Past Management Publications

 

A business process change framework for examining the implementation of six sigma: a case study of Dow Chemical
Special issue on Six Sigma, 2004, Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 273-283.
By Jaideep Motwani, Ashok Kumar, & Jiju Antony
 

Dow Chemical's implementation of six sigma is a well-documented success story.  In a short course of about three years, Dow's six-sigma program has surpassed most expectations and goals of strategic and financial performance.  Currently, the Dow's program has registered an impressive $1.5b savings since 1999.  Furthermore, the program has been very effective in creating an environment for positive, powerful cultural change that is consistent with Dow's lofty global and human objectives.  In this paper, a business process change framework is used to examine the factors that facilitated or inhibited the success of six-sigma quality efforts at the Dow Chemical Company.  The data for this study were obtained through interviews, questionnaire survey and archival sources.  This work is expected to serve as a basis for evaluating the nature of the impact that six sigma implementation practices would have on a firm's performance.

A Profile of Successful Use of Internet among West Michigan Family Businesses
Seidman Business Review, Winter 2004, pp. 18-19.
By Simha R. Magal & Nancy M. Levenburg
 

Most business scholars agree that the Internet, which emerged as a commercial medium for both information and transactions in 1990s, has forever changed the business landscape.  E-business applications support all parts of an organization's value chain, including promotion, procurement, production, recruiting, and more; and there has been a steady increase in online buying in terms of unit volume, dollar volume, and as a percent of total sales (Scheleur and King, 2003).  While there is anecdotal evidence that family owned businesses (FOBs) are going online at a rapid pace (Messmer, 2002).  This study (Davis and Harveston, 2000) indicates that the use of technology within family firms influences growth and internationalization.  However, how and why this occurred is uncertain.

During the spring of 2003, we conducted a study to explore family firms; use of the Internet and gain insights into successful use of Internet applications.  More specifically, we sought to identify: (1) the motivations for engaging in e-business, and (2) the specific applications used by FOBs.  The survey was mailed to CEOs of approximately 1,365 family owned firms in West Michigan.

A Study of the Effects of Multi-level Layouts on Quality
International Journal or Quality and Productivity Management,
December 14, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 01
By Cheng, C.H., Madan, M.S., Miltenburg, J., & Motwani, J.
 

Layout has commonly been studied as a single-level problem.  Even though single-level layouts are common, locations where land is expensive, multi-level layouts are still practical.  Also, because of several existing multi-level layouts, the redesign of multi-level layouts is of considerable interests to manufacturers.  Very few researchers have studied the multi-level layout problem.  Researchers who have studied the multi-level layout problem have often considered quantitative criteria such as minimizing cost of material handling.  In this research, we develop propositions related to quality based on Juran's framework.  In addition, we study the effects of multi-level layouts on quality.

An Innovative General Education Program
Seidman Business Review, Vol. X, Winter 2004, pp. 23
By Marie McKendall
 

In a recent survey of 110 graduating Seidman School of Business students, only 28% reported that they found in useful to take business courses outside their major and 21% said it was useful to take courses outside the business school.  Eighty percent said that the applicability of any course to future jobs is one of the most important factors when they choose their courses.  These perceptions, coupled with other results from the survey, indicated that our business school students have a very utilitarian approach towards education; i.e., they see their years at GVSU primarily as an avenue to earn a credential that will eventually secure them a job.  I think it is fair to state that most or our professional students resent having to take general education courses and view such requirements as a hindrance to the important task of completing the business curriculum.

An Integrative Perspective on the Stages Model of Turnaround: The Tribeni Case Study
IBAT Journal of Management, (2004), 1(1) 1-23.
By Vipin Gupta & Kumkum Mukerjee
 

In this article, we revisit the stages model of turnaround.  The received models identify four stages in the synoptic process of turnaround: decline, response initiation, transition, and outcome.  We highlight the need to add performative analysis to better understand the managerial challenges of turnaround.  Using a combination of the synoptic and performative approaches, we investigate the process of turnaround at Tribeni Tissues - now part of ITC - over a more than ten years period.  We show that instead of a stylized response initiation-transition-outcome sequence, a turnaround process - especially in the contexts of emerging resource scarce market - may be characterized by successive response initiation-transition-outcome sequences that build on the prior milestones.  This performance process operates to redefine and align the culture of the organization so that it is on course for enacting new visions with a committed cast.  The implications of the findings for the theory of turnaround and for the managers are identified.

Analysis of Business process analysis tools and techniques
International Business & Economics Research Conference, October 2004
By Parag Kosalge
 

Success of organizational change depends on simultaneous analysis and change in all its major constituent elements, ad they support, enable and influence each other [Talwar 1994].  Any effort that neglects analysis and implementation of change in even one of its elements will either fail, or will not be sustainable.  The neglected element will force the organization to an undesired and unpredicted state.  This is on of the chief causes of business process reengineering (BPR) failures, that are estimated at 70%.  "Human behavior" forms a major constituent element of an organization and yet neglected by contemporary BPR methodologies.  They fail to systematically capture it for study, analysis and necessary re-alignment with the changed processes, structures, etc.  They fail to integrate human behavior with business processes and hence fail to acknowledge their active interdependence while redesigning processes.

Case study of two manufacturing organizations confirmed that critical problems in business operations arising from organizational sub-cultures could not be captured by existing business process analysis methodologies.  They failed to capture the element of "culture" and therefore the phenomenon of "casual patterns".

This paper analyses various process mapping and analysis approaches in the light of these observations.  The research is important in the era of ERP and ecommerce, where process change usually precedes implementation and remains as a major elements of its success.

Benchmarking Customer Service on the Internet: Best Practices from Family Businesses
Benchmarking: An International Journal, Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.
By Nancy M. Levenburg
 

The importance of using the Internet to achieve competitive advantage has been well-documented.  An ever-expanding array of technologies exist that enable firms to accomplish customer service online.  Yet for many firms, determining which applications to employ can be perplexing.  This study examines the practices of service sector market leaders and measures performance results of adopting selected customer service applications.  Findings suggest that while email with current customers and for customer services purposes are viewed as "expected," the greatest pay-offs come from adopting more sophisticated applications, including online product demonstration, ordering, delivery, and order tracking.

Beyond the BusinessSchool: An Interdisciplinary Examination of Interest in Entrepreneurship
Proceedings of the Academy of Entrepreneurship, Las Vegas, 2003, Vol. 9, No. 2.
By Nancy M. Levenburg & Paul M. Lane
 

The importance of entrepreneurship to the economic health of the U.S. has been well-documented.  Interest in creating and owning a small business has never been greater than it is today.  Moreover, students are increasingly choosing to start their own businesses both before and during college as well as post-graduation.  While traditional, specialized majors within many business schools are designed from the perspective that graduation students will seek employment in specialized departments within large established organizations, students who are interested in creating new businesses or rapidly growing existing firms need to develop an array of skills that will support their new venture, including planning, risk-taking, market analysis, problem-solving, to name a few.. This is because successfully launching a new product venture requires the mastery and blending of skills that are different from those required to maintain an organization.  An additional complication arises from the fact that while new venture opportunities exist within nearly all academic disciplines, the majority of entrepreneurship initiatives at U.S. colleges and universities are offered by business schools& and for business students.  If a goal is to assist students within as well as outside the business school, it is important to understand the similarities and differences among business school students and their non-business counterparts.

A study was conducted among all students enrolled in courses during the summer of 2003 at a U.S. Midwestern regional university regarding their entrepreneurial backgrounds, interests, and needs.  Students were able to complete the 27-item survey electronically.  In total, 728 students responded to the survey during a one-week period in June.  Among all respondents, 59.1 percent expressed a desire to start their own new venture and 73.5 percent indicated that they wanted to be self-employed, with no significant differences between business and not-business majors.  Chi-square testing failed to reveal differences between academic major and interest in starting a business or between academic major and awareness of new venture opportunities within their academic disciplines, suggesting that perceptions and interest in new ventures do not lie exclusively within the business school; instead, they are perceived to exist throughout University disciplines.  A moderate positive correlation was found between students' interest in starting a business and interest in taking entrepreneurship courses, with the strongest interest in entrepreneurship courses coming from academic disciplines outside of the business school and engineering, the two disciplines that most frequently offer entrepreneurship courses and curricula.  One interpretation is that many business majors regard their "traditional" education as adequate preparation to start a new business, should they desire to do so.  Thus, it seems as through it may be time for some business schools to look beyond their own internal constituents (e.g., majors) if they truly desire to serve the interdisciplinary student population.

Business Education in India - The Quality Dialogue
IBAT JOM, Vol. 1, No. 2, July, 2004
By Vipin Gupta and Kamala Gollakota
 

Outside of the US, India now trains largest number of MBAs with about 75,000 degrees annually.  The Indian government has liberalized the business education market over the 1990s, resulting in a rapid growth of business schools offering programs at both undergraduate as well as graduate levels.  Indian business schools have sought to replicate the US-based organizational, pedagogical, curricula, industrial-interface, and academic research models, but are struggling to introduce several adaptations because of the differences in the work culture system.  In the paper, quality status of the contemporary business education in India is discussed.

Content Analysis of Data Envelopment Analysis Literature and Comparison with that of Other OR/MS Fields
Journal of the Operational Research Society, 2004, Vol. 55, pp. 911-935.
By Said Gattoufi, Mugittin Oral, Ashok Kumar, & Arnold Reisman

Content analysis was performed on the Date Envelopment Analysis (DEA) literature appearing in refereed journals.  The extant DEA literature, (Gattoufi et al(200a)) was subdivided in two ways.  The first considers all articles appearing during the life-cycle of 22 selected major DEA publishing journals.  The second considers all post-1995 DEA articles.  Content was judged on the basis of a two-point scale representing advancements in theory; a five-point scale indicating contributions to practice; and on seven distinguishable strategies applied by the authors in pursuing their research.  Lastly, DEA was compared with similarly obtained results describing the life-cycle literatures of Flow Shop Scheduling and of Cell Manufacturing. 

Coordinating Ordering/Shipment Policy for Buyer and Supplier: Numerical and Empirical Analysis of Influencing Factors
13th Annual Symposium on Inventories, Budapest, Hungary, August 22-27, 2004
Kelle, P., Miller, P.A., & Akbulut, A.
 

Typically in supply chain management the buyers want their orders sent in small, frequent shipments according to Just-In-Time delivery.  On the other hand, the supplier's optimal arrangement would be to have large manufacturing lot sizes and ship the order in one large shipment.  Several quantitative and qualitative results have been published recently on the coordination and cooperation between the two parties suggesting joint channel-optimal ordering/shipment policies.  We extend these results in two directions by: 1) presenting the results of a detailed numerical analysis on the influencing factors as well as their effect and 2) summarizing the semi-formal interviews with purchasing professionals and supplier representatives on their perceptions about those factors.

