Headlines from Around the World

For Rent: Chief Financial Officer, Lagging Health Care, Antitrust Showdown

From the Fall 2009 edition of Vanderbilt Business

coffeepaperFor Rent: Chief Financial Officer

Some small-business owners in need of accounting help to balance their books and guide them out of a financial black hole are renting CFOs rather than hiring them. The strategy comes at a time when the deep recession has forced small companies to look for money-saving alternatives that can yield good returns yet avoid substantial overhead costs. Germain Böer, Professor of Accounting and Director of the Owen Entrepreneurship Center, says business owners often want such a service when their company’s finances are getting more complex and need someone with more financial expertise.

The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 22

How to Manage Your Negotiating Team

Ray Friedman, Brownlee O. Currey Professor of Management, co-authored an article in the Harvard Business Review that discusses how negotiating teams frequently sabotage their own efforts. Friedman argues that a team must first negotiate internally to align its members’ interests and develop a disciplined bargaining strategy.

Harvard Business Review, Sept. 9

Disappearing Foreign MBAs

International applications were down at business schools across the country this year, challenging admissions officers to meet diversity goals and posing questions for the future. John Roeder, Director of Admissions, says the Owen School plans to do more international outreach this fall than ever before. Owen is unusual in that it had a banner year attracting international students. Roeder expects international enrollment to hit 26 percent this year, up 6 percentage points over last year.

BusinessWeek, Aug. 5

Lagging Health Care

A roundup of notable papers and articles includes a brief review of “Why Does the Quality of Health Care Continue to Lag? Insights from Management Research” co-authored by Rangaraj Ramanujam, Associate Professor of Management, and published in Academy of Management Perspectives.

The Economist, June 30

Painful Payments

Covering the estimated 46 million people nationwide without medical insurance won’t come cheap. One recent analysis puts the cost at $1.5 trillion over 10 years. Larry Van Horn, Associate Professor of Health Care Management, says taxing all health care benefits would save the government about $250 billion a year. “Just as importantly, it will result in changes to the design of health plans and reduction in demand for health care services,” he says. “At the end of the day, we can’t afford what we’re consuming now, so we need to consume less.”

The Tennessean, June 15

Antitrust Showdown

A merger between concert promoters Ticketmaster and Live Nation awaits approval by federal antitrust regulators. Critics say the merger could lead to a monopoly within the entertainment industry; proponents say it would enable greater efficiencies. What’s there to like about this merger? The combined company will effectively cut out middlemen, such as independent concert promoters, business managers, lawyers, agents and venue owners who want a piece of the pie, and allow artists to deliver services “quicker, faster, better and cheaper” to their fans, says Luke Froeb, William C. Oehmig Associate Professor in Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise.

Time, June 10

An Uncertain Future

Individual investors are rapidly losing sources of analysis and advice, as money set aside for independent research dries up and Wall Street firms slash budgets. “When [people] have to start paying for equity research, [they] could come to the conclusion it’s not worth all that much to them at the margins,” says Craig Lewis, Madison S. Wigginton Professor of Management in Finance.

Newsweek, May 5

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