Category: Sectors

Eduniversal Ranks Seven BU School of Management Masters Programs Among Top 25 Globally

January 11th, 2013 in Health Sector, News, Press Release, Rankings, School

SMG’s Health Sector Management and Public & Nonprofit programs ranked 3rd in the world

Seven of Boston University School of Management’s masters programs have been ranked among the top 25 globally in the 2013 Eduniversal Best Masters Ranking. The School’s Health Sector Management and Public & Nonprofit programs both landed the #3 spot in their respective categories, while the International MBA program placed 9th globally. The School’s Executive MBA program placed 16th.

This annual ranking evaluates individual academic programs rather than institutions, and is based solely on external perceptions. The top 1,000 business schools worldwide are included in the ranking.

The Eduniversal International Scientific Committee bases the rankings on three main criteria: (1) the program’s reputation according to the opinion of international HR professionals, (2) starting salary of recent graduates, and (3) student satisfaction.

The School’s Full-Time MBA program placed 20th globally, the Math Finance program ranked 15th, and the Investment Management program came in at #24.

Visit EDUniversal’s website to view the complete ranking.

Professor Salinger in Forbes: Why the FTC Was Right Not To Sue Google

January 10th, 2013 in Digital Technology Sector, Faculty, Markets, Public Policy & Law, News

On January 10, Jacqueline J. and Arthur S. Bahr Professor of Management Michael Salinger‘s piece “Why the FTC Was Right Not to Sue Google” was featured in the Forbes Leadership Forum on Salinger, a professor in the Markets, Public Policy & Law department, is a former Director of the Bureau of Economics at the United States Federal Trade Commission.


Michael A. Salinger, Professor of Markets, Public Policy & LawJanuary 3 should go down as one of the most important and proudest moments in the history of United States antitrust enforcement. After a 19-month inquiry, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it had voted unanimously to close its investigation into the design of Google’s search results. The FTC’s decision is a victory for Google, a defeat for those who tried to persuade the FTC to use the antitrust laws to hinder rather than promote competition, and a victory for Google users. It is not easy for a law enforcement agency to devote substantial resources to an investigation and then not bring a case, but sound antitrust enforcement dictates that it must do so when, as happened here, the investigation failed to uncover evidence of a violation.

To understand what was at stake in the case, go to Google and enter a query for “New York weather.” The top result will say “Weather for New York, NY,” with a minimal four-day forecast that may be sufficient for some users. Just below that will be links to sites that provide more detailed weather information. To the extent that users find the information provided directly by Google to be sufficient, weather sites might get less traffic. But Google users are better off, and that is the key point. As FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz explained about the FTC’s decision, the antitrust laws are supposed to protect competition, not individual competitors. And, far from being an antitrust violation, improving search results to get users the information they need is precisely the sort of competition the antitrust laws are supposed to encourage.

Read Salinger’s full piece on

Banner image courtesy of flickr user Robert Scoble.

Keith Ericson Authors NBER Study on Mandates in Health Insurance Exchanges

January 2nd, 2013 in Emerging Research, Faculty, Health Sector, Markets, Public Policy & Law, News

“Pricing Regulation and Imperfect Competition on the Massachusetts Health Insurance Exchange”

A new National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) study, authored by Keith M. Marzilli Ericson and Amanda Starc and focused on pricing regulation in health insurance exchanges (HIE), shows that purchasing mandates can be essential to the functioning of this entire market.

Keith EricsonEricson is an assistant professor of markets, public policy, and law at Boston University School of Management. Starc is an assistant professor of health care management at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Their study, “Pricing Regulation and Imperfect Competition on the Massachusetts Health Insurance Exchange,” explores pricing regulation, consumer demand, and insurer profits in HIE, which are government-run marketplaces for private insurance. The authors use data from Massachusetts’s HIE, the first  in the nation, and then apply these data to the broader functioning of health exchanges themselves. Their focus on the mandate, requiring citizens to purchase a minimum level of insurance, sheds light on one of the most controversial issues in Congress’ recent struggles over health care across America.