Creating, Capturing and Sustaining Value: The Case of the West Michigan Furniture Industry
Seidman Business Review, Volume X, Winter 2004
By Vipin Gupta and undergraduate Policy course students
 

The office furniture business in West Michigan has been going through the second major postwar slump in its history.  The first slump was in the 1950s when America's furniture makers challenged the leadership of West Michigan furniture business by migrating to North Carolina.  At the time, the effects on the West Michigan economy were mitigated through diversification, innovation, and niche markets strategies.  The effects of the current slump have been far more devastating; more that 100,000 furniture-making jobs have been lost in the U.S.  The larger firms have faced far more difficulties, though many smaller ones, such as John Widdicomb - the oldest area furniture business - have gone out of business.

Curriculum Integration using Enterprise Resource Planning: An Integrative Case Approach
Journal of Education for Business, November/December 2004, Vol. 80, No. 2, pp. 93-101.
By David M. Cannon, Helen A. Klein, Lori L. Koste, & Simha R. Magal
 

Efforts to achieve greater curriculum integration in schools of business have included team teaching, student group rejects, multidisciplinary cases, and, more recently, the use of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.  Although these approaches are beneficial, they tend to be implemented on an ad hoc basis rather than through curriculum redesign.  In this study, the authors address this limitation and describe an alterative approach that makes use of a fictional company that is simultaneously developed as a case and implemented in an ERP system.  This approach offers the opportunity to achieve multidisciplinary, curriculum-wide integration.

Delivering Customer Value Online: An Analysis of Practices, Applications, and Performance
Journal of Retailing and Customer Services, Elsevier Publications, September 2004.
By Nancy M. Levenburg
 

An expanding array of technologies exist that can enable retailers to add value to product/service offerings online.  Yet for many firms, determining which applications to employ can be perplexing.  This study examines dimensions of service orientation among market leaders and measure performance results of adopting selected customer service applications.  Findings suggest that while a majority of retailers use the Internet to enhance company image, greater pay-offs come from offering more online services, particularly those that may be use by customers in the acquisition process (e.g., e-mail and online ordering) and for post-purchase support.

Does Size Matter?: Small Firms' Use of E-Business Tools in the Supply Chain
EM-Electronic Markets: The International Journal of Electronic Commerce & Business Media
By Nancy M. Levenburg
 

The Internet was envisioned as a powerful tool enabling small firms to 'level the playing field' when competing with larger firms.  Yet, the benefits of e-business are accruing to larger, rather than smaller, firms.  Using the European Union's definitions for micro, small, and medium-sized organizations (SMEs), the purpose of this study was to examine the implementation of e-business tools and technologies, particularly with respect to supply chain management.  A six-page self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data from 395 U.S. SMEs in a region of the country that is noted for its history and prominence of small business ownership.  This study finds significantly different patterns in usage of e-business tools within the supply chain and performance results.  While using the Internet to find information is important for all firms, micro firms (maximum of ten employees) attach greater importance to using the Internet for research purposes (e.g., find new sources of supply) and lesser for communication reasons (i.e., e-mail with supply chain members).  This pattern is reversed for small and medium - sized firms.

El Impacto de la Ciencia y la Technologia en la Etica y Filosofia de las Empresas
Proceedings of the XII Congreso CLAIO, Havana, Cuba, October 2004
By Edmundo Resenos Diaz & Carol M, Sanchez
 

La intensidad con que la humanidad genera desarrollos cient¿ficos y tecnol¿gicos, esta dotando al hombre de capacidad para construir y reconstruir su realidad con esa misma intensidad.  En una obervacion simple y rapida, es posible percibir el gran numero de bienes y servicios que son obras, inventos del hombre, que lo rodean, lo sustentan, y le dan vida (Sandberg, 2000; Shaley, Gilson y Blum, 2000).  En comparaci¿n, hay un infimo numero de bienes y servicios que obtenemos de la naturaleza sin la intervenci¿n del hombre.  Es mas intensiva y desenfreada la construcci¿n, reconstrucci¿n, recreaci¿n del planeta tierra: la naturaleza lo crea, el hombre lo transforma.

E-mail and Internet Monitoring: Is There Privacy in the Workplace?
International Journal of Knowledge, Culture, and Change Management, 2004
By Suzanne M. Crampton and John W. Hodge
 

The technological revolution within the work place has provided employers with a variety of computer tools to communicate, conduct business, and maintain records.  However, with the increased use of computer technology, employers have concern that their computer resources may be abused by their employees or by others who may gain illegal access to their data.  This paper will review some of the issues and concerns surrounding the use of computer technology within the work environment and the increasing use of E-mail and Internet monitoring techniques.  While employees view monitoring as an invasion of privacy, we will discuss the employer's need to monitor and provide guidelines for the effective monitoring of a firm's computer system. 

Emphasis or Balance: The Impact of Form of Market Orientation on Firm Performance
Journal of Global Marketing, 2004, 17 (2/3): 115-139.
By Pradeep Gopalakrishna & Ram Subramanian
 

A sample of 162 Indian manufacturing and service companies were used to examine different forms of market orientation and the impact of these forms on organizational performance.  A cluster-analysis identified four distinct clusters: "underdeveloped", "customer-focused", "competitor-focused", and "comprehensive".  The performance of these clusters differed significantly across growth in overall revenue, ability to retain customers, success of new products/services, controlling operational expenses, and return on capital.  Implications of these findings for firms competing in India's post-economic liberalization milieu are discussed.

Exponential smoothing models: A set of Paradoxes
41st Midwest Business Administration Association Conference Proceedings, Chicago, 2004
By Ashok Kumar & Arnold Reisman
 

Exponential Smoothing Forecasting (ESF) models are used worldwide for forecasting demand having level, trend, seasonal, or trend-seasonal patterns.  Notwithstanding their ubiquitous application, we demonstrate that the EFS models that use arbitrary values of model parameters are more likely to produce more useful forecasts than those using analytically optimized parameter values.  Paradoxically, when these optimal values of the model parameters are used to make future forecasts, all forecasts have a flat, consistent value irrespective of the actual demand pattern; rendering forecasts useless for all practical purposes.

Factors in JIT Ordering/Shipment Policy Coordination: Numerical and Empirical Analysis
35th Annual Meeting of the Decision Sciences Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, November 20-23, 2004.
By Kelle, P., Miller, P.A., & Akbulut, A.
 

The deficiencies in previous quantitative models for buyer-supplier coordination in a JIT environment where corrected.  An expanded model incorporating additional factors was developed and the factors were ranked through a detailed numerical analysis.  Factor ranks were compared with results of a series of semi-formal interviews with supplier and purchasing representatives.

From Corporate Crisis to Turnaround in East Asia: A Study of China Huajing Electronics Group Corporation
Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 2004, 21 (1/2): 213-233
By Vipin Gupta and Jifu Wang
 

In this article, we investigated some of the pre-conditions of crisis faced by technology-focused firs, as a group, in the emerging markets facing globalization and looked at the modalities for turnaround.  We applied the "entrepreneurial leadership" model recently proposed by Gupta, Macmillian and Surie (2004) for defining the processes needed for adapting to the globalization-induced crisis.  Our context for the globalization-induced crisis was the 1007 East Asian crisis, and we studied how the crisis galvanized a leading Chinese electronics firm - Huajing - to develop and execute a turnaround strategy for recovering from a near bankruptcy state.  We discussed how organizational and other factors conjoined to create crisis at Huajing in the midst of globalization and trace the process through which entrepreneurial leadership was implemented.  We distil various insights into a prototypical, unified model that underscores the significance of entrepreneurial leadership in developing and applying the different strategic flexibility platforms embedded in the resources and capabilities of the firms and in generating a relationship-anchored market position.  The findings suggest that in situations where the crisis occurs at the level of organizational field, firms need turnaround strategies that help strengthen not only their organizational field but also their own value generation capabilities. 

Identifying The Gap Between Student and Faculty Expectations: Report from a Business School
2004 International Applied Research Conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico
By Marie McKendall, Yatin Bhagwat, Daniel C. Geideman, Helen A. Klein, & Nancy M. Levenburg
 

This paper discusses differences between faculty members' standards and expectations and undergraduate students' attitudes and behavior related to business school education.  The results show students' primary motivation for attending college is to obtain a credential.  They spend significantly less time on coursework and they devote more time to socializing.  While students consider themselves as quite skilled and motivated, there are substantial differences between perceptions of tenured/tenure-track and non-tenure track faculty.

In Search of Innovators in the University Community
Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) 2004 Annual Conference, June 2004.
By John Farris, Nancy Levenburg, and Paul Lane.
 

An interdisciplinary team of faculty charged with developing an entrepreneurship program discovered that innovation flourishes outside of business and engineering.  In the summer of 2003, eight faculty members - six from the School of Business and two from the School of Engineering - gathered to construct an entrepreneurship program that would prepare students to conceive, evaluate and launch entrepreneurial ventures.  As a first step, a survey was conducted to measure students' interest in entrepreneurship.  To the surprise of the authors, students outside the engineering and business schools appeared to be more interested in starting their own business.  These students have more new venture ideas and were more alert to opportunities for new businesses.  These survey respondents cam from Science and Math, Arts and Humanities, Nursing and Education.

Now where are the engineering and business faculty members to teach innovation, new product processes and entrepreneurship to non-engineering and not-business students? Do you have entrepreneurial faculty who can develop and champion entrepreneurship programs?  Who among your faculty is capable of teaching the appropriate mix of theory and practice to feed the entrepreneur's passion for innovation?  These innovators need practical interdisciplinary courses to assess the feasibility of their ideas.  Further many need to work with engineering professionals to transform their ideas into realistic designs and prototypes.  Have you got faculty who are comfortable doling out engineering as needed?  The quick answer to all these questions is probably, "No."  Are we missing the opportunity to build the communities in which we live by failing to encourage, support, and lead innovation?

Integrating Quality Function Deployment and Benchmarking to Achieve Greater Profitability: Using Service Department as a Free Agent for Innovation
Benchmarking - An international Journal, 2005
By Jaideep Motwani, Ashok Kumar, & T. Dhakar
 

In this paper, we propose a framework for utilizing Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and Benchmarking in combination to chalk out an improvement plan that redesigns or modifies existing processes to a point where they consume the least amount of resources while imparting the maximum value (in the sense of customer satisfaction) to the output.  Using a real world case study, we demonstrate that the marriage of two tools - QFD and benchmarking - is synergistic in its import and vital to a company's strategic and financial superiority.  The product and process design was improved by using the combination of QFD and Benchmarking techniques discussed in the paper.  As a result, the company accomplished significant financial and strategic results.  The case study includes competitiveness analysis at the first House of Quality but not at the subsequent Houses of Quality due to lack of information from the competitors.  However, we demonstrate the competitiveness analysis at the first House of Quality which can be extended to all subsequent Houses of Quality.  The research would be useful to academicians and practitioners in developing their own integrated versions of QFD and Benchmarking methodologies to improve their products and processes and gain strategic advantage.  Despite the mutual dependence between a firm's strategic and financial performance and the consequent dependence on market share and profitability, which can both be maximized using QFD and benchmarking, the research that employs both techniques is virtually non-existent. 

