Category: Academic Programs
The team solved an operations problem for Lindt & Sprüngli
They say that victory is sweet, and for five Professional Evening MBA (PEMBA) students at Boston University School of Management, it’s not only sweet—it tastes like milk chocolate. The five—Juliana Beauvais, Bobby Mclaughlin, Ram Meyyappan, Lauren Murphy, and Renata Shypailo, also known as the Glooper Troopers—clinched the School’s inaugural PEMBA Case Competition, held from November 15-16, 2014, in collaboration with Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Sprüngi.
Supported by Allen Questrom Professor and Dean Ken Freeman and organized by Professors Erik Molander and Patricia Hambrick, the competition was the first of its kind, specifically engaging the School’s part-time MBA community and offering its students a chance to showcase their abilities in front of top executives.
“It was amazing to be able to present to the CEO of Lindt and VP of operations and have our hard work over the two days acknowledged by them,” Mclaughlin said. “Opportunities like this are seldom available to part-time MBAs at any school, and I was really impressed with the organization of the entire event and how BU dedicates resources to part-time students.”
Together, Mclaughlin and his teammates were the “Glooper Troopers,” which is a nod to Augustus Gloop from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, according to Meyyappan. He said the team was cohorted together last year and, ironically, Augustus Gloop had been an inside joke from one of the team’s finance classes. “It felt only appropriate to use him again in a chocolate competition.”
The Glooper Troopers went up against five other cleverly named PEMBA teams in the competition: Beyond Compare, Brain Conche, Pythis, Sweet Science, and Seal Team Six (Wonka Warriors).
The 32 students were faced with an operations challenge: As Lindt USA continues to expand (the company acquired Russell Stover in July 2014), the company doesn’t want to lose its entrepreneurial spirit, but seeks to build a platform of shared services so that its management team can focus on exploiting local differences that more traditional firms would miss. The students were then asked what services should be included in this platform, such as HR, finance, logistics, and brand marketing, whether this shared model could speed time to market and flexibility to meet localized market needs, and what the appropriate governance mechanism is to manage the boundary between shared services and localized needs.
Glooper Troopers found that running three distinct, siloed companies in the same sector would not likely be effective for Lindt & Sprüngi USA. Consolidation of some operations seemed to be the obvious solution to the team, and marketing—a strength for Lindt—didn’t seem to be the best area to start regarding shared services, according to Beauvais. What’s more, she noted, given that Lindt has its own “bean-to-bar” production, the team didn’t want to focus on either purchasing or operations.
Knowing that the company has a longstanding decentralized culture, Murphy said the team recognized that a shared services model would be a major shift, and that communication and marketing for internal-change management would be as important as the actual implementation itself. In conducting their research and preparing their pitch for the judges, she said the Glooper Troopers wanted to focus on the “why”—why they felt Lindt would benefit from a shared services model—instead of the “how.”
“The competition gave me the invaluable opportunity to use knowledge from all of the classes I have taken in the PEMBA program and leverage that knowledge in approaching a real-world problem,” Mclaughlin said.
Not to mention, “as chocolate fans, it was interesting to get a crash course on the industry itself,” Shypailo added. “During the holiday season, each of us has a newfound appreciation for chocolate while doing our shopping.”
PayScale’s 2014-2015 College Salary Report, which ranks colleges and universities on alumni post-grad earnings, has placed Boston University School of Management 30th on its list of the best graduate business schools.
According to PayScale, alumni of the School’s MBA program pull in $81,900 as an early career salary, and rise to a mid-career salary of $132,900.
This is the first time PayScale has included graduate schools in its College Salary Report, and published its rankings of hundreds of graduate programs based on alumni salaries in four degree categories: JD, master’s, MBAs, and PhD.
All data used to produce the 2014-2015 College Salary Report were collected from employees who successfully completed PayScale’s salary survey (roughly 1.4 million over the last year). Self-employed, project-based, and contract employees are not included.
Creator of the largest database of individual compensation profiles in the world containing more than 40 million salary profiles, PayScale, Inc. provides an immediate and precise snapshot of current market salaries to employees and employers through its online tools and software.
See the full list of the best graduate business schools here.
The 2014 Financial Times ranking of executive MBA programs around the world has placed Boston University School of Management 1st in New England, and 27th among US-based EMBA programs.
Globally, BU’s Executive MBA program was ranked 69th, up 12 places from the 2013 ranking. In addition, the BU EMBA continues to select a remarkably experienced class, ranking 3rd in work experience among US-based programs and 23rd overall.