HIEs: An Ideal Context for Exploring Consumer Welfare, Regulation, and Profit

The authors point out that HIEs offer an ideal opportunity to study issues of consumer welfare, competition, government regulation, and firm profits, as they offer a wide range of choice to consumers in the context of a heavily regulated environment. Moreover, in the next few years, a projected 20 million Americans across the country will purchase health insurance through these exchanges, as the 2010 Affordable Care Act has mandated that states and the federal government develop HIEs.

But Ericson and Starc note a lack of previous research exploring how insurance pricing regulation actually functions in markets where firms have some market power to charge prices above their costs—a condition they refer to as “imperfect competition.”

Their new NBER study fills this gap.

“If the Mandate Is Removed, Markets Can Unravel”

Ericson and Starc first execute a series of simulations based on data from the Massachusetts HIE to show how changing regulations on insurers can vary prices between different types of consumers (such as older vs. younger consumers) and can impact other important and controversial insurance market regulations, such as minimum loss ratios (which attempt to limit insurer profits), risk adjustment (which attempts to equalize insurers’ costs derived from insuring different populations), and mandated insurance purchase (which attempts to ensure market participation).

Ultimately, the study’s simulations show that if the mandate is removed, markets can unravel, due to differences in preferences across a broad population where a significant segment of that population would be willing to withdraw from the market altogether if they can’t find a price they are willing to pay.

If consumers are allowed to opt out of coverage, the authors note, the most price-sensitive consumers—who tend to be both young and relatively healthy—will tend to opt out. As these consumers opt out, the less price-sensitive consumers—who tend to be both older and have higher health costs—are the ones remaining in the market, which in turn leads to higher markups. If enough people are willing to drop out of the market altogether, the authors note, “a death spiral” can occur. “As a result,” Ericson and Starc show, “a weak or absent mandate may negate the consumer surplus gains achieved” from the other regulations still in place.

Read more about the study “Pricing Regulation and Imperfect Competition on the Massachusetts Health Insurance Exchange.”

Banner photo courtesy of flickr user Images_of_Money.

Top Health Executives Discuss “Bending the Cost Curve? Innovative Models of Healthcare Delivery”

December 17th, 2012 in Health Sector, News

On November 26, two top executives from the Boston area health sector discussed the innovative models their organizations have developed to meet consumer needs more effectively while containing cost. The event was part of the School’s Health Sector Speaker Series.

The discussion with featured executives Andrew Sussman, MD, President of CVS Minute Clinic, and Ralph de la Torre, MD, President and CEO of Steward Healthcare was moderated by Allen Questrom Professor and Dean Ken Freeman. The discussion was followed by a Q&A session and a networking reception with faculty, staff, alumni, and student attendees.

Professor Venkatraman on How Indian IT Can Achieve Global Recognition

December 7th, 2012 in Digital Technology Sector, Faculty, Faculty in the News, Global Work, Honors & Awards, Information Systems, News

“‘Guru’ of Guru Speak Decodes 5 Game-Changing Trends for t2”

In a profile featured in Times of India, David J. McGrath, Jr. Professor in Management N. Venkatraman presented his new framework to analyze the impact of IT on business performance. His model, referred to as The Venkatraman Framework, encompasses the so-called the “five webs” and offers a vision for the future of IT and Globalization 3.0.

Professor Venkatraman also discussed these topics during his talk in February at Guru Speak 2013, an annual advanced knowledge workshop organized by the IIM Calcutta Alumni Association and The Telegraph, who dubbed him “the ‘guru’ of Guru Speak.”

Excerpts from Times of India:

Professor Venkat N. Venkatraman’s interests lie at the point where strategic management and information technology intersect. The Boston University professor, who was recently recognized as the 22nd most cited scholar in management over the past 25 years, has created a new framework to analyse the impact of IT on business performance, referred to as the Venkatraman Framework.

“[The Venkatraman Framework] is about different aspects of how IT shapes and evolves business models. In the 1980s, I focused on how IT impacts internal processes. That was during the period where most companies saw IT as driving business efficiency. Then, in the 1990s, I focused on how IT allows firms to connect externally with suppliers and customers and change business scope. Then, IT became more strategic and CEOs began to take interest in how IT could become a strategic driver.

