Category Archives: Business

Why Working Fewer Days/Hours is Better for Everyone

Happy businessman at the beach

A lot has happened since John Maynard Keynes predicted in 1930 that a century later, we would be working only 15 hours a week. He may have made this calculation on expected output in relation to increasing productivity, but he must have left out the variable of the profit motive in a context of corporate greed. He didn’t get to see the competitive world of unimaginable globalization and interconnectedness that we can see today, and he didn’t realize to what extent organizations would demand their employees work such long hours. However, working long hours does not mean increased performance or profits. In fact, it may be the opposite.

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Disruptive Technology and Corporate Karate

disruptive tech banner

“Disruptive technology” – a term I dislike, coined by Harvard professor Clayton Christensen in 1995 – refers to an innovation that is generally meant to provide more financially accessible alternatives to well-established products, in order to gain market share. As Christensen and his colleagues explain, disruption “describes a process whereby a smaller company with fewer resources is able to successfully challenge established incumbent businesses.” This post will describe not only what kinds of effects disruptive technology can have on incumbents, but how corporations may be able to demonstrate a bit of self-defence when such innovations threaten them.

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Corporate Governance, and the Stakeholder vs. Shareholder Model

Corp Gov

Corporate governance is not a term that comes up in everyday conversation, but it is a very informative concept to know. Corporate governance refers to how a corporation is governed. This entails who owns and controls the company, and how it is managed. There are two main models of corporate governance, the shareholder model (which prioritizes the return on investment for a large number of investors) and the stakeholder model (where fewer people own, but more people have a stake in, the company; including customers, competitors, and the external community). These models of corporate governance define capital (finances), labour (employees), and management (employers) in very different ways. These relationships will be explained in the national contexts of the US and Germany below.

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Understanding ‘Labour Market Flexibility’ Should Matter to You

You're fired, clean out your desk office worker

If you’re someone who wants to work to support yourself (i.e. basically everyone), then the labour market is important for you to understand. Just like the “supply and demand” of products in a market, the supply and demand of labour makes up what we call the “labour market.” An employee therefore represents a supply, to be “bought” (by an employer) and “sold” (by an employee). Depending on several volatile factors, there may be more or less demand from employers, and the government may play a significant role in affecting this. However… which approach is the best for workers?

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The Evolution of Leadership

Businessman on summit

“So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart,

And guided them with his skillful hands.”

–Psalm 78:72

Leaders have surfaced in stories and historical records since the invention of writing. No matter what period, mankind has had leaders, from the bible to the oval office, from Alexander the Great to Mahatma Gandhi. However, the way we have thought of leadership has greatly changed over the past century. In business and academia, it has been a subject of much theorization. and that is exactly what this article is all about. This article is not intended to be comprehensive, but accessible. It is therefore grossly oversimplified, which means it as a brief and useful primer to the research literature.

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How to Think About Employment

Jobs Silhouettes

In order to learn more about the world, I have become interested in the study of what affects absolutely everyone throughout their adult lives: work. This article is meant to serve as a primer, to briefly introduce the key concepts and basic theories that are most commonly used to conceptualize what we know about work, employment, and management. I have attempted to explain and simplify fundamental models, frameworks, and theories, and these should be helpful when considering the broad topic of international business.

 

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