Posts Tagged ‘Case studies’

Book Review: Impact Investing

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

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Bugg-Levine, Antony. Impact investing : transforming how we make money while making a difference. Jossey-Bass, 2011.

This afternoon (Tuesday, December 6) at 4:00pm, the Fuqua School’s Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship is presenting the 2011 Leadership in Social Entrepreneurship Award to Antony Bugg-Levine, CEO of the Nonprofit Finance Fund.

Bugg-Levine is also author, with Jed Emerson, of Impact Investing, a new book  that describes how for-profit investments can help address social problems.  In Impact Investing, the authors outline a set of investment strategies that generate financial returns while intentionally improving social and environmental conditions.

Instead of viewing management of financial assets as a tradeoff between social and financial results, the authors show how investors can take an integrated approach, generating a blend of values of shareholders and stakeholders alike.   Impact Investing is an optimistic view of what can be achieved when financial assets are managed in unison with values and beliefs.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

Book Review: Science Business

Monday, October 17th, 2011

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Pisano, Gary P. Science business : the promise, the reality, and the future of biotech. Harvard Business School Press, 2006.

Editor’s Note: Guest Reviewer Randall Mayes reviews an older book for our blog this week. But as he points out in his review, the issues raised by Pisano regarding the biotech industry boom are especially relevant in light of today’s uncertain economic climate.

In 2006, Harvard Business School professor and business analyst Gary Pisano wrote Science Business as a case study of the biotechnology industry. The significance of the book is more important today than when it was originally written. At the time, the economy was doing well, so who was asking questions?

Biotechnology is defined as new era in drug discovery which began in 1976 with the use of genetic engineering distinguishing it from when researchers used various other techniques. Although as a whole the biotechnology industry has done well revenue wise since its inception, actually only a few companies are profitable. Consequently, Pisano claims the biotech boom should not have occurred. This phenomenon presents a situation now known as the “Pisano Puzzle.”

After analyzing the biotech sector, Pisano has concerns with the biotech sector’s ability to adapt to other successful business models due to several factors. First, you have risk management with known unknowns which science can deal with; however, it is the unknown unknowns that are problematic. (more…)

Book Review: The Healing of America

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

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Reid, T. R. The healing of America : a global quest for better, cheaper, and fairer health care. Penguin Press, 2009.

Washington Post correspondent T. R. Reid took his injured shoulder to doctors around the world to see how their health care systems would treat his shoulder pain. His American orthopedist recommended that his shoulder be replaced with a man-made titanium device. The orthopedist in France recommended physical therapy to strengthen the muscular system in his shoulder. In India, he received herbal medicines and full-body massages with sesame oil, with surprisingly good results.

The purpose of Reid’s quest was to find out why health care in other free market economies have better outcomes at a lower cost than in the U.S. On basic measures of health systems performance: coverage, quality, cost control and choice, the U.S. is far behind other countries. Reid concludes that in the U.S., the cost is higher due to the complexity of our health care system and the way American health insurance is managed. U.S. private health insurance has the highest administrative costs of any health care payer in the world.

Reid presents several health care models, including the Bismarck model used in Germany, Japan and France; the Beverage model used in the UK, Italy and Spain; and the national health insurance model in Canada. These countries combine universal coverage and government regulation with entrepreneurialism and respect for private markets to produce high-quality, low-cost health care for all.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

Book Review: Supercorp

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

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Kanter, Rosabeth Moss. Supercorp : how vanguard companies create innovation, profits, growth, and social good. Crown Business, 2009.

Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter has a response to the greed-is-good argument. Her new book Supercorp shows that in agile and innovative companies, business performance and social good are intimately connected. In vanguard companies, the corporate culture is both high-performing and humanistic, and provides the foundation for sustainable growth, profit and innovation over the long term.

Vanguard companies are successful and prosperous in their own right and use their core business strengths to address significant societal needs. There are numerous examples of this, including IBM’s response to the tsunami in Asia. Social initiatives are usually selected without profit motive but they provide returns by enhancing the innovation process, by providing positive meaning to employees and by building goodwill in the community.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter is the author of several ground-breaking and best-selling books, including Men and Women of the Corporation, The Change Masters, and When Giants Learn to Dance.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

Book Review: Poorly Made in China

Monday, October 12th, 2009

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Midler, Paul. Poorly made in China : an insider’s account of the tactics behind China’s production game. Wiley, 2009.

Paul Midler could be said to be biting the hand that feeds him. After all, he has built a lucrative career as a China-based manufacturing consultant, using his expert knowledge and insight into Chinese history, language, and culture. And yet, he has penned a work that, while frank in its admiration for many Chinese cultural idiosyncrasies, is also sharply critical of both the questionable ethical basis on which the Chinese have built their gargantuan export economy, and the impatience and greed of American businesses in rushing to embrace the perceived advantages of having their product lines manufactured in China.

In the 240 smoothly written and eminently readable pages of Poorly Made In China, Mr. Midler recounts his daily experiences in creating and managing relationships between Chinese factory owners and American importers, giving us example after example of why the Chinese, in his opinion, win at every hand dealt at the negotiating table of price and quality. Thus the importer and the U.S. consumer often have a good chance of ending up with a product that either degrades in quality over time or increases in cost without benefit to the consumer, or both.


Bernie Madoff: Booked at Ford Library

Monday, September 28th, 2009

bernie made-off

The end of the Bernie Madoff story has yet to be written, but books are already rolling off the presses, including five books in the month of August alone.

Here is a list of titles just purchased by the Ford Library last week.

Tip: If any of these books are currently checked out, you can recall them by clicking the “Get this Title” text in the catalog record when you follow the links above. More about recalls

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

Book Review: What Would Google Do?

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

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Jarvis, Jeff. What would Google do?. Collins Business, 2009.

Media leader and founder of Entertainment Weekly, Jeff Jarvis, describes Google as the first post-media company. He analyzes company principles and shows how companies, organizations and people can use Google’s worldview to re-engineer their own strategy and behavior.

In business, the mass market is gone. Today’s economy is a mass of niches. Google goes to where the customers are, instead of requiring the customers to come to Google. As a network and platform, Google organizes and distributes content to an enormous market and payment is made by people and companies who want to reach that market.

For example, in the old economy, the media covered the cost of publications by charging readers and viewers. In the new economy, the publications are free — media charge advertisers for reaching the customers.

Author Jeff Jarvis recommends that every human being needs a search presence on Google. “Today, if you can’t be found in Google, you might as well not exist.” Exaggeration and hyperbole are abundant in this book. Yet the underlying ideas ring true and the conversational style makes this book an interesting read.

This title is also available in audiobook format in Ford Library.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

MIT Case Studies Online

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

MIT Sloan is now offering free case studies through their new web site called MIT Sloan Teaching Innovation Resources. The case studies cover the following management areas: industry evolution, sustainability, and global entrepreneurship.