May 26, 2022

What if... We revised the business school curriculum?

I attended Texas Christian University as an undergraduate accounting major in the early to mid 1970s.  I then got an MBA and PhD in business-related fields, and began my teaching career in 2000.  Now, nearly 50 years later, I am thinking about what we do in our business schools across the USA.  Clearly, nothing much has changed in the last half century that would impact business education—sorry, just being a bit sarcastic there!  On the contrary, the past 50 years have seen unprecedented change in nearly every aspect of our lives.

Person walking up stairs into the sunlight
May 12, 2022

What if... We got serious about preparing for the future?

As my wife and I contemplate our 68th birthdays, we are increasingly thinking about what we plan to do for our remaining years, and the world we will leave our sons and daughter; even more to the point, what kind of world our 21-month-old grandson will grow up to see.  Because I teach strategy and business ethics courses, I naturally relate national and world issues to a business context.  As I look at the biggest problems facing us now, two related points stand out to me:  1) Business, writ large, is a (perhaps the) large contributor to those issues, and 2)  It is most likely our best chan

Money taken from wallet
Apr 28, 2022

What if... Moral motivation makes you a poor business person?

At some point way back in history, my wife and I were raising three elementary school aged kids.  They each participated in the annual “Odyssey of the Mind” competition, designed to promote creativity among students.  The central ideology of the program was “If it doesn’t say you can’t, you can.”  My wife coached both their teams (I actually know how to do math—two of our kids were on the same team).  Seeing the incredible amount of time and effort she put into that, I quickly opted out of coaching, and volunteered to be a judge at the local level on the day of competition.

Russian-Ukrainian War
Apr 18, 2022

What if... We can make something good out of the Russian Ukraine War?

As I write this column, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is more than a month old, with no readily available resolution in sight.  Unquestionably, the greatest toll is being felt by Ukrainian residents, who are suffering from incessant shelling, forced migration to safer locales, and death.  As many have noted already, this presents the rest of the world with humanitarian and moral crises that we must attend to.  I certainly acknowledge these concerns, and wish I had something useful to say about them, but I don’t feel qualified to do that.

Flower growing
Mar 17, 2022

What if... We insist on growth?

I have previously mentioned the idea of “degrowth” in my thoughts about our approach to global climate change and resource depletion.  I first ran into this concept in the summer of 2019, when I attended the Alternative Economic and Monetary Systems (AEMS) in Vienna.  At that point in my thinking, my opinion was, “Well, of course we have to shrink our impact on the climate and natural resources.  That means we all have to do with less.”  Easy enough to say for an affluent resident of the global West, who while certainly not rich by US standards, doesn’t miss any meals, either.

"Freedom of Speech" on Piece of Tape
Mar 09, 2022

First Amendment Rights

You may have seen the signs around campus announcing First Amendment Rights training at UNI. I am a staunch believer in the First Amendment. The amendment is a key freedom setting America apart from totalitarian, authoritarian, and even other democratic governments. I encourage you to complete the training; it doesn’t take long, and you’ll learn some interesting aspects of the First Amendment.

Gavel on a Book
Feb 28, 2022

What if... We must hold rule-breakers accountable?

On November 17, 2021, prior to the US House of Representative’s vote to censure Rep. Paul Gosar, Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, from Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, delivered a fiery speech on the House floor, part of which attacked a fellow Congresswoman, Ilhan Omar, from Minnesota.  US Representative Lauren Boebert, from Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, was elected to her post in 2020.  Boebert has quickly gained a reputation for “ugly and unsavory” actions, and using politics to promote her personal brand.

Woman Thinking
Feb 23, 2022

What if... We told ourselves a different story?

“Ideas matter.”  As I have noted in previous blog posts, this was a mantra chanted by my dissertation advisor, Jon Shepard, during my Ph.D. program at Virginia Tech.  Jon, trained as a sociologist, and by then, Chair of the Management Department in the business school, was referring to the vital importance of our thinking on the ways we structure our organizations, institutions, and societies.  He was conveying that the ways we live, the rules we observe, the social structures we create, are all derived from someone’s ideas—they are NOT preordained or natural law.

Man whispering secret
Jan 26, 2022

Trust and Gossip

Decades ago, my sister and her friend were sharing gossip about their junior high classmates. My Mom overheard them and admonished them: “Don’t gossip.” The lesson still resounds, as the friend has recollected to me recently.

Amazon Return Sign
Jan 05, 2022

Consumer Abuse of Retailers' Return Policies

Internet shopping precludes trying things on before purchasing. Free shipping has become the industry norm. As with any resource, “free” shipping leads to wasteful behavior. Customers order two or three sizes of a particular style, since they don’t pay directly for shipping. Retailers hope that maintaining customer goodwill will be beneficial.