Almost two years ago, Netflix seemed to have bottomed out. The streaming and DVD rental company raised its prices, resulting in a mass exodus of subscribers, while also launching an ill-fated attempt to separate its two businesses. Yet the firm seems to have bounced back, emerging as the best-performing stock in the S&P 500 index during the first quarter of this year. Wharton experts and others say Netflix achieved this by focusing on its core customer base and committing to a long-term strategy. But in a highly competitive business, they add, innovation remains key.
From: June 18, 2013 Going Dutch: Tourism and the Resources Boom
According to Larry Dwyer from the Australian School of Business, the recent lean years for Australian tourism can be seen as Dutch Disease, a term coined during the 1970s when the discovery of gas deposits in The Netherlands led to an appreciation of the domestic currency at the expense of other local industries. Growth is returning to Australian tourism with more visitors coming from China than from the traditional market of Britain and resumed interest from the US. But Dwyer notes that a slowdown in investment has led to a lack of innovation, resulting in a tired product. Australia is one of the world's most expensive destinations, but is it really geared up to deliver quality experiences for visitors?
From: March 04, 2013 Journalism in the Digital Crossfire: Who Will Pay for the News?
With declining revenues and competition from online resources and social media, traditional newspapers and even digital news sites are in transition, according to new research from the Australian School of Business. The forms that news sources will take in the future is as yet unknown, but the ability to track user trends online will certainly shape their evolution and the survival of conventional newspapers is not assured. Local papers and specialist sites are expected to survive, but how will the civic role of news reporting be funded?
From: February 19, 2013 Inside Story: Breaking New Ground in Managing Risk
Corporate risk management has traditionally focused on mitigating the impact of external factors over which a company has no control. But what about internal factors? Australian School of Business professor Lex Donaldson has developed Organisational Portfolio Analysis (OPA), a new approach that identifies the risks within a company's individual business units and reveals how their fluctuations interact with overall company risk and performance. OPA can deliver fresh insights into the dynamics and behaviour of a corporation. By better understanding sources of corporate risk, they can be managed and used to drive profits.
From: February 05, 2013 How Manu Chandaria Mastered the African Market
For businesses and entrepreneurs looking for a growth opportunity, Africa represents a compelling and underserved market with a population of more than 1 billion people. In a slow growth environment, Africa has grown at 5% a year during the past decade. But political risk, poverty, staffing shortages, lack of infrastructure and cultural differences abound, making it difficult to secure a foothold there. Furthermore, turning a profit in Africa is not considered to be good enough, with businesses facing pressure to give back to their communities in order to help the region prosper.
From: January 31, 2013 Multinationals from Emerging Markets: Making a Virtue out of Necessity
In recent times, emerging markets have attracted a great deal of attention from the rest of the world because they have become the motors of global economic growth. This has been accompanied by two distinct trends: a boom in investment from corporations in developed nations, and the rise of home-grown multinationals. A recent book by Wharton management professor Mauro F. Guillén and Esteban Garcia-Canal, professor of business at the University of Oviedo, explores the winning strategies of emerging multinationals as well as the lessons that can be learned from today's more globalized distribution of power.
From: December 17, 2012 'Kill the Company': Identify Your Weaknesses Before Your Competitors Do
For many, implementing an innovation strategy, which requires changes within an organization, means adding layers of new processes. Lisa Bodell, author of Kill the Company: End the Status Quo, Start an Innovation Revolution, argues that there are straightforward ways to make change without bogging down the organization. Bodell insists that whether an organization is doing exceptionally well or struggling, now is the time to address weaknesses and issues so that innovation can begin. Knowledge@Wharton spoke with Bodell recently about her approach to getting companies to face their vulnerabilities, why taking risks are essential and why small changes make all the difference.
An edited version of the transcript appears below.
From: December 17, 2012 Slippery Negotiations: The Give and Take of Oil Contracts in Foreign Countries
When oil prices spiralled much higher in global markets between 2003 and 2008, the governments of several oil-producing nations - including Algeria, Bolivia, China, Ecuador, Russia and Venezuela - responded by expropriating local assets of independent oil companies that had contracted to operate in their territories, or by imposing large windfall taxes on their oil output. Struck by this complex, little-understood pattern of events, Arthur van Benthem, Wharton professor of business economics and public policy, and Johannes Stroebel, professor of economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, analysed the fiscal data on 2,468 oil extraction agreements in 38 countries during that time period, in search of answers to key questions of interest to public policy makers and foreign investors alike.
From: November 22, 2012 GM's Daniel Ammann: Driving 'One of the Great Corporate Transformations of All Time'
The theme of the recent 2012 Wharton Management Conference - "Changing the Game: Leadership in Crisis" - is an apt one for the auto industry. Daniel Ammann, CFO of General Motors, addressed leadership issues in a keynote presentation at the conference and in a podcast with Wharton's John Paul MacDuffie, during which he discussed upcoming product launches, the struggling auto industry in Europe and a strong partnership in China. (Podcast with transcript
From: October 25, 2012 The Truth About Outsourcing: Cost Savings? Quality Improvement? It May Get Messy!
The growth of outsourcing has blurred the traditional boundaries of businesses globally. While cost savings remain the greatest motivation, smart companies have developed more sophisticated approaches to contracting out business functions. Multiple suppliers may be involved as they seek to improve outcomes, tap into innovation or manage growth. Whether or not outsourcing really boosts a firm's bottom line or productivity usually depends on how deeply the decision-makers understand the process, insist the experts. One aspect not to be ignored is the often high and sometimes hidden in-house costs of managing outsiders.
From: August 06, 2012