How to Plan the Perfect Graduation Party

February 3, 2017

If your graduation from your online masters in counseling from Bradley University is fast-approaching, then the time is right to start planning the perfect graduation party. You’ve put in all the necessary work for your online counseling degree, you’re ready to get out into the job force and start to help clients, but there’s no reason not to take a moment to celebrate all you’ve achieved with those who are closest to you.  There are a few different party styles we’ll take a look at so you can find one that matches your personality.

An Elegant and Small Celebration

If you find yourself a bit on the shy and reserved side, then an elegant and small celebration with family and/or friends is probably the way to go. It still gives you a chance to celebrate your achievements, but it’s nothing too over the top.

Ideal venues for this kind of celebration include a fine-dining restaurant, a trendy pub, a backyard garden party, or even a special dinner you’ve planned at your own house. If you’re going with elegant and small you want the emphasis to be in the details such as the food, drinks, décor, and atmosphere.

Read more

Banks hold major information advantage over other investors

February 1, 2017

Maybe Gordon Gekko was right when he said that information was the most valuable commodity of all. A new study showing major investment advantages for banks in countries where public economic data is scarce seems to support that claim by the fictional corporate raider in the 1987 movie Wall Street.

The study, conducted by a former Wall Streeter-turned academic, shows that banks – armed with superior access to local private information due to their extensive investments and relationships – enjoy major advantages over other investors. Direct and portfolio investors, for example, were shown to have far less access to similar information, and were consequently more hesitant to invest.

Read more

Demand for MBAs Continue to Rise

January 24, 2017

Despite the recent turmoil, the economy is growing at a steady rate. More jobs are being created as companies are expanding domestically and to new markets. Most of these newly created jobs are mid- to top-level management jobs that require specific sets of skills and expertise. Filling these jobs are not always easy, especially since companies have specific needs and requirements to meet as well.

The steady shift has sparked an increase in the number of professionals going back to school. Companies have started giving incentives to employees who are willing to spend the extra time to pursue a business degree, particularly an MBA.

More Courses and Programs

The education landscape is more than ready to meet this increasing demand. Top universities such as Rutgers Online are making their online courses available to more students. These courses are fully accredited and require students to meet the same standards as their offline colleagues. This means graduates can be expected to have the required skills and knowledge to perform well in the job market.

Read more

Trump presidency to affect the quality of financial reporting information

January 20, 2017

The number of companies using ‘creative accounting techniques’ can be expected to increase in Republican-governed states and decrease in Democrat-governed states when Donald Trump becomes US President tomorrow, according to new research from the University of Bath.

Widely seen in recent accounting scandals, companies under pressure from analysts and investors can resort to manipulating financial reports to hide financial performance, or at best present an overly positive impression of the company’s profitability, through practices known as ‘earnings management’.

Read more

Colonel Sanders KFC marketing was ahead of its time

August 3, 2016

Instilling trust among first-time customers has been a problem for online retailers since the dawn of e-commerce. Now research shows that sometimes the simplest of fixes can reassure would-be buyers.

In “Feeling Close From Afar: The Role of Psychological Distance in Offsetting Distrust in Unfamiliar Online Retailers,” forthcoming in the September 2016 issue of the Journal of Retailing, a clutch of marketing experts demonstrated that including even a photo of a store or of a business owner on a shopping site – something visual and representational – can encourage wary buyers to make a purchase from a vendor with which they were unfamiliar. The research was conducted by Professors Peter Darke, of York University; Michael K. Brady, of Florida State University; and Andrew E Wilson, of Saint Mary’s College of California; and consultant Ray L. Benedicktus, of Lieberman Research Worldwide. Read more

How 5-star online customer reviews can backfire

August 3, 2016

It may be counterintuitive, but the more positive online reviews a product gets may actually lead to a net negative profit for the retailer. That’s the conclusion of new research by a team of marketing experts from a Dutch and a German university that will be published in the September 2016 issue of the Journal of Retailing.

In “To Keep or Not to Keep: Effects of Online Customer Reviews on Product Returns,” Professor Tammo H.A. Bijmolt and PhD candidate Alec Minnema, of the University of Groningen, and Professors Sonja Gensler and Thorsten Wiesel of the University of Münster, analyze more than two years of sales data from a major European online retailer – a total of almost 9 million page views and 631,063 purchase transactions for 2,164 different products in the electronics and furniture categories. Read more

Job switching stokes competitive behavior

April 7, 2016

Colleague today, competitor tomorrow: Moving to a rival firm leads to a conflict of identities – and causes movers to focus their competitive impulses on their former employer, as a study by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich management scholar Thorsten Grohsjean shows. Read more

Research finds reason advertising boosts stock prices for some companies and not others

January 13, 2016

By 2017, total advertising spending is expected to approach $136 billion, placing more pressure on management to demonstrate its impact on sales and stock prices. It’s the age-old question of advertising effectiveness.

While nearly every research study has found that advertising has a positive impact on sales, the results are mixed regarding its effectiveness on stock price, which can be seen as an indicator of future sales. Read more

Increasing liquefied natural gas exports ‘marginally positive’ for US economy

December 30, 2015

Increasing the United States’ export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) above 12 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) would allow the U.S. to continue to provide a competitive advantage for domestic natural-gas-intensive industries relative to their counterparts overseas, according to a new report presented to the U.S. Department of Energy from the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and Oxford Economics.

The study, “The Macroeconomic Impact of Increasing U.S. LNG Exports,” was co-authored by Kenneth Medlock, senior director for the Center for Energy Studies.

