“Get With the Program or Go” and Other Lessons of Leadership

International Business and Strategy | February 2nd, 2017 posted
Bert A. Spector

Bert A. Spector

In the following post, D’Amore-McKim School of Business Associate Professor Bert Spector shares his thoughts on leadership strategy in the Trump administration.

“These career bureaucrats have a problem with it?” said Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary. The “it” he referenced was Donald Trump’s January 27, 2017, executive order concerning immigration. “They should either get with the program or they can go.”

Get with the program or go! Who among us hasn’t at some time or another wanted to say that? It’s a thought that may provide comfort in times of uncertainty, turmoil, and change. But does it really represent good leadership? My short answer: not even close.

In my recently published book Discourse on Leadership, I analyze prevailing attitudes toward resistance and obedience on the part of followers to the direction of leaders. I point to Chester Barnard’s classic 1938 study of the functions of an executive, in which he noted that for organizations to achieve their goals, individual members would be required, to some extent, to subordinate themselves to the collective. That modifier, to some extent, offers a powerful insight for all executive leaders.  Read more…

Gold, silver or copper: What Will Shine Under Trump Presidency?

Finance | January 12th, 2017 posted
Jeffrey A. Born

Jeffrey A. Born

In the following post, D’Amore-McKim School of Business Professor Jeffery Born shares his thoughts on the future of mining exchange-traded funds under the Trump presidency.

Recent bullish stock market activity signals that concerns of a near-term recession are low. Given the use of gold in a number of manufactured goods, it is likely that Trump’s influence will bring balance to gold prices.

Copper prices have already jumped in anticipation of stronger demand during the Trump administration. The infrastructure spending that Trump is calling for is going to spill over into demand for industrial metals, and several have already incorporated this into their prices since the election. Thus, I don’t seem much upside in copper.

The ‘sleeper’ since the election has been silver. Silver isn’t the metal of choice when fears start to rise—gold is. Silver is much more of an industrial metal, and I think it is best poised to benefit from the expansion the market expects during the early Trump administration.

Read more…

What a Trump Presidency Could Mean for Global Supply Chains

Supply Chain and Information Management | December 15th, 2016 posted

Robert Murray

In the following post, D’Amore-McKim School of Business Executive Professor of Supply Chain Management Robert Murray explores the potential impacts that the Trump presidency could have on the supply chain industry.

There has been much speculation about the effects that a Trump presidency could have on U.S. economic growth and global supply chains. While we do not know what the future holds, I believe it could go in very different directions depending on whether actions taken mirror the campaign trail or shift toward pragmatism once President-elect Trump takes office.

Campaign activity suggests there may be a push for congressional approval of a 45% tariff on Chinese-made goods, a 35% tariff on Mexican-made goods, as well as the disassembly of NAFTA. These acts could invite retaliation and overall trade could decline—a lot. This type of trade war—even if contained to U.S.-China and U.S.-Mexico—would bring extreme changes around the world and an immediate increase in U.S. consumer inflation.

Read more…

Platforms, Sharing Economy, IoT, and All That Jazz

Entrepreneurship and Innovation | December 1st, 2016 posted
Fernando Suarez

Fernando Suarez

In the following post, D’Amore-McKim School of Business Jean C. Tempel Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fernando Suarez examines the history and future of technological platforms and their impact on the business sector.  

The last 10 years could well be called the decade of platforms in the business world. Platform firms and platform business models have emerged left and right, spread rapidly, and today they represent a significant share of the employment, capitalization and growth in our global economy. A platform can be broadly defined as a good or system that provides a technological architecture that allows different types of users and complementary business partners (often called “complementors”) to connect and benefit from the platform’s base functionality. This broad definition encompasses very different firms and systems such as Amazon, Uber, Google, Apple-iTunes, Airbnb, and Facebook.

The “early” platforms (those that started in the mid-late 1990s to early 2000s) connected different stakeholders who wanted to find, buy, sell, or advertise physical products, intangibles, or services. Good examples of this are Amazon and Facebook. These platforms served as a nexus for a dispersed array of players that, without the platform, would have had a hard time connecting to interact or exchange. As platform businesses have become more established, other special types of platforms have begun to emerge, bringing with them their own buzzwords or category labels. For instance, the so-called “sharing economy” can be considered a specialized form of platform business by which the system that interconnects the different users and complementors is aimed at sharing (renting, most of the time) different types of underutilized assets that were not part of the formal economy before the platform. Airbnb, for instance, allows house dwellers to rent part of their house or flat (e.g. a room) to people that need a place to stay in that location.

Read more…

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