“As the Internet became more central and important in the early 21st century, I started focusing on the role of the web. Right now, my framework is focused on what I call five webs: mobile web, social web, media web, real-time web and machine web. These are not separate webs but are interconnected. They impact companies all over the world-although their effects may be different. I believe these webs taken together lay the foundation for the emerging digitally connected business infrastructure that could alter the basis of competition in the coming decade.”

Excerpts from The Telegraph (Calcutta):

Will BB10 be happy with fourth place? Will Bring Your Own Device become popular in India? Management strategy expert Venkat N. Venkatraman, professor in management at Boston University’s School of Management, has the answers [offered below]….

Samsung vs Apple

Both are focused on design and user experience. The key difference is software. Apple iOS is not yet big in India (despite the popularity of iTunes and iPods)….Google is well positioned in India and Samsung is positioned with TVs (and appliances). So, the combination of Google plus Samsung is unbeatable in India….

Blackberry 10

Just as IBM felt secure with their mainframe architecture, RIM (Blackberry) felt secure in the belief that they defined the enterprise mobile worker market with their mobile phones. The advent of two new entrants from outside the traditional industry boundaries –– Apple and Google –– has seriously challenged Blackberry and upset the industry equilibrium…The mobile game is now a two-horse race with Apple and Google. The jockeying for the third place is between Microsoft (Nokia) and BB….

Social media network

…I expect that more businesses in India will embrace social media more formally and aggressively as part of the marketing campaigns. Companies such as Facebook and Twitter should seek to find examples of application of social media in India that have broader applicability….

Read more coverage of The Venkatraman Framework and the professor’s talk at Guru Speak from the Business Standard (India)

K. Fabrizio’s New Study Finds Regulatory Flip-Flops Undermine Clean Energy Investment

November 28th, 2012 in Emerging Research, Energy & Environment Sector, Faculty, News, Strategy & Innovation

“The Impact of Regulatory Uncertainty on Renewable Energy Investments,” forthcoming in the Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization

Policy uncertainty—whether concerning the impending “fiscal cliff” or potential carbon taxes—is blamed for reducing investment and restraining economic growth. Does the same logic apply to investment in renewable energy generation?

In a new study, Boston University School of Management’s Kira Fabrizio finds that uncertainty about future regulatory policies does indeed negatively influence firms’ investments in new clean energy assets. Fabrizio is an assistant professor in strategy & innovation, and her paper, “The Impact of Regulatory Uncertainty on Renewable Energy Investments,” is forthcoming in the Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization.

Fabrizio’s study focuses on the enactment of state-level Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) policies in the US electric utility industry. The policies are designed to encourage investment in renewable electricity generation by requiring utilities to procure a certain percentage of electricity from renewable generation. She finds that, on average, “RPS enactment in a state did generate an increase in investment in new renewable generating assets, but investment increased significantly less in states with a history of regulatory reversal,” a mark of an uncertain policy environment.

With important implications for policy makers, the study suggests that government renewable-energy policy initiatives, when launched in less stable regulatory environments, 1) lead firms to perceive new investment in clean energy projects and assets as more risky, and 2) ultimately create fewer new investments in renewable generation assets, undermining the purpose of the policy.

Fabrizio’s research highlights the importance of regulators’ commitment to policy stability and predictability. Her study holds implications not just for renewable energy investment but other initiatives such as carbon tax/abatement policies, where long-lived investments depend on policies subject to future modification.

The study also touches on strategies for enhancing the credibility of RPS regulatory efforts and their perceived stability, thus reducing the apparent risk of renewable energy investment. These include:

  • Regulatory support for investments dependent on renewable energy policies and requirements, whereby regulated utilities could recover the costs of investments in their rates if the value of these investments falls due to policy reversals.
  • Adoption of requirements and procedures making the repeal or renegotiation of RPS policies more arduous.

Whatever strategies regulatory agencies undertake, Fabrizio urges, “Until policy makers are able to enact legislation and credibly commit to maintaining the policy they adopt, firms will be less willing to invest in developing and adopting new technologies.”

