off

Airline pricing has been greatly impacted by the recession, but nothing seems to impact it more than some good old fashioned competition.  The Chicago to Minneapolis route is featured in the article linked below.

I can tell you from personal experience that flights on this route even with 21-day advance purchase were in the neighborhood of $400+ late last year but once Southwest Airlines announced that they were expanding with several flights a day on this route the price fell to under $100.  Recently they are as low as $88 on many airlines (American, United, Northwest, & Southwest all fly this route) and flights to nearby Milwaukee are also under $100 as AirTran has expanded into that market to compete with a faltering/retrenching Midwest Airlines. Unfortunately, flying from MSP to MKE on AirTran currently requires a layover in Atlanta but that is changing soon.  Interestingly enough, the prices on the MSP to Chicago route were cheap before AirTran abandoned that route last year.

Read the article at this link: http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/story.aspx?guid={BCA6AD1A-6A63-4D94-8351-52B8F5A8EAE3}&siteid=rss