Data from alumni questionnaires (including areas such as “salary today” and “aims achieved”) accounts for 55 percent of the ranking’s weight. These criteria include data collated by Financial Times over the past three years, where available. Data supplied by the school accounts for 35 percent, and faculty research published in particular leading journals accounts for the final 10 percent.
“The BU Executive MBA draws exceptional mid-career leaders from throughout New England and beyond,” said Jonathan Lehrich, associate dean for executive education. “The result, as these rankings indicate, is an ongoing community of highly satisfied alumni. They’re proud of what they’d accomplished as they joined the BU EMBA, and of what they and their classmates have achieved—because of each other.”
See the full 2014 Financial Times executive MBA ranking here.
Designing and analyzing large-scale randomized experiments in digital, platform and online social network environments to understanding economic and behavioral processes, such as measuring social influence and estimating the dynamics of contagious phenomena.
Contact – Dylan Walker
What are the factors that are responsible for a purchase being returned? How do we uncover different paths the customers take to a purchase? These are some of the questions we are seeking to answer in this project using large customer activity datasets. The insights and methods developed in this research could allow a retailer to better plan reverse logistics, improve targeted advertising, and intervene at the best time during a customer’s path-to-purchase. Learn more.
By: Nachiketa Sahoo
For much of its existence, humanity operated with a shared economy model. The lack of resources and the daily fight for survival required that early hunter gathers and agricultural communities pool resources in a manner that reduced waste and extracted the maximum value from a limited pool of resources. With the industrial revolution and the rise of the consumer society consumption became much more individualized.
Along with the immense increase in individual wealth arose a socio-economic system in which most of our personal resources became less efficiently utilized, while at the same time, the efficiency of manufacturing and commercial resources rose. The last two decades has brought to the fore various factors that have put this socio-economic system under strain: the growing threat of climate change, limitations on the use of energy-based resources, geo-economic imbalances that have brought into the system billions of emerging market consumers. One reaction to these changes has been a shift in values and a felt pressure to be more individually efficient in the use of resources via what is now termed “the sharing economy”.
The sharing economy encompasses a host of activities, technologies and organizations and is a modern advance on the early ideas of Felson and Spaeth (1978) around “collaborative consumption”. While still nascent, the sharing economy has some clear iconic success stories – AirBnB, Zipcar, RentTheRunway—and is estimated by Forbes to amount to approximately $3.5B with growth in excess of 25% per annum. Despite the growing importance of the sharing economy, little structured academic research has examined the shared economy, from basic motivations of consumers to be involved or not involved in accessing rather than owning goods to the essential differences in meaning and experience that sharing versus owning creates. This collaborative research project with Royal Holloway University of London seeks to understand the cultural underpinnings of an understanding of what the sharing economy is and how it is and can be enacted in people’s everyday lives.
By: Susan Fournier
What Does Reputation Buy in the Options Market? The Effect of Reporting Consistency on Ex Ante Uncertainty.
We show that firms, which deliver continuous strings of meeting or beating earnings expectations, experience reduced uncertainty in the marketplace. This suggests that managerial reputation for repeatedly hitting such earnings targets is priced by the options markets. This paper is targeted for publication in a top accounting research journal by clarifying our understanding of both the role of managerial reporting reputation in the pricing of equity shares, as well as the drivers of volatility in the marketplace.
By: Thaddeus Neururer, George Papadakis, Eddie Riedel
We show that boards of directors use their discretion to minimize compensation given to senior executives for unrealized gains – that is, gains reported by the firm but not yet realized in cash. This is important, as boards wish to avoid paying executives for gains that fail to materialize, and then having to engage in costly actions to recoup this compensation. This paper is targeted for publication in a top accounting research journal by adding to the extensive literature on senior executive compensation, a high profile topic of public interest.
By:Ana Albuquerque; Bingyi Chen; Flora Dong; Eddie Riedl
This research stream examines the rising development of platform firms and business ecosystems such as Android, Airbnb, Kickstarter, and Pinterest. How is innovation different in this context? Should crowds displace experts? Can we measure the health of an ecosystem and determine where to intervene? Should governments adopt platform strategies to grow their economies? How can new firms launch and overcome critical mass problems. Can we change the structure of an entire industry by placing strategic bets? This research will involve both econometric analysis of big data and analytic theory development.
Contact – Marshall Van Alstyne
In a Remix economy, how should we allocate credit and $$ to the people who create a composite good? How can we rethink intellectual property to permit more “permissionless innovation” and allow more great software, music, art, and writing to be produced? This project explores several analytic models of credit attribution and also visualization for reused works. We will also run live experiments on remix projects in an effort to develop broad policy implications.
Contact – Marshall Van Alstyne