Banner image courtesy of flickr user daBinsi

To Save Energy, Call This PEMBA Grad

November 26th, 2012 in Alumni, Alumni Profiles, Energy & Environment Sector, News

Domenic Armano Helps Analyze and Reduce Energy Usage at FirstFuel

Domenic Armano (PEMBA’12) has his dream job in the field of energy efficiency at FirstFuel, a Lexington, Massachusetts-based energy analytics firm, and he attributes much of his success to his Boston University MBA experience.

Armano was running engineering services in the energy services business of the New England region at Johnson Controls (JCI) when he enrolled in the Professional Evening MBA (PEMBA) program at Boston University in 2006. (He took an 18-month leave of absence around the midpoint of his program, and then graduated in 2012.)

In PEMBA, he was a strategy concentrator and took two classes with Finance Professor Nalin Kulatilaka, Wing Tat Lee Family Professor in Management. “One was clean energy finance. The second was a directed study sponsored by JCI. Nalin was one of the people co-founding FirstFuel at the time and introduced me to Swapnil Shah, the CEO.”

When he met Shah, Armano was managing a sizable engineering team at JCI, and thus had numerous people pitching him with products and services.  One of the most persistent, he says, was Shah.

“FirstFuel is a service that identifies the energy efficiency of a large portfolio of thousands of buildings really fast, which you couldn’t do before,” Armano explains. “The ‘old world’ of energy auditing involved going building to building with a clipboard. At JCI, we ended up being one of the first customers, because we saw its benefits.”

Armano says he continually provided insight into the product and how to make it better. He became such a fan, he helped FirstFuel make a sale to another company. “And then I realized: I have to join them. It’s a product I love in an industry I love. It’s a game-changing technology in terms of auditing and identifying energy efficiencies.”

In April, he came in as the tenth employee. Today, he’s director of customer solutions, where he handles the deployment of new sales as well as sale presentations. With only about 40 employees, he wears a lot of hats.

Using just building addresses and electric usage interval data (a meter reading every 15 minutes) and running it through the company’s proprietary algorithms, Armano says, “We know if a structure is heating or cooling too late in the day or if usage is more occupant-related. If it’s weather-related, it’s probably the heating and cooling/ventilation system. If it’s people-related, it’s probably lighting. We pull back layers of the onion and watch how the building responds. Once we know that, our customers can take action.”

Armano says, “I wouldn’t be where I am today without this MBA.” In addition to Kulatilaka, he cites influential classes with Executive-in-Residence and Strategy & Innovation Lecturer Paul McManus, and Associate Professor and Dean’s Research Fellow Nitin Joglekar of operations & technology management, as well as numerous conversations with Managing Director of the Office of Technology Development Vinit Nijhawan. “The insights, the connections, and the mentorship from the whole team here were invaluable—I just wish I had done it sooner.”

As part of the FirstFuel leadership team, Armano says his strategy concentration directly comes into play. “It helps me assess a new market or a particular customer. I can better identify the competitive threats and opportunities. It’s changed my thinking to a more regimented focus, and helps me identify the facts that help substantiate decisions. Together that’s really helped me grow as a business leader.”

Kulatilaka says, “Dom was a significant contributor to my course even during his leave of absence from the MBA program. He developed a total of four student projects involving business issues at JCI that greatly helped the experiential learning of our MBA students.  Such projects are an important part of our planned energy and environment sector specialization. He’s a great asset both to the School as an alumnus and as a member of the FirstFuel team.”

School places 19th in US for effective social media use

November 21st, 2012 in Digital Technology Sector, News

BizEd magazine article ranks AACSB-member institutions’ use of online networks to communicate with students

In a recent article featured in the November/December 2012 edition of BizEd magazine, Boston University School of Management ranked 19th among US AACSB-accredited business schools for effective use of social media channels. The School placed above institutions including Ross School of Business, Kellogg School of Management, MIT Sloan School of Management, and Tepper School of Business.

The article, written by Sterling Morris, a student social media manager at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, Utah State University, examined how social media is changing the way business schools communicate with their students.

Each business school’s social media performance was benchmarked by criteria including number of Facebook fans and fan engagement levels, Twitter followers, YouTube channel views, and promotion of the School’s social media accounts on its websites.