Job Sharing: A Viable Work Alternative for the New Millennium
revised and resubmitted

By Suzanne M. Crampton and Jitendra M. Mishra
 

Job sharing typically is defined as to workers sharing the duties of one full-time position.  While there are many benefits to this work option, disadvantages also exist and the individuals involved must be capable of working as efficiently as one employee.  Radical changes have occurred in the work force in recent years.  Companies have been reexamined this alternative work arrangement during a time of tremendous diversity and change in order to keep up with the challenges and to more effectively utilize the work force.  This paper explores the job sharing concept, discusses the results of a survey examining job sharing perceptions among employees and managers, and outlines why it is a viable alternative in the workplace today. 

Making Mandatory Pre-Dispute Arbitration Clauses Work for Non-Union Employment Disputes
Journal for Legal Studies in Business, 2004. Vol. 10, pp. 43-60.
By Maris Stella (Star) Swift, Catherine Jones-Rikkers, & James Sanford
 

Most employers, no matter how conscientious, will eventually find themselves facing an employment-related lawsuit.  Currently, employers adopt one of two strategies when dealing with employment-based lawsuits.  Some employers choose to continue current business practices and wait until they get notice of the lawsuit.  Under this more passive approach, once they receive the complaint, the employers can deal with the problem in the most cost efficient and least destructive manner possible. A second choice, frequently considered by a growing number of businesses, involves requiring that employees take all workplace disputes to binding arbitration rather than to court.  This more active approach requires employees to sign mandatory arbitration agreements as a condition of employment and has recently been upheld under two United States Supreme Court cases.

This article will: (1) discuss the change in federal law on this topic over the past thirty years; (2) discuss key state and federal cases related to mandatory arbitration; (3) discuss business/legal strategy in adopting mandatory arbitration agreements for employment-related disputes, and (4) discuss the potential for Equal Employment Opportunity commission (EEOC) involvement in these types of cases.  Even though mandatory arbitration agreements are not always popular with employees, the authors recommend their adoption.  We take the position, because the agreements appear to be the most cost efficient and least disruptive way of settling employment-related disputes.

Measuring the Educational Impact of an Integrative Technology
Journal of the Academy of Business Education, 2004
By Lori L. Koste and Helen A. Klein
 

Business schools often adopt Enterprise Resource Planning systems to enhance the educational experience.  However, little ah been done to determine if the gains warrant the expense.  We explore ERP as an educational technology, focusing on the best practices of collaboration, active learning, feedback and time on task [Chickering and Gamson 1987].  A survey instrument was developed and Exploratory Factor Analysis of the data identified five factors:  Collaborative Learning, Engaged Learning, Technology Responsive Learning, Training Satisfaction, and Technology Satisfaction.  ANOVA demonstrated several significant differences in these factors across semesters, thereby indicating technology is on e means of supporting best practices in educations. 

Motivations for Engaging in E-Business
Proceedings of the 10th Americas Conference on Information Systems, New York, NY, August 2004.
By Simha R. Magal & Nancy M. Levenburg
 

This study seeks to identify the reasons organizations implement e-business applications.  Nineteen such motivations were identified from the literature.  A survey was constructed to evaluate the importance of these motivations as well as their level of satisfaction with the results achieved in each area.  Four hundred and fourteen responses were obtained.  Factor analysis revealed four factors (motivations).  They were labeled marketing, communication, e-profitability, and research.  A psychometric assessment of the questionnaire revealed satisfactory results, but did not identify areas were further refinements are warranted.  The relative importance and satisfaction with performance in each of these five factors are analyzed.  Implications for research and practice are discussed. 

Power Distance
Chapter in book. (2004) Chapter 17, pp 513-563
Carl, D., Gupta, V., & Javidan, M.
 

One of the GLOBE dimensions of societal and organizational values and practices in Power Distance.  Broadly speaking, this dimension reflects the extent to which a community accepts and endorses authority, power differences, and status privileges.  It is an important aspect of a community's culture and has been related to a variety of behaviors in organizations and societies in the literatures.  This chapter will present a review of the literature relevant to cultural influences on power distance values and practices as well as the GLOBE findings on power distance.  We will first explain the concept of power distance and its societal and organizational correlates, and then move on to the historical, religious, and psychological roots of power distance in societies.  We will then describe the GLOBE scales used to measure the Power Distance construct at the societal and organizational levels and appraise the effects of power distance on the culturally implicit support for leadership theories at organizational and societal levels.  In the last part of the chapter we will report the study of the relationships between power distance and a variety of indicators of societal economic prosperity and the individual psychological and physical welfare of the members of the societies studied. 

Reform Of State Owned Enterprises In China: A Metaphorical Analysis of the Large 'Enterprise Group' Approach
IBAT Journal of Management, (2004), 1(1) 1-23.
By Vipin Gupta & Jifu Wang
 

Chinese government has been focusing on a large enterprise group policy for the reform of the state owned enterprises.  Research suggests that through some of the Chinese large enterprise groups have been very successful internationally, most have not been that successful.  The reasons for the lack of success, of the large enterprise policy, are not very well know.  In this article, we conduct a metaphoric analysis of the large enterprise group policy, using a case study of Sichuan Chemical Works, a major chemical enterprise in China.  Our findings support the hypothesis that the modernization process of the large enterprise groups is guided by the "political metaphor".  At different points in time, different metaphors became salient.  The domination metaphor, for instance, encourage reengineering of the organizational machine.  To meet the challenges of the flux and transformation, the organization was entrapped in a "psychic prison"; the entrapment was induced by the government priorities on a product-market segment unrelated to the technological competencies of SCW.  The discussion highlight implications for more sustainable reform of the state owned enterprises.

Role of Alcohol in Business Negotiations
Proceedings of the Business and Health Administration Association, Chicago, IL, March 2004.
By Frank Coronado & Jitendra M. Mishra
 

Alcohol in business negotiations is a growing concern for many organizations.  Alcohol consumption costs American business over $86 billion annually in lost productivity, absenteeism, and health care costs (Mintcloud, 1991).  It is significant for managers to make a decision to drink carefully and rationally.  Alcohol has gone along with business transactions for centuries, whereby consuming alcohol is an essential part of the business dealings.  Many business negotiations are conducted in bars and restaurants under influence of alcohol.  This paper discusses the influence of alcohol on business negotiations & role of alcohol in many cross cultural settings.

Smokers' Rights in the Workplace
North American Management Society Conference Proceedings, Chicago, IL, 2004
By Susanne M. Crampton, John W. Hodge, and Jitendra M. Mishra
 

State laws are not the only source for workplace smoking laws.  Many municipal governments also have ordinances regulation smoking in the workplace.  These either supplement state-imposed requirements or control areas where state legislation is lacking.  In other words, the local law may be more restrictive as long as it does not contradict the state requirement.  Examples of cities that have their own laws regulation smoking in the work place are: Phoenix, Arizona; Kansas City, Missouri; Cleveland, Ohio; Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; New York, New York; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Alexandria, Virginia; Chicago, Illinois; Suffolk County, New York; and Austin, Texas.  Again, employers should check with their local government to see whether there are special ordinances in place or pending with regard to workplace smoking policies (Hrcomply.com, 2000).

Societal Culture and Industrial Sector Influences on Organizational Culture
Chapter in book. (2004) Chapter 20, pp 654-668
By Brodbeck, F.C., Hanges, P.J., Dickson, M.W., Gupta, V., & Dorfman, P.W.
 

A major premise of the GLOBE study is that organizational culture practices are influenced by factors external to the organization itself.  As indicated in the GLOBE conceptual model, societal culture is predicted to affect the cultures of the organizations embedded within these societies.  In addition to societal culture, the basic nature of industry also influences organizational practices.  Many authors observe that the industrial sector to which an organization belongs and the common kinds of pressures encountered by organizations, such as the rate of technological change and the general level of environmental turbulence, affect organizational culture practices (e.g., Chatman & Jehn, 1994; Gordon, 1991; Phillips, 1994). 

Student and Faculty Expectations
Journal of Education for Business, July 2004.
By Marie McKendall, Yatin Bhagwat, Daniel C. Giedeman, Helen A. Klein, & Nancy M. Levenburg
 

This paper discusses differences between faculty members' standards and expectations and undergraduate students' attitudes and behavior related to business school education.  The results show students' primary motivation for attending college is to obtain a credential.  They spend significantly less time on coursework and they devote more time to socializing.  While students consider themselves as quite skilled and motivated, there are substantial differences between perception of tenured/tenure-track and non-tenure track faculty. 

Successful ERP Implementation by West Michigan Companies
Seidman Business Review, Winter 2004, Vol. X, pp. 15-17.
By Jaideep Motwani & Ram Subramanian
 

The many challenges faced today by global businesses are expected to grow in intensity and complexity as we go further into this century.  Expanded global competition has become the norm rather than the exception, with an unprecedented number and variety of products available to satisfy consumer needs and desires.  In particular, many firms have implemented company-wide systems called Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, which are designed to integrate and optimize various business processes, such as order entry and production planning, across the entire firm.  A successful ERP can be the backbone of business intelligence for an organization, giving management a unified view of its processes.  Unfortunately, ERPs have a reputation for being expensive and providing meager results, because the people who are expected to use the application don't know what it is or how it works.  When ERP software fails, it's usually because the company didn't dedicate enough time or money to training and managing culture-change issues.  Faulty technology is often blamed, but eight out of nine times ERP problems are performance related. 

Successful Implementation of ERP Systems: A Case Study of an International Automotive Manufacturer
International Journal of Automotive Technology and
Management
By Motwani, J., Akbulut, A.Y., & Nidumolu, V.
 

Given the substantial investments of time, money and other resources, as well as the technical and organizational risks involved (Hitt et al. 2002) it is imperative to understand the factors that facilitate/inhibit the success of ERP implementations.  Using a case study methodology grounded in business process change theory, this paper attempts to identify the critical factors that account for the success of ERP implementation at an international automobile manufacturer.  Understanding such effects will enable managers to be more proactive and better prepared for ERP implementation. 

Sustainable Offshoring Management - How to Transform Job Losses into Job Gains?
Management Insight, A Journal of Institute of Professional Studies & Research, Vol. 4, No. 2, May-Aug, 2004
By Vipin Gupta and Paul Mudde
 

The 21st century has opened with increased competition due to globalization.  Traditionally, international competition has had the biggest impact on labor-intensive business functions, resulting in the movement of manufacturing jobs from countries such as the U.S. to countries with lower labor costs such as India.  Recently, jobs that were once thought to be immune from international competition, those requiring greater skill and higher levels of education, have also experienced competition from international markets.

