France’s secret weapon: Video games

Description: Ubisoft, the maker of ‘Just Dance,’ ‘Assassin’s Creed,’ and other hit games, is taking advantage of being the only large publisher in France, which allows it to recruit top talent.

Source: CNNMoney.com – video report

Date: 06/24/2011

Link:  http://money.cnn.com/video/technology/2011/06/24/t_ubisoft_video_games.cnnmoney/

Questions for discussion:

  • How does globalization help a business like Ubisoft?
  • How are employees managed at this firm?
  • Are there limits to the growth of the company?
  • How can the firm grow through the use of the Internet?

Secrets of a used car factory

Description: Paragon Honda of Queens, N.Y. shows us how it builds its used car inventory by buying customers’ cars when they get them serviced.

Source: CNNMoney.com – video report

Date: 06/24/2011

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/smallbusiness/2011/06/24/sbiz_used_car_honda.cnnmoney/

Questions for discussion:

  • Explain the business model used by this firm.
  • Why is it so successful?
  • Why is this business doing well in the current economy?
  • How is the management thinking different from other used cars dealerships?

Web Games Threaten the Console

Description: A generation of new titles from the cloud have all the action and graphical richness of traditional shoot-em-ups and strategy games

Source: Businessweek.com

Date: 06/23/2011

Link:  http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_27/b4235037448495.htm

Questions for discussion:

  • Summarize the key points made in the report.
  • Do you agree or disagree with the findings?
  • What are some technological and social factors that are influencing the operations of this industry?

Writing a Check to Make a Bribery Charge Go Away

Description: In late June 2004, a plant manager for one of Tyson Foods’ poultry processing plants in Mexico sent a memo to company headquarters in Springdale, Ark.: two women who “most definitely do not work for Tyson Foods in Mexico” each were paid 30,700 pesos, or about $2,700, a month and had been for years. Tyson is one of the world’s largest producers of poultry, pork and beef products, a ubiquitous presence in American supermarkets that has been trying to increase foreign sales. The memo set off an ethics scandal that reached into Tyson’s executive suite and raises questions about who, if anyone, is being held accountable for high-level corporate crime.

Source: NYTimes.com

Date: 06/24/2011

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/25/business/25stewart.html?ref=business

Questions for discussion:

  • What would have done to handle this situation had you been the top decision-maker at the firm?
  • Do you think government regulatory officials have handled this issue correctly?

Soaring Silver Price Slows Transition to Solar Energy

Description: Soaring silver prices are hampering the solar industry’s ability to compete with fossil fuels. Panel makers consume about 11 percent of the world’s supply of silver, the material in solar cells that conducts electricity. The metal has appreciated 74 percent to $35.30 a troy ounce on average so far this year from $20.24 last year.

Source: Bloomberg.com

Date: 06/24/2011

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-22/silver-surge-makes-headwind-for-solar-in-fossil-fuel-rivalry.html

Questions for discussion:

  • What are the challenges facing producers?
  • How are they responding?
  • Why have silver prices risen?
  • How is this good and bad for silver mines?

Did you know IBM invented this … ?

Description: Look back at 100 years of IBM’s history and innovative breakthroughs.

Source: CNNMoney.com – video report

Date: 06/15/2011

Link:  http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2011/06/15/n_ibm_100_inventions.cnnmoney/

Questions for discussion:

  • How has IBM managed to remain successful for the last 100 years?
  • How would you define IBM’s business model?
  • What sorts of products could you see IBM developing  in the future?

Take a risk, make a buck

Description:  The founder of flash sale site Rue La La shares his thoughts on succeeding in business.

Source: CNNMoney.com – video report

Date: 06/16/2011

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/smallbusiness/2011/06/16/smb_sbt_ruelala.cnnmoney/

Questions for discussion:

  • What advice is presented to entrepreneurs?
  • Why do you suppose this advice is ignored, quite often?

Why American Management Rules the World

Description: The U.S. may lag at soccer, but Americans are the Brazilians of the boardroom, according to a group of European researchers.

Source: Businessweek.com

Date: 06/14/2011

Link:  http://www.businessweek.com/managing/content/jun2011/ca20110614_682279.htm

Questions for discussion:

  • Summarize the key points made in the report.
  • Do you agree or disagree with any of the findings?
  • Can these findings be useful to companies in other countries?

Connecting With Clients Through the Power of Tech

Description: In Lynn Milos’s previous business endeavors as a caterer and private chef, customer service was old school and face to face — the longstanding marketplace advantage enjoyed by small businesses over big businesses.

Source: NYTimes.com

Date: 06/15/2011

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/16/business/smallbusiness/16sbiz.html?ref=smallbusiness

Questions for discussion:

  • How has Lynn Milos made use of technology to improve customer service?
  • How else could she use technology?

Vietnam Cheaper-Than-China Appeal Diminishes as Labor Strikes

Description:  Japanese motor maker Minebea Co. chose Cambodia over Vietnam to build a plant for 5,000 workers in a sign growing labor disputes are hurting Vietnam’s appeal as a low-cost alternative to China.

Source: Bloomberg.com

Date: 06/16/2011

Link:  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-15/vietnam-cheaper-than-china-appeal-diminishes-as-labor-strikes.html

Questions for discussion:

  • What does this article teach you about the global nature of business?
  • How do labor issues affect investors, governments, and manufacturers?

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