BizEd focuses exclusively on trends and innovation in the business education industry and is published by AACSB International, the premier accrediting body for business school programs worldwide.

Interested in connecting with the School of Management on social media? Visit our social media directory.

Banner image via BizEd.

Stephen Davidson in Huffington Post on What Winning Means for Medicare and More

November 19th, 2012 in Faculty, Health Sector, Markets, Public Policy & Law, News

Stephen M DavidsonThe Huffington Post‘s latest opinion piece by Boston University School of Management’s Stephen M. Davidson is titled What Winning Means” and explores compromise, Congress, and Obama’s powers post-election to impact healthcare and more. Davidson is Professor of Markets, Public Policy, and Law at the School of Management and author of the book Still Broken: Understanding the U.S. Health Care System.

An excerpt from “What Winning Means” appears here:

…Now that the 2012 election is behind us, the first big question is whether or not the Republicans, having lost the White House and the Senate, will follow that tradition. Even more, it is whether John Boehner, as Speaker of the House can keep the members on his rightward fringe in check and be able both to craft compromises with the Democrats and to deliver enough votes that, when added to those of House Democrats, legislation can pass that moves the country forward on the many problems we face. If he cannot, how will the president respond? And what will he be able to do on his own, without legislation, to address those vexing problems…

On Medicare, both candidates proposed cutting spending–they even agreed on the amount. But the president, wanting to preserve the program’s value for seniors and others who depend on Medicare, proposed doing it without reducing benefits. Instead, he would save millions by ending the windfall that private insurers earn from the Medicare Advantage program and by reducing payments to some providers. He would also use Medicare policy to stimulate providers of services to find ways to improve the quality of care and keep down the costs. Republicans defined the Medicare problem more simply. They just want to limit federal spending, which they would do by capping it at a fixed amount and distributing those funds to Medicare beneficiaries in the form of vouchers. Then, the beneficiaries would apply the vouchers toward the purchase of coverage in the private health insurance marketplace. The main problem, of course, is that Republicans cannot guarantee that the voucher would cover all the services people need or that it would keep up with the rising cost of insurance. Inevitably, beneficiaries would wind up with less coverage than they have now.

It is fair to say that, to the extent that voters focused on policy issues like these, the majority voted for the president’s proposals and rejected those of Governor Romney and his fellow Republicans. So, why doesn’t the election result entitle the president to act on these matters as he said he would? And, to the extent that the Congress must act (e.g., on tax and spending legislation), why doesn’t it leave members of the House and Senate to make adjustments around the edges? Isn’t that what winning means?

Read the full opinion piece here.

Winners of 1st Annual Global Health Sector Interdisciplinary Case Competition Announced

November 16th, 2012 in Case Competition, Health Sector, News

A team of MBA students from Harvard Business School won first place in the 1st Annual Global Health Sector Interdisciplinary Case Competition, sponsored by DePuy Synthes Spine, a Johnson & Johnson Company, and hosted by Boston University.

Sam Schweizer (MBA'13), Committee Chair; Mark Allan, Director of Health Sector Management Program, Boston University School of Management; Max Reinhardt, V.P. Worldwide Marketing at DePuy Synthes Spine companies of Johnson & Johnson; Shirley Leong, Jason Bae, Judith Li, Jesse Li of Harvard Business School; Andrea Sodano, Executive-in-Residence and Tim Beardsley, Worldwide Director of R&D, DePuy Synthes Spine.

Sam Schweizer (MBA'13), Committee Chair; Mark Allan, Director of Health Sector Management Program, Boston University School of Management; Max Reinhardt, V.P. Worldwide Marketing at DePuy Synthes Spine companies of Johnson & Johnson; Shirley Leong, Jason Bae, Judith Li, Jesse Li of Harvard Business School; Andrea Sodano, Executive-in-Residence, Boston University School of Management; and Tim Beardsley, Worldwide Director of R&D, DePuy Synthes Spine.

The invitation-only competition, worth $32,500 in prizes, challenged teams of students from the world’s leading MBA programs to solve a health sector market challenge. Each team had 24 hours to develop a proposal recommending a course of action on a strategic business initiative focused on current issues related to medical devices in the global