Sustaining Geographical Cluster Effects (A review and reformulation of Porter's diamond perspective)
SCMS Journal of Indian Management, 1(3), 19-22.
By Vipin Gupta and Ram Subramanian
 

During the recent years, the liberalization of world trade, the innovations in information and communication technologies, and the development of international value chains have fundamentally transformed the ways in which firms create, capture and sustain value.  In this article, we investigate the impact of these forces on the geographical clusters, defined by Porter (1998a: 78) as "geographical concentrations of interconnected companies and institutions" and "critical masses in one place of unusual competitive success" in particular fields.

The Impact of Societal Culture and Industry on Organizational Culture: Theoretical Explanations
Chapter in book. (2004) Chapter 5, pp 74-90
Dickson, M.W., BeShears, R.S., & Gupta, V.
 

Because national culture and industry are integral parts of the environment in which organizations function, organizational culture by implication should be influenced both by the broader societal culture and by the industry in which they operate.  As has been noted throughout this volume, a wealth of research examines the interrelationships among various conceptions of societal culture and industry and various forms of organizational behavior, structure, and culture and we do not purport to present an exhaustive review of that literature here.  However, the vast majority of the writing on society-organization linkages, and on industry-organization linkages as well, has focused on the measurement and description of relationships, without specifying the mechanisms by which the influence is enacted.  Fortunately, in the past decade, organizational researchers have begun to understand the need to identify potential explanatory mechanisms to more thoroughly understand the phenomenon of interest.  For example, Earley and Erez (1997) in their edited book New Perspectives on International Industrial/Organizational Psychology describe a variety of findings, including Lawler's (1986) research showing that quality control circles were generally quite successful in Japan, but that their success was much less consistent in the United States.  Earley and Erez go on to note that "What have been missing from I/O research literature are the theoretical frameworks people can bring to bear in explaining such patterns, not simply describing them" (p. 3).

The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Developing International Business Capability: EI Provides Traction
Linking Emotional Intelligence and Performance at Work, Current research evidence with individuals and groups, Chapter 5, 2005
By Mount, G.
 

In an increasingly competitive global environment, organizations are showing a renewed interest in understanding how employees create and sustain the organizational performance necessary for competitive advantage (Becker & Gerhart, 1996).  In her 1994 article, "Competencies: The Precious Seeds of Growth?"  Wisher recognized the significance of understanding the larger contextual environment of international business when she noted the growing power of companies to transcend borders of nation states in era of "technical and commercial revolution" resulting in many businesses that literally have no boundaries (Wisher, 1994).  This trend suggests a need for human resource assessments that can identify the characteristics of executives who successfully transcend international boarders.  The absence of information about the behavioral characteristics that support executive success and the context in which those behaviors are practiced in international business is a major gap in the theoretical and practical literature.  Therefore, this chapter presents research designed to identify the individual competencies that are linked to executive success in a multinational setting.  I argue that organizations with executives who possess these competencies build an international organizational capability. 

The role of ERP tools in supply chain information sharing, cooperation, and cost optimization
Journal of Production Economics,(93-94), 2005, pp. 41-52.
By Peter Kelle and Asli Akbulut
 

The transition based integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software provides different tools that can support supply chain integration but at the same time it has several features that obstructs the integration with business partners.  We concentrate on the inventory management aspects of supply chain coordination reviewing the recent quantitative modeling and organizational results available in literature.  We summarize the results of a detailed numerical and sensitivity analysis based on our previously published models for supply chain cooperation and joint optimal ordering and shipment policies for the buyer and supplier.  Test results can be used in enterprise software to measure the potential monetary value of policy coordination, to promote cooperation, and minimize the total supply chain system cost.  Our further goal is to combine quantitative tools with organizational and management factors, and to integrate them in a multi-level framework of policy coordination.

The Transvergence Proposition Under Globalization: Looking Beyond Convergence, Divergence and Crossvergence
Multinational Business Review, 2004, 12(2), 37-58
By Vipin Gupta and Jifu Wang
 

Three strategic perspectives exist in dealing with globalization: convergence with the rational Anglo perspective, divergence of the local cultural perspective, and a hybrid cross-vergence.  A fourth alternative "transvergence" - a transformative reinterpretation and application of the indigenous cultural perspective - is identified, that firms can learn over time to combine their strong ties to the local environment with technological and institutional change.  Three case studies highlight the process of transvergence.  The findings suggest that a focus on the transvergence perspective can be an important addition to our understanding of how globalization can affect firm behavior and result in new business strategies. 

The Union and Workplace Violence
International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, 2004
By Susanne M. Crampton and John W. Hodge
 

Workplace violence continues to be an issue for both management and employees.  However, when violent events occur and employment situations are unionized, the relationship between management and the union is critical.  Workplace violence statistics will be reviewed with particular emphasis given to the effect of workplace violence on collective bargaining agreements. 

The Use of Statutory Dispute Arbitration for Temporary Employees
Midwest Law Review, 2004, Vol 19, pp. 61-74
By Maris Stella (Star) Swift, Catherine Jones-Rikkers, & James Sanford
 

The American workplace is changing.  In the 1950's until well into the 1970's workers in the United States worked for firms characterized by internal labor markets and long-term permanent employment.  During this time period, employers hired from within their companies and developed employee skills on their own.  In turn, employees expected a long-term relationship, with continued employment so long as the employee did a satisfactory job.  Workers during this time tended to be part of a "corporate family."  These "permanent" employees were more inclined to work hard, and have more at stake in their company's success.  Workers in the 50's, and 60's and 70's were typically loyal to their employers, and had high morale.

Today's Undergraduate Students& Tomorrow's Entrepreneurs?
Seidman Business Review, Winter 2004, pp. 20-22.
By Nancy M. Levenburg
 

It is often said that owning a small business is part of the American Dream.  Collectively, U.S. small businesses represent an estimated 99 percent of all employers (U.S. Small Business Administration, 2002).  Interest in creating and owning a small business has never been greater that it is today: new business formation in the U.S. has broken successive records for the last few years, growing at a rate of between two and nine percent and totaling over one-half million annually.  A recent study by Ernst & Young found that over 75 percent of leading American businesspeople believe that entrepreneurship will be the defining trend of this century (Williams, 1999).

Using Cognitive Mapping to Understand Innovative Software Use by Adolescents
Proceeding of the Tenth Americas Conference on Information Systems, New York, New York, August 2004
By Akbulut, A.Y., Singletary, L.A., & Huston, A.L.
 

This study is the second step of a long-term research project, which investigates the innovative uses of a software application by adolescent in an all girls' high school in the southern United States.  In the first phase, we proposed a research model that can be used to predict innovative use following mandatory adoption by conducting surveys and quantitative analysis of the results (Singletary et al. 2002a, 2002b).  In the second phase, we will more deeply investigate innovative use phenomenon through qualitative analysis using cognitive mapping methodology.  The current study is based in large part on Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura 1986; Wood and Bandura, 1989).  We will also utilize the Diffusion of Innovations Theory (Rogers, 1995) and the Task-Technology Fit Theory (Goodhue and Thompson, 1995).

Values and Motivations for Business Study Abroad: A Cross-Cultural Study
Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science: Cultural Perspective on Marketing Conference, Puebla, Mexico, September 2004.
By Carol M. Sanchez, Marianela Fornerino, & Mengxia Zhang
 

This paper analyzes the relationship between values, motivations and a student's intention to participate in study abroad programs.  We surveyed US, Chinese and French business students who studied in their home countries.  Results suggest that certain values are universal among students across the three countries.  Theses values, although they have different meanings in the three cultures, influence common motivations among all the students.  We found that the direction of the relationships between values and motivations, and between motivations and the intent to study abroad varied among the three countries, that nationality moderates all of the relationships, and that different levels of the barriers moderate the relationship between motivations and the intention to study abroad.

What Non-Union Employees Need to Know if Their Employer Adopts a Mandatory Arbitration Policy
Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, March 2004, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 37-46.
By Maris Stella (Star) Swift, Catherine Jones-Rikkers, & James Sanford
 

This article reviews the current United States law regarding arbitration of statutory disputes in the nonunion employment setting.  The article is a literature review and offers no new research finding but rather focuses on the important legal and procedural strategies employees may use throughout the arbitration process.  The article specially advises the reader on selection of an attorney, selection of an arbitrator, selection of a third party administrator, the discovery process, and the requisite hearing procedure.  Possible challenges to the arbitration process are also discussed.  In addition, the article focuses on the advantages and disadvantages of arbitration from an employee's point of view. 

Women in Global Assignments
Pan Pacific Business Association, May 2004, Anchorage, Alaska.
By Jitendra Mishra

American women seeking to climb the corporate ladder via overseas assignments face steep odds.  While females account for some 30 percent of students in MBA programs, they are only 14 percent of those chose by Corporate America for foreign assignments.  As of 1998, women represented 47 percent of the work force [Feltes & Steinhaus 1998; Catalyst 2000], but they comprised a mere 13 percent to 14 percent of employees on international assignments [Solomon 1998; Tung 1998].  This imbalance in male-female representation for international assignments has critical implications for organizational success, as well as for women's careers.  If women are not sent on international assignments as often as men, their chances of moving up the corporate ladder are limited, thus contributing to the glass ceiling.  This paper examines some of the challenges and myths and proposes some solutions concerning women executives for global assignments.

 

"A business process change framework for examining lean manufacturing: A case study"
Industrial Management and Data Systems, 2003, 339-346
By Jaideep Motwani

By means of a case study, discusses the most important elements of lean manufacturing (LM), the strategies used by the company for implementing LM, and the significant benefits that were accrued in manufacturing operations. Explains the critical factors involved in the implementation of LM utilizing a business process change framework. The data for this study were obtained through interviews, questionnaire survey and archival sources.

"A Perspective on Research Opportunities in Manufacturing Flexibility"
Decision Line, July 1999, pp. 5-8.
By Lori L. Koste, Manoj K. Malhotra

0ur interest in manufacturing flexibility stems from the fact that the use of flexible resources is often the most appropriate and cost effective response mechanism in dealing with global competition, rapidly changing technology, and shorter product life cycles. Leveraging flexibility becomes a key issue as many managers and organizations are driven to achieve more with less. But how can that be done? How can flexibility be measured? What are the main drivers that lead to organizations becoming more flexible and profitable? The questions are plentiful, but succinct answers are harder to come by. One reason for this difficulty is that even though progress has been made, the concept of flexibility is not well comprehended in its entirety. The collective understanding of managers and academics of this complex concept is limited. However, we believe that opportunities exist for academics to learn more about manufacturing flexibility from practicing managers in the industry, and in turn contribute insights to them through our own research.

"A Teaching Case: Dabbawallas of Mumbai"
Understanding Organizational Behavior, 67-73
By Ashok Kumar, Stephen T. Margulis, and Jaideep Motwani

The dabbawalas of Mambai carry hot lunches from the homes of employees (customers) to their places of employment. The aluminum containers or "tiffins" serve the dual purpose of keeping the food warm and preventing it from splashing out during the tiffin carrier's rushed and jostling journey. A typical tiffin carrier carries about 40 of these dabbas on a long, unwieldy tray on his head as he moves speedily through busy streets and cramped trains. The tray and tiffins have a combined weight of more than 60 kg. For distances over 4 km, the carriers often use bicycles; when carrying more than 40 tiffin, the carriers use handcarts.