“The dramatic growth in shale gas production in the United States has presented a number of opportunities and challenges for the U.S. economy,” Medlock said. “To begin, shale gas production has lowered the domestic price of natural gas so that the United States now has among the lowest prices in the world and shifted the U.S. from emerging as a significant importer to a pending exporter of LNG. This has benefitted consumers and led to gains in competitiveness for U.S. manufacturers.

“Low natural gas prices in the United States negatively impact the profitability of domestic upstream activities, which has, in fact, been a primary driver of interest in exporting LNG as suppliers seek new demands in higher-priced markets. While selling natural gas at higher prices on the world market would increase profits for U.S. gas producers, the price gap between the United States and the rest of the world will shrink, thereby eroding some of the benefits that have accrued to U.S. consumers and manufacturers. So the net balance of the gains and losses associated with trade are at the core of the analysis. In sum, the balance is positive for the U.S. economy.”

For the report, the Center for Energy Studies used the Rice World Gas Trade Model to simulate alternative futures to assess natural gas production, demand and, more generally, the international gas market based on a range of projections of U.S. resource endowments. Oxford Economics addressed the macroeconomic impact of the center’s market analysis.

A comprehensive set of scenarios was developed in the analysis – including U.S. natural gas recovery, international and domestic demand, and natural-gas supply opportunities in the rest of the world – to examine the impact on energy markets and the U.S. macroeconomy.

Key findings from the report include:

LNG exports are associated with a net increase in domestic natural gas production.

Medlock said the study found that “the majority of the increase in LNG exports is accommodated by expanded domestic production rather than reductions in domestic demand, a result that reflects the very elastic long-run supply curve in North America.”

As exports increase, the spread between U.S. domestic prices and international benchmarks narrows. In every case, greater LNG exports raised domestic prices somewhat and lowered prices internationally. The majority of the price movement (in absolute terms), however, occurs in Asia.

The overall macroeconomic impacts of higher LNG exports are marginally positive, a result that is robust under alternative assumptions. With external demand for U.S. LNG exports at 20 Bcf/d, the impact of increasing exports from 12 Bcf/d is between $7 billion to $20 billion annually from 2026 to 2040 in today’s prices.

Medlock said that the impact from added LNG exports will not be felt until after 2025 due to the large amount of LNG supply that is coming online globally in the next few years. The global market simply cannot accommodate U.S. volumes in excess of 12 Bcf/d before 2025 in any of the scenarios considered. Accordingly, while international demand continues to increase, the market must first work through a large amount of available LNG supply before turning to U.S.-sourced LNG.

The reference case forecasts U.S. LNG exports of around 6.5 Bcf/d as there are abundant, competitive resources around the world that can be delivered to international markets via LNG or pipelines. Higher U.S. LNG exports require a variety of factors that limit the otherwise competitive production of natural gas outside of the U.S. Moreover, those factors must become increasingly restrictive to raise U.S. LNG exports over 12 Bcf/d.

Across all of the scenarios assessed, “the macroeconomic impacts of LNG exports are marginally positive,” Medlock said. “Across the domestic cases, the positive impact of higher U.S. gas production exceeds the negative impacts of higher domestic natural gas prices associated with increased LNG exports. The overall macroeconomic impacts of increasing U.S. LNG exports to 20 Bcf/d from 12 Bcf/d are small, reflecting the small size of the natural gas sector and supporting industries relative to the over $13 trillion U.S. economy.”

Men more likely to achieve targets if they are set goals

July 9, 2015

A new study by the University of Leicester has revealed that men are more receptive to goals in the workplace than women.

Using a timed addition task, research from the University’s Department of Economics examined the effect of non-binding goals – where no monetary rewards or punishments are associated with success or failure – on effort, and found:

  • Men are more motivated by achieving goals than women
  • Goal-setting can generate the same effects on success as monetary incentives
  • Having a goal leads to better focus and increased speed to complete a task

One hundred and nine research participants completed a simple addition task summing up sets of five two-digit, randomly drawn numbers over five minutes in one of three groups:

  1. Control – no goal was given
  2. Low goal – to achieve 10 correct answers
  3. High goal – to achieve 15 correct answers

They found participants within the two goal groups scored more correct answers, attempted more questions and had greater accuracy during the tests. However, there was no significant difference between the two goal groups, showing that having a goal is more important than the specific value of the goal.

Research lead Samuel Smithers, PhD student from the University of Leicester’s Department of Economics explained: “The focus of this research was to determine how to motivate people. When we are given a goal, we feel a sense of purpose to achieve it; it naturally helps to focus us. The findings demonstrate that setting a goal induces higher effort.

“My research found that women perform better than men in the no goal setting, but men thrive in both of the goal treatments, suggesting that men are more responsive to goals than women. I also found a 20 per cent and 35 per cent increase in correct number of additions for the medium and challenging goal groups over the control group.

“This is an incredible increase in output without the need for extra monetary incentives. The increase was due to an increase in both the speed and accuracy of the participants in the goal groups.”

Participants were rewarded 25p for every correct answer, but no additional monetary bonus if they achieved their goal, showing that satisfaction for achieving a goal is motivation enough for greater performance.

Research supervisor Professor Sanjit Dhami added: “Samuel contributes to a growing body of literature in behavioural economics that enriches classical economics by incorporating insights from the other social sciences, mainly psychology but also biology, sociology and neuroscience.

“Behavioural economics paints a richer picture of human motivations, such as responsiveness to non-monetary goals, relative to classical economics that almost exclusively explores the effect of monetary incentives.

“Samuel’s research shows that gender differences in economic behaviour are important and widespread. These results will be useful for policy-makers but also for private firms. Furthermore, this research serves to highlight the cutting-edge research in behavioural economics that continues to be undertaken at the University of Leicester.”

The research, which is published in Economics Letters, was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Next Page »