"A Theoretical Framework for Analyzing the Dimensions of Manufacturing Flexibility"
By Lori L. Koste , Manoj K. Malhotra

The competitive environment of today has generated an increased interest in flexibility as a response mechanism. While the potential benefits of flexibility are familiar, the concept of flexibility itself is not well-understood. Neither practitioners nor academics agree upon, or know, how flexibility can be gauged or measured in its totality. Consequently, this study seeks to provide a framework for understanding this complex concept and to create a theoretical foundation for the development of generalizable measures for manufacturing flexibility. With this objective in mind, we first critically examine diverse streams of literature to define four constituent elements of flexibility: range-number (R-N), range-heterogeneity (R-H), mobility (M), and uniformity (U). The R-H element is new, and has not been proposed before in prior literature. These four elements can be applied to consistently define different types or dimensions of flexibility. Definitions for 10 flexibility dimensions pertaining to manufacturing are thus obtained. These definitions serve a dual purpose. First, they capture the domain of flexibility. Second, we show in this study how these definitions can be used to generate scale items, thereby facilitating the development of generalizable manufacturing flexibility measures. Several research avenues that can be explored once such measures are developed are also highlighted.

"Acquirer Characteristics Affecting Acquisition Performance"
Seidman Business Review, Winter 2003, 18-20
By Paul Mudde

Mergers and acquisitions are a key strategic activity reshaping competition in many industries over the last decade. In contrast to the popularity of acquisitions as a mechanism of corporate strategy, most research on M&A shows that in the majority of acquisitions, acquirers fail to achieve positive outcomes. As a result, M&A have often been viewed with skepticism as the press debates whether a particular acquisition is motivated by interest in creating economic value or "empire building". Research has yet to explore what makes certain acquirers more successful than others in creating value from their acquisitions.

"An American in Grenoble: A Professor studies abroad"
Seidman Update, Spring 2002, pp. 4-6.

It's one thing to study about differences in values across cultures, and it is something else altogether to experience them. I am a temporary expatriate here in Grenoble, France. Grenoble is a medium-sized city nestled among the French Alps, located close to Albertville, the site of the 1992 winter Olympics. I live in a very small apartment, I walk or use public transportation, and I buy only as many groceries as I can carry. In early January I began teaching international management to graduate and undergraduate students at the Groupe ESC-Grenoble, one of the top ten business schools in France. Groupe ESC-Grenoble and the Seidman School of Business have a student and faculty exchange agreement. The business students in my classes are French, Chinese, Dutch, German, Argentine, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Cameroon, British, and Australian, among others. I don't have one student from the USA.

"Arbitrator Acceptability: Does Justice Matter?"
Industrial Relations, Vol. 39, No. 2, April 2000, pp. 313-335.
By Richard A. Posthuma, James B. Dworkin and Maris Stella Swift

There is virtually no theory-based research that examines if arbitrator behaviors influence whether they will be chosen for future cases. This longitudinal field study uses organizational justice theory to predict the acceptability of arbitrators in dispute-resolution processes involving labor and management representatives in actual cases. The data indicate that procedural justice is more important in predicting arbitrator acceptability in interest than in rights arbitration cases. Arbitrator distributive justice, procedural justice, and interactional justice are all related to acceptability of arbitrators. Procedural justice and interactional justice are differentially related to evaluation of arbitrators, suggesting that they are distinct constructs.

"BOK Commentary: Developing Consumer-Driven Services in Univrsity-Based Family Buisness Programs by Michelle DeMoss"
Family Resource Review, June 2002, Vol. XV, pp. 130-132.
By Simha Magal

Few can dispute the fact that colleges and universities can have an enormous impact on family business centers through curriculum development, programming, and so on. As noted by Michelle DeMoss, the real question facing academic institutions is not whether to implement family business programming, but how to do so. DeMoss has published previously on curriculum modeling in family business centers (e.g., McCann & DeMoss, 2000). The intent of her latest article is to offer suggestions for new initiatives that are based on exploration of students' demand for family business contacts.

"Business Ethics: Brightening the Corner Where We Are"
Teaching Business Ethics, Vol. 5, No. 2, Nov. 2001, pp. 411-418
By Barry Castro

It is suggested that we can most effectively teach ethics by carrying on actual ethical inquiry - basing our questions and our analysis on a situation in which all are aware of the risks associated with such inquiry. It is further suggested that in university-based business ethics courses, an initial focus on the questions that need to be asked about the structure and practice of the university is likely to be useful. Additionally, it is suggested that only when these internal, and the difficulties in the way of asking them, have been addressed, should the dialogue be extended to business contexts. Finally, it is suggested that proceeding in this way can help provide a needed integrative function in the business school - that it can help faculty to become more broadly collegial and that it can put the business ethics course at the very heart of a liberal education for business students.

"Can You Stop Non-Union Employees from Suing Your Business?"
Seidman Business Review, Winter 2002, p. 12.
By Star Swift, Catherine Jones-Rikkers, Jim Sanford

No business likes it when a non-union employee or former employee sues the employer. When an employee feels "mistreated," the employee may sue the employer for discrimination based on age, race, religion, disability, pregnancy, sexual harassment, etc. Other causes of action include lawsuits for wrongful discharge, invasion of privacy, defamation, and other perceived injustices.

"Creating, Capturing, and Sustaining Value: The Case of West Michigan Furniture Industry"
Seidman Business Review, Winter 2004, 12-16
By Vipin Gupta and undergrad Administrative Policy course students

The office furniture business in West Michigan has been going through the second major postwar slump in its history. The first slump was in the 1950s when America's furniture makers challenged the leadership of West Michigan furniture business by migrating to North Carolina. At the time, the effects on the West Michigan economy were mitigated through diversification, innovation, and niche markets strategies. The effects of the current slump have been far more devastating; more than 100,00 furniture-making jobs have been lost in the U.S. The larger firms have faced far more difficulties, though many smaller ones, such as John Widdicomb - the oldest area furniture business - have even gone out of business.

"Crisis Management in West Michigan Firms"
Seidman Business Review
By Suzanne Crampton and Jitendra Mishra

Corporate crises are disasters that can cause extensive damage to human life, economic well being, and the environment. The number of corporate crises experiences is increasing at an alarming rate. While planning cannot prevent every crisis, the planning process can teach an organization how to cope more effectively with whatever does occur. No crisis ever happens as it was envisioned or planned for. For this reason, effective crisis management is a never-ending process. It seems a fundamental paradox regarding crisis management may be true. The less vulnerable an organization thinks it is, the fewer crises it prepares for; as a result, the more vulnerable it becomes. The reverse is also true. The more vulnerable an organization thinks it is, the more crises it prepares for; as a result the less vulnerable it is likely to be.

"Cultural Dimensions and International Marketing"
Management Review, September 2003, 69-73
By Vipin Gupta

Understanding the underlying dimensions of culture can offer powerful guidance to brand managers on how to assess the effectiveness of various elements of their brand image in different cultures, so that effective elements may be transferred across different societies with similar cultures and other elements adapted for becoming effective across different cultures. Such a framework with which to assess the culture of markets can help firms gain substantial competitive advantage over their rivals in a global environment. The firms can more confidently and comprehensively standardize positive elements of their brand image and marketing mix execution. At the same time, they can develop their brand equity by incorporating the meanings associated with alternative culture conditions.

This article has three objectives: to underscore the relationship between culture and brand image; to establish the basis of cross-cultural brand image effectiveness using the cultural dimensions framework; and to demonstrate how the cultural dimensions framework can help in developing hypotheses about the further development of brand mage needed for success in specific cultures. Using the GLOBE framework of cultural dimensions, some brand image propositions are developed for India.

"Current Issues Involving FLSA"
MBAA Presentation & Proceedings, March 2003.
By Suzanne M. Crampton, John W. Hodge, and Jitendra M. Mishra

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) includes revisions concerning overtime, minimum wage, and child labor. Our paper will focus on the major provisions concerning minimum wages and the overtime provisions of the FLSA. Minimum wage laws continue to be controversial but significant issues have developed with regard to the overtime provisions of the FLSA. This is particularly true with regard to the distinction between exempt and nonexempt employees, along with the use of compensatory time off as a substitute for overtime pay.

"Developing and Maintaining Virtual Strategic Alliances"
International Council for Small Business World Conference Proceedings, 2002
By Suzanne M. Crampton and John W. Hodge

Firms today, regardless of their size, face dynamic enviornments that require not only interactions locally and nationally but on a global basis as well. One way strategic relationships can be maintained, particularly if you are an entrepreneurial SME, is to make efficient use of the technologies available. While joint ventures and cross-functional work teams have been around for decades, the use of virtual alliances and cross-functional teams allows groups of dispersed employees and other involved parties with distinct skills who are seperated by space and often by time to focus on a specific goal on a temporary or ongoing basis. While virtual alliances, teams, meetings and technologies should not completely substitute for human interaction, they do allow for greater collaboration among involved parties. However, to make them work requires trust and investments in relationship building and collaborative technologies. When dealing with global networks, training is also necessary on cultural differences, body language, and communication techniques. Various types and benefits of virtual alliances will be discussed in our paper along with some of the pitfalls that must be overcome to enable positive alliances to be maintained.

"Drug Testing in the Workplace"
MBAA Presentation & Proceedings, March 2003.
By April Hansen and Jitendra M. Mishra

The percentage of companies that drug test employees rose from 84.8% (January 1993) to 87.2% (January 1994). This represents an increase of over 300% since 1987 (AMA Survey on Workplace Drug Testing, unpublished. 1994). For about 80% of the Fortune 500 Companies, urinalysis has become a foundation of mutual trust in the workplace. This paper discusses drug testing, various types of drug testing and recommends that they be made more reliable in light of the false positives that caused Olympic scandal and ended up stripping an athlete of the gold medal.

"Electronic Commerce Adoption In Small Businesses: Motivators And Inhibitors"
By Ashok Kumar, Dinesh Mirchandani, Jaideep Motwani

Small businesses are traditionally slow in adopting information systems, however several have adopted electronic commerce. This paper identifies a discriminant function that can accurately predict adoption of electronic commerce in small businesses. The methodology employed in the research is a field survey of 62 top managers/CEOs of small businesses in Western Michigan.

"Entrepreneurial leadership: developing and measuring a cross-cultural construct"
Journal of Business Venturing, March 2004, 241-260
By Vipin Gupta, Ian C. MacMillian, Gita Surie

In the increasingly turbulent and competitive environment business firms face today, a type of "entrepreneurial" leader distinct from other behavioral forms of leadership is required. This article develops the construct of entrepreneurial leadership using the works on entrepreneurship and leadership as a guide. It also proposes an empirical measure of the construct using data from the Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE) study on leadership consisting of a 62-society cross-cultural sample of over 15,000 middle managers. Findings provide evidence of the "etic" or universal appeal of the construct of entrepreneurial leadership across cultures and some preliminary insights on the facts contributing to societal differences in the perceived effectiveness of entrepreneurial leadership.

"Examining the interrelationships among perceived environmental change, strategic response, managerial characteristics, and organizational performance"
Journal of Business Research, 2002, pp. 1-11.
By Karen Strandholm, Kamalesh Kumar, Ram Subramanian

This study attempts to integrate compatible, yet fragmented research streams, related to the association among environmental change, managerial characteristics, strategic orientation, and organizational performance. By combining a variety of theoretical perspectives, an integrated framework is developed that examines these interrelationships. The results show that managerial perception of environmental change influences the strategic adaptive response of the organization and the selection of top manager. Further, it was found that organizations that are able to achieve the alignment among perceived environmental change-strategic adaptive response-managerial characteristics exhibit superior performance in terms of a variety of performance outcomes as compared to organizations where such alignment is lacking.

"Faust and The Ethos of Business: A Report from Grand Rapids, Ciudad Juarez, and Muskegon"
Journal of Business Ethics, No. 19, 1999, pp. 181-191.
By Barry Castro

Goethe comes to mind first. The modern world was emerging in the middle Europe of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century and Goethe's Faust, written between 1770 and 1831, reflects and engages it. Like Faust, many of Goethe's contemporaries must have been excited by the possibilities of modernity. They too had unprecedented opportunities to live their lives more freely, to learn more about whatever interested them, and to take control of their environments. The economy was expanding enormously. What was known - and what was expected to soon be known - were expanding - at least as quickly. Traditional values and the communities in which they were based, were less and less compelling.[&]

"Getting Wired! Family Owned Businesses and the Internet"
FOBI News, Fall 2002, p. 3.
By Nancy Levenburg & Simha Magal

Is your business "wired" and online? According to some reports, family owned businesses (FOBs) are going online at a rapid pace. This should come as no surprise since we have witnessed a phenomenal growth in e-business activities within all types of organizations over the past few years. one study conducted by David and Harveston (2000) found that technology does influence growth and internationalization with family owned businesses. Indeed, in this new, high-tech world, it is increasingly acknowledged that businesses can ignore this phenomenon only at their peril. FOBs (and all firms) should understand how to effectively utilize Internet technologies to survive and thrive.

"Globalization And Convergence-Divergence Debate: Strategic Perspectives For Emerging Markets"
Journal Of Business And Economics Research, February 2003, 69-76
By Vipin Gupta and Jifu Wang

Globalization calls for a strategic business model that supports creation and sustaining of competitive advantage internationally. Here, we highlight the significance of a transvergence perspective, which is a transformative reinterpretation and application of the indigenous cultural perspective. Two case studies of Chinese enterprises highlight the perspective.

"How the mid-sized survive: Survey shows a path for smaller law firms amid the giants"
GP Solo: The best articles published by the ABA March 2002. Vol. 19, pp. 22-23.

We investigated what actions mid-sized U.S. law firma re taking to compete in the rapidly changing legal services industry. For our study we fined the mid-sized law firm as having 25-30 lawyers.

Mid-sized law firms are facing several challenges that have intensified in the last five to 10 years, such as multidisciplinary practice, globalization, and the increased size of large law firms.

"How to Handle the Threat of Catastrophe"
Journal of Corporate Accounting & Finance, Sept/Oct 2003, 35-40
By Carol Sanchez and Stephen R. Goldberg

One of the principal jobs of chief executives is to minimize risk and vulnerability to catastrophic events. Analyzing risk has become more complex since September 11, 2001. In addition to terrorism, other catastrophes can change the course of life as we know it including cyber crime, biological attacks, and the spread of diseases such as SARS. Companies must realign corporate priorities and put the security issue at the forefront, as many companies have done since the 9/11 attacks.

"Implementation of ERP projects: Evidence from case studies"
Proceedings of the National Conference no IT Enabled Product Development Strategies, 2003, 4-12.
By Ram Subramanian, Pradeep Gopalakrishna, and Jaideep Motwani

This research examines what factors facilitate or inhibit the success of ERP projects and what actions can be taken to bring troubled ERP projects under control. It uses a case study methodology grounded in business process change theory to compare a successful ERP implementation with an unsuccessful one. The research proposes that a cautious, evolutionary, bureaucratic implementation process baked with careful change management, network relationships, and cultural readiness can lead to a successful ERP project implementation as opposed to a revolutionary project scope mandated autocratically by top management without organizational readiness and proper change management. Some actions are also recommended that can help bring troubled ERP projects under control.

"Implementing Quality Management (QM) In Small BBusinesses: A Practical Model"
By Jaideep Motwani, Dinesh Mirchandani, Ashok Kumar

There is evidence that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are no less concerned with quality than their larger company counterparts, but that they are less concerned with the formal approaches that are often advocated. In fact, it could be argued that many SME's practice quality every day without placing a label on it. This paper examines the issue of implementing quality management (QM) programs in SMEs. Based on the literature, a strategic programming model for implementing, QM in SMEs is suggested. Finally, issues relating to QM in SMEs, which need to be addressed in the future, are provided.

"Incorporating Active Learning Into The Undergraduate Business Classroom"
TBEA Journal, 1999.
By Catherine Jones-Rikkers

Increasingly, business professors are called upon to provide their students with more real world learning options. Furthermore, research on learning styles and the demands of students themselves, have resulted in a gradual transition away from the lecture format which continues to pervade America's classrooms. In the following article the steps for incorporating active learning into an undergraduate business class are discussed. Additionally, an explanation is provided of the various learning styles of students and how active learning addresses these needs.

"Job Sharing: Challenges and Opportunities"
Seidman Business Review, 2003, pp. 21-22.
By Suzeanne Crampton, Ceasar Douglas, John Hodge, Jitendra Mishara

Job sharing is a concept developed in the 1960s which allowed two people to fulfill the responsibilities of one full-time position. Typically the two individuals involved work opposite shifts or opposite days, depending on the type of flexibility desired. Employers simply must take proactive steps to hire and retain workers. Whether they want to or not, companies have had to implement flexible work arrangements.

"John R. Commons, 1904-1910: The Documentary History Years"
By Richard A. Gonce

"Managing scholarly work: A view from the trenches"
Seidman Update, Fall 2003, 10-11
By Stephen T. Margulis

Most scholars associate scholarship with preparing individual articles (chapters, books) based on the scholarly demands of conducting research, developing theories, evaluating and reviewing topical areas, and the like. Allow me to offer a complementary perspective: the management of scholarly works (i.e., the intersection of scholarship and project management). I will base my discussion on three years editing a recent (June 2003), 210-page, single issue of a scholarly journal. The topic was privacy [2].

"Market and Efficiency-Based Strategic Responses to Environmental Changes in the Health Care Industry"
Health Care Management Review, Summer 2002, Vol. 27, pp. 21-30.
By Kamalesh Kumar, Ram Subramanian and Karen Strandholm

This study examined the linkages between perceived environmental changes in the health care industry, corresponding strategic adaptations, and their impact on select performance measures as reported by mangers. Results from a sample of 187 hospitals indicate that efficiency-oriented strategy is chose more often by organizations that perceive their industry environment to be relatively stable and certain while market-focused strategies are chose more often by organizations that perceive greater environmental instability and uncertainty.

"Market Orientation and Performance: Does Organizational Strategy Matter?"
Journal of Applied Business Research, 2002, Vol. 18, pp. 37-48
By Kamalesh Kumar, Ram Subramanian & Karen Strandholm

Data from a survey of 159 hospitals was used to test the relationship between market orientation and firm performance for low cost and differentiation strategies. Hospitals pursuing a differentiation strategy had stronger market orientation than those pursuing a cost leadership strategy. Market orientation had a more positive impact on the performance of organizations pursuing a differentiation strategy than on those pursuing a cost leadership strategy. In the cost leader group, the inter-functional coordination component of market orientation significantly affected firm performance, while in the differentiator group the customer orientation and competitor orientation components of market orientation had significant impact on performance. The implication of these findings for managers also are discussed.

"Nike Gives Boot to Four Factories"
By Anne Hornacek, Jitendra Mishra

Hit by accusations that it keeps many of its Asian workers in sweatshop conditions, Nike, Inc., has served ties with four Indonesian factories for violating the company's labor standards. The athletic gear maker closed the Indonesian plants for violating its labor standards. The San Francisco based Global Exchange criticized the Nike contractors for operating factories similar to prison camps, paying below the minimum wage, hiring workers as young as 13 and violating its code of conduct. The Nike product has become synonymous with slave wages, forced overtime and arbitrary abuse. The famous shoe brand has become analogous for exploitation. Nike works with 350 subcontractors that make products ranging from Air Jordan basketball shoes to soccer shin guards. Nike's subcontractors have moved from one country to another in search of cheap labor. Managing the mix of two very different cultures and languages, the Koreans, Vietnamese and the Taiwanese, Indonesians, Nike manages factories in such a way that gets you a good product and Nike a high profit. Bowing to pressure from American consumers and groups like Transnation Resource Action Center, (TRAC), Nike's chief Philip Knight has promised to root out underage workers and require overseas manufacturers of its wares meet strict US health and safety standards. Knight acknowledges that American consumers do not want to buy products made in abusive conditions. This paper discusses various possible explanations for the factory closings. Some of the explanations touched upon in the paper are: a recent downturn in the Asian economy, and pressure from critics like TRAC, etc. The paper makes eight recommendations for Nike to regain its prior glory and achieve the financial growth/success.

"Nike is a company of people who are passionate about sports and who love to compete. We are also a company rooted in our responsibility to be good corporate citizens. We defend our record of creating jobs, and improving factory conditions abroad"
Phil Knight

Phil Knight, President and CEO of Nike, Inc. made the aforementioned statement at a press conference in Washington D.C. on May 12, 1998. The statement, made in response to allegations that his company wasn't doing enough to improve the working conditions of its laborers abroad, headed a list of initiatives installed to improve these conditions. Although the steps Nike Corporation is taking to improve the conditions are positive. Questions still surround the timing and adequacy of the program. Will it be enough to improve the working conditions in an external operating environment, alter the negative public perception that has-plagued Nike, Inc.? In our paper, we would like to take you on a tour of how this company operates and makes huge profits.

"On the Status and Contribution of Westin's and Altman's Theories of Privacy"
Journal of Social Issues, 2003, 411-429
By Stephen T. Margulis

This article reviews the status and contribution of Alan Westin's and Irwin Altman's theories of privacy. It summarizes, compares, contrasts, and critiques their theories of privacy and summarizes the theory and research that have been a consequence of their theories. It discusses the relationship between privacy and secrecy, an issue raised by Westin, and between privacy and the environment, an issue raised by Altman. Finally, the article considers possible contributions of social-psychological, cultural, and social-development factors to a more complete account of privacy.

"Online Investment Self-Efficacy: Development and Initial Test of an Instrument to Assess Perceived Online Investing Abilities"
Proceedings of the Thirty-Seventh Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, January 2004.
By Clayton A. Looney, Joseph S. Valacich, and Asil Y. Akbulut

This paper develops and tests an instrument to measure online investment self-efficacy, defined as an individual's perceived ability to utilize online technologies to accomplish investing-related tasks. A series of empirical studies were conducted to establish the measure's psychometric properties. The results suggest that the measure exhibits admirable levels of reliability, as well as convergent, discriminate, and nomological validity. As predicted by theory, computer self-efficacy was found to serve as an important precursor to online investment self-efficacy. Furthermore, online investment self-efficacy played a significant role in fueling investor preference for the traditional (full-service) or online investing approach. More efficacious investors tended to prefer Web-based technologies as a vehicle for investing, whereas less efficacious individuals favored the traditional method.

"Overtime - Pay"
By Kalyan Redlowski, Jitendra Mishra

Many employers are unwittingly violating a U.S. Department of Labor pay rule, and they could pay a high price as a result. To be precise. U.S. companies could owe $39 biltion in back pay according to the LaborPolicyAssociation, a business research organization in Washington, DC. The rule on overtime compensation has been in effect since 1954, but it has come to the fore, mostly in economically painful ways, because of a handful of recent court decisions and increased Labor Department enforcement action against companies.

The rule states that employers must pay hourly employees at one-and a-half times (1 1/2) their hourly rate for each hour over 40 they work in a week Employers are not required to pay overtime to employees who are paid "on a salary basis" and who meet certain requirements related to, "duties". They often don't know which employees qualify for overtime or when to pay it or whether to pay time and a half or compensatory time. In fact, violations are so common that the Employer Policy Foundation estimates that workers would get an additional $19 billion a year if the rules were observed (Zachary, 1996). The authors suggest that it is high time to revisit the provisions of the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act). Perhaps, some of the provisions passed in 1938 have outlived their usefulness.

"Post-Crisis Management: A Study of Corporate Restructuring in Asia"
Journal of Academy of Business and Economics, 2003, 209-217
By Jifu Wang and Vipin Gupta

In this article, the literature was reviewed on the sources of Asian corporate crises and the major approaches for corporate recovery and turnaround. Second, we elaborate the role of lack of prior frameworks appropriate to the East Asian culture in the corporate crises and the modalities of turnaround, based on the case of China Huajing Electronics Group Corporation - a leading Chinese enterprise. We conclude with a framework for transformative turnaround that highlights directions for meeting the managerial challenges arising out of the uniqueness of East Asian culture. The term "transformative turnaround" is used to connote a formative transformation in the knowledge generation and value capture model of a firm.

"Predictors of Strategic Information Systems Planning Autonomy in U.S. Subsidiaries of Foreign Firms"
Submitted exclusively to the Information Resources Management Association Conference
21-24 May 2000, Anchorage, Alaska - Global Information Technology Management Track
By Dinesh A. Mirchandani, Albert L. Lederer

Researchers in management have studied parent-subsidiary relationships in the context of such functional areas as marketing, production, research and development, and finance. In particular, the issue of autonomy of the subsidiary (i.e., its decision making authority) has generated much interest. Research has indicated that managers of such firms feel that higher autonomy is important for them to build successful operations. This study extends the findings of management researchers to the functional area of information systems and specifically to strategic information systems planning in such firms. Sixty-nine information systems (IS) managers of manufacturing subsidiaries of foreign firms operating in the U.S. participated in a field survey. This survey examined the extent of autonomy they had for strategic IS planning from their parent companies and predictors of such autonomy. The relative size of the subsidiary and its level of interaction with the parent in terms of purchases from it were found to be significant predictors of subsidiary IS planning autonomy. These variables have previously been shown by other research, to predict overall autonomy of the subsidiary as well as its functional areas such as marketing, production, research and development, and finance. Because the predictor variables are not directly in the realm of IS, this research suggests to IS managers that they should also be concerned with the overall functioning of their subsidiary unit rather than just their own departments as often is the case. By participating more in the general management of their local companies, they can perhaps influence their own functional area autonomy.

"Privacy as a Social Issue and Behavioral Concept"
Journal of Social Issues, 2003, 243-261
By Stephen T. Margulis

This introduction, to an issue on privacy as a social issue and behavioral concept, discusses what privacy is, by examining definitions and theories of privacy, and what privacy dies, by reviewing the benefits of obtaining privacy and the costs of failing to achieve and of losing privacy. It provides a possible bridge between social psychological and social issues approaches to privacy and examines privacy as a social issue for Americans as citizens, health-care recipients, consumers, and employees. It then briefly explores behavioral aspects of privacy, including indicators of privacy's importance and the generally overlooked status of privacy in psychology.

"Reasonable Accommodation and the ADA"
MBAA Presentation & Proceedings, March 2003.
By Suzanne M. Crampton, John W. Hodge, and Jitendra M. Mishra

There have been 17 major rulings by the Supreme Court since 1998 concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The law mandates that employers reasonably accommodate individuals with a disability who are qualified to perform the job. However, employers are exempted from this requirement if the reasonable accommodation results in an undue hardship for the organization. The definitions of reasonable accommodation and undue hardship have evolved over time as a consequence of Supreme Court decisions. Thirteen decisions reached by the Supreme Court since 1998 were particularly relevant to our understanding of employer obligations and employee rights under the ADA. This paper will review those Supreme Court decisions and their effects on employers and employees under ADA.

"Reducing internet abuse in the workplace"
SAM Advanced Management Journal, 2003, 22-27
By Dinesh Mirchandani and Jaideep Motwani

Several recent articles have discussed the dangers of Internet abuse in the workplace (Verespej, 2000; Marsan, 2000). These commentaries have highlighted among other issues the losses in corporate productivity and the risks of damaging lawsuits in the wake of self abuse. Many companies, however, lack a clear vision of how to cope with Internet abuse, through some, like Xerox Corporation, are beginning to strictly implement their Internet access policies by taking measures such as firing employees who violate them (Merlino, 2000)

Internet abuse may be viewed as a kind of systems risk, i.e., the likelihood that a firm's information systems are insufficiently protected against certain kinds of damage or loss. As with systems risk, managers are generally unaware of the full range of actions they can take to reduce the problem (Straub and Welke, 1998). Therefore, an examination of research theories that have been applied to systems risk may prove relevant to Internet abuse. The general deterrence theory, drawn from the field of criminology, suggests that sanctions and disincentive measures can reduce systems abuse by making potential abusers aware that their unethical behavior will be detrimental to their own good (Pearson and Weiner, 1985).

"Safety In The Workplace"
By Laura Ettermar and Jitendra Mishra

Workplace accidents occur every day. Whether a sprain, or an individual dying on the job, all accidents should be reported and taken very seriously. In our research, we look at the company's safety programs or work incentives, then we ask ourselves how can this particular company implement a program that will decrease the company''s accident rate and at the same time motivate their employees about their jobs.

"Sharp BMW"
Case Research Journal, Winter 2002, Vol. 22.
By Lars Larson and Ram Subramanian

Tom Dunn was the newly appointed service manager for Sharpe BMW, a Grand Rapids, Michigan, BMW dealership. After the previous service manager left, the service department's revenues and the dealership's customer satisfaction index (CSI) ratings had fallen sharply. In an effort to correct these problems, Bob Deshane, the service director of the dealership, submitted a new plan to owner George Sharp. The plan called for a change in the way service technicians were compensated. Upon approval by the owner, Deshane handed the plan to Dunn and asked him to implement it.

"Skills and Characteristics required of IS professionals in West Michigan: A study of Industry needs and implications for Academia"
By Dinesh Mirchandani

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a strong demand for Information Systems (IS) professionals through the year 2005 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1993). However, continual changes in information technologies and their use have created different demands on the jobs of IS professionals and new expectations about their roles within organizations. In this context, a number of studies have been conducted in recent years (Lee, Trauth, and Farwell, 1995; Computerworld, 1999) to determine the skills and characteristics required of IS professionals.

These studies may be considered limited in that they had directed the attention of respondent IS managers (by the use of survey research) on certain attributes that the researchers had identified as important. The study described in this paper applies a more qualitative approach to data collection and also focuses its attention on the West Michigan region. In the following sections, its results are compared with those of prior studies as well as its implications for university curriculum examined.

"Sources of Knowledge Acquisition by U.S. Managers: An Empirical Analysis"
Knowledge & Information Technology Management: Human and Social Perspectives, 2003, pp. 14-29.

Questionnaire surveys of 156 U.S. managers are used to study knowledge acquisition behaviors. The study specifically examined the relationship among perceived accessibility, perceived task complexity, and the information-gathering behavior of U.S. managers. One of the major conclusions resulting from this study is that the accessibility of an information source, and not the perceived complexity of that task at hand, influences the choice of source used. Other study results are discussed and implications are offered for practicing manager. In addition, a knowledge management framework based on perspectives of the various management disciplines is also presented.

"Stress and the Small Business Owner"
International Council for Small Business World Conference Proceedings, 2002
By Suzanne M. Crampton and John W. Hodge

It's generally agreed that the small business owner's life is filled with stress. Reasons for their additional stress compared to typical employees include the high failure rate for small businesses along with the fact that the basic existence of small business owners is often tied up in their business since many personally finance their operations and everything they own is used as collateral. Also, some small businesses husband-wife teams, adding more stressors. The small business owner is also subject to the same trends other businesses experience, such as dealing with increases in workers' compensation claims, legal issues, and workplace violence. These issues are compounded by the fact that small business owners have less available resources or staff to deal with these problems. Small business owners should be concerned about stress because it has been suggested that too much stress can have both psychological and physical consequences, meaning there is a cost associated with too much stress. Many suggest that since positive stress can be good, the issue is the management of stress -not the avoidence. To this extent, there is are significant suggestions as to what owners can do to reduce negative stress. Experts specifically are focussing on such techniques as time management, maintaining a better balance between work and leisure, and making better use of available services that focus on stress management and control. The purpose of this article is to review the causes and effects of stress on owners and employees in small businesses. In addition, strategies the small business owner can use to manage and minimize problems associated with stress will be discussed.

"Succession Planning Practices of West Michigan Family-Owned Businesses"
SBANC Newsletter, August 2002, Vol. 239.

Researchers have long stressed succession planning's importance in ensuring the continuity and prosperity of a family-owned business. In this exploratory study, we report on some preliminary results on the importance and extent of succession planning in West Michigan family businesses. Specifically, we look at the critical factors and important successor attributes in terms of the West Michigan family business context.

"The Aging Work Force and Age Discrimination"
Hawaii International Conference on Business Proceedings, June 2003.
By Suzanne Crampton and John Hodge

Downsizing has been a popular topic since the 1980s. During the 1990s greater attention has been given to the aging of the American workforce. As the workforce has aged and companies have downsized and generally increased their efforts to control labor costs, the number of age discrimination lawsuits has also increased. The extent to which there is a casual relationship among downsizing, cost containment, the aging workforce, and the increasing claims of age discrimination cannot be scientifically concluded. However, a review of these areas was conducted in order to ascertain what explanation experts have provided, particularly as it relates to the increase numbers of age discrimination lawsuits.

"The FLSA and Overtime Pay"
Public Personnel Management, Fall 2003, 331-354.
By Suzanne M. Crampton, John W. Hodge, and Jitendra M. Mishra

Many employers are unwittingly violating a U.S. Department of Labor pay rule, and they could pay a high price as a result. In fact, U.S. companies could owe as much as $39 billion in pay back. The rule on overtime compensation has been in effect since 1954, but it has come to the fore, mostly in economically painful ways, because of a handful of recent court decisions and increased Labor Department enforcement action against companies. The rule states that employers must pay hourly employees at one-and-a-half times their hourly rate for each hour over 40 they work in a week. Employers are not required to pay overtime to employees who are paid on a salary basis and who meet certain requirements related to duties. However, employers often don't know which employees qualify for overtime, when to pay it, or whether to pay time and a half or compensatory time. In fact, violations are so common that some estimate that workers would get an additional $19 billion a year if the rules were observed. Perhaps it's time to revisit the provisions and interpretations of the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act.

"The Grapevine Is Alive In West Michigan Firms"
By Suzanne Crampton, John Hodge and Jitendra Mishra

As much as 70 percent of all organizational communication may occur at the grapevine level--the informal communication medium within an organization. Consequently, the grapevine is an inevitable part of organizational life--a natural consequence of people interacting. However, we know very little about how managers perceive the characteristics and functioning of this informal communication network.

The purpose of our research was to examine West Michigan managers' perceptions of the factors associated with grapevine activity (the informal communication network). Of particular interest was to determine the extent to which the managers' position within the organization affects their perceptions of grapevine activity.

A 53-item questionnaire was mailed to a random sample of 416 public and private organizations with 50 or more employees throughout a six county Western Michigan area (Ottawa, Kent, Muskegon, Calhoun, Berrien, and Kalamazoo). These organizations represented a wide diversification of economic activities and industrial sectors. We received completed questionnaires from 158 organizations, for a response rate of 38 percent.

"The Inventory Disqualification Tax-Free Exchanges Tax Court Case Teaches Fundamental Lessons About the Definition of "inventory." "
By James A. Fellows and Michael A. Yuhas

Virtually all real estate professionals are familiar with the fact that a section of the Internal Revenue Code enables investors (corporate and others) to exchange their ownership interest in realty for another person''s ownership interest in other realty, without generating any immediate tax liability. This tax-free exchange treatment is granted by Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code, provided that the parties to the exchange meet certain requirements.

Unless a taxpayer who transfers appreciated property adheres strictly to these provisions of Section 103 1, tax liability automatically results. Section 1031 specifically excludes real estate held for inventory from tax-free exchange treatment. A recent Tax Court case demonstrated just how strictly these requirements are interpreted by the IRS and the courts.

"Trade-offs Among The Elements of Flexibility - An International Comparison"
By Lori L. Koste, Manoj K. Malhotra, Subhash Sharma

Flexibility has long been recognized as a manufacturing capability that has the potential to impact the competitive position and the business performance of an organization [Cox 1989, De Meyer, et al. 1989]. This recognition, however, has not led to a unanimous approach to acquiring flexibility. De Meyer, et al. (1989) found that Japanese manufacturers emphasize flexibility more than North American or European manufacturers. While this finding provides insight into the strategic emphasis of these organizations, it does not provide an in-depth comparison of flexibility across organizations.

This paper undertakes such a comparison. We first break down the concept of flexibility into its constituent elements and dimensions. Questions are subsequently raised regarding whether trade-offs occur among the elements for a given flexibility dimension. We use data from the automotive industry to answer these questions, and show that certain key aspects of manufacturing flexibility have been acquired and leveraged differently by American and Japanese producers.

"Unions and Agency Shop Agreements"
Decisions Sciences Institute International Conference Proceedings, July 2001
By Suzanne M. Crampton and John W. Hodge

The purpose of this paper is to review current political and legal issues associated with the use of union dues for political activity. This paper will provide a brief overview of the legal and political issues involving how union members' union dues are used. The evolving issue of paycheck protection legislation will also be analyzed.

"User perceptions of the benefits of implementing an ERP system: A case study"
Journal of International Information Management, Fall 2001, Vol 10, pp. 1-12.
By Jaideep Motwani, Victor E. Sower and Dinesh Mirchandani

Given the large tie and financial commitment that and ERP project requires and the potential benefits is can offer if successfully implemented, it is important to understand the factors that facilitate and inhabit the success of ERP implementation. By means of a case study of a global energy company, we first examine the factors that facilitate and inhibit the success of their ERP implementation. We draw on the theory of business process change when analyzing the implementation process. Next, we examine the perceptions non-management professional users of the ERP system (who were not members of the ERP implementation team) have of the ERP system. The data for this part of the study was collected through a survey of non-management professional users of an ERP system, 6 months after implementation.

"Using information technology to improve downstream supply chain operations: A case study"
Business Process Management Journal, 2003, 69-80
By John McLaughlin, Jaideep Motwani, Manu S. Madan, and A. Gunasekaran

To succeed in today's global marketplace, organizations are looking at streamlining their supply chain through the successful deployment of information technology. This paper, by means of a case study discusses how a manufacturing company implemented a transportation planning and optimization system to enhance their downstream supply chain operations. The application development framework is used to analyze the implementation process. The findings of this case study will benefit companies seeking to create a competitive advantage in the marketplace through advanced physical distribution capabilities.

"Using QFD in a Service Industry to Listen to its Customers"
By Ashok Kumar, Dinesh Mirchandani, Jaideep Motwani

In this paper, we report on a company's efforts to improve the quality of its service to its customers using Advanced Quality Function Deployment (AQFD). Over the span of last two decades, QFD has been used with great success to improve customer satisfaction in manufacturing settings. Here we modify the existing QFD methodology to suit a service application. The company under study is engaged in providing safety-related seminars in west Michigan area. The study reports that the application of this methodology resulted in 31% increase in sales revenue and 88% growth in market share.

"Violence in the Workplace"
Decision Sciences Institute International Conference Proceedings, July 2001
By Suzanne M. Crampton and John W. Hodge

Acts of workplace violence continue to increase. Companies and employees suffer many losses due to workplace violence, such as low productivity, sick days, impaired judgment, low morale, etc. Consequently, professionals need to develop polocies and practices to aid in preventing and reducing the effects of incidents. The purpose of this paper is to outline steps employers can take to reduce their chances of workplace violence occurring along with the training and support programs necessary to reduce its effects.

"Winning the influence game: A book review"
Academy of Management Executive, 2002, Vol. 16, Pp. 167-168.
By Carol M. Sanchez

In Winning the Influence Game, authors Michael Watkins, Mickey Edwards, and Usha Thakrar effectively explain how managers of companies can improve their relationships with government. Watkins and Thakrar from the Harvard Business School and Edwards, a former member of Congress now teaching at the Kennedy School of Government, provide excellent perspective and guidance through several helpful frameworks that companies may use as they try to understand and navigate through their encounters with public-sector officials. The book is especially useful for leaders of small and medium-sized companies who may not be completely familiar with the practice of dedicating company resources to influencing the government.

"Women in Management"
Public Personnel Management, Vol. 28, No. 1, Spring 1999, 87-107.
By Suzanne M. Crampton and Jitendra M. Mishra

Women have only recently begun to join the ranks of managers in large numbers. The emergence of women into the work force has precipitated many discussions. This paper discusses some of the major issues surrounding women in management and proposes some organizational and individual responses. To better utilize the diversity of skills and talents available within the work force.

Proceedings

"Child Labor Around The Globe"
Integrating Technology & Human Decisions: Global Bridges into the 21st Century, July 1999.
By Lori Patalocco, Jitendra Mishra,

Fifty-nine (59) years after Congress outlawed Child Labor, but children still toil in fields and factories across America. They are the hundreds of thousands of children who daily and illegally toil in the fields and factories of America. They live in a world apart-a world without school and often without play, a world of poverty and danger and most of all, a world of constant work.

In 1700's and 1800's child labor was very common throughout the US. In fact it was considered normal. In a society in which very few people even finished elementary school, it was considered right and proper for children to enter the workforce early. Slowly the public opinion changed. Too much work, too young, people came to believe robbed children of an education and condemned to a life of poverty and lost opportunities.

Throughout Africa, Latin America and Asia, child labor is the norm today. Worldwide, ILO estimates as many as 200 million children labor under hard conditions for little or no pay. The US Department of Labor identified 19 nations where, it says, at least 46 million children toil in degrading conditions, producing goods that are sold in the USA.

"Construct Measurement for Dimensions of Manufacturing Flexibility"
Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Decision Sciences Institute, 2002
By Lori L. Koste, Manoj K. Malhotra and Subhash Sharma

Flexibility is often cited as a key competitive capability, although recent efforts to measure flexibility have not proven sufficient. We use Churchill's (1979) paradigm to develop psychometrically sound measures for six dimensions of manufacturing flexibility. A rigorous survey methodology guided the collection of data from 158 manufacturing plants across USA.

"Ergonomics in the Workplace or Politics"
MBAA Proceedings, 2002 BHAA
Scott Pawlowski and Jitendra M. Mishra

The term "ergonomics" is derived from two Greek words; "ergon", meaning work and "nomoi", meaning natural laws. Ergonomics study human capabilities in relationship to work demands.

On March 6 and 7, 2001 the Senate and the House of Representatives voted to repeal OSHA''s Ergonomics ruling. In less than 24 hours, the Republican controlled Congress undid one of the most sweeping legacies of the Clinton Administration & sent to President Bush a repeal of federal regulations to prevent repetitive motion injuries in the workplace. The House voted 223-206 to repeal the regulations, one day after the Senate approved the repeal, 56-44. Sixteen House democrats broke party ranks to vote for the repeal and thirteen Republicans from blue collar district heeded the appeal of labor unions and voted to keep the OSHA safeguards. It was a major victory for the business interests, and a setback for labor and a sign of newfound power of Republicans, who control the House, Senate and White House for the first time since 1955[&]

"Succession Planning Practices of U.S. and Indian Family-Owned Businesses: An Exploratory Analysis"
Third Asian Academy of Managment Conference, December 2002.
By Jaideep Motwani

Researchers have long stressed succession planning's importance in ensuring the continuity and prosperity of a family-owned business. In this cross-cultural comparative exploratory study, we compare and report on some preliminary results, on the succession planning practices that U.S. and Indian family business owners consider most important. Specifically, we examine the critical factors and important successor attributes in terms of the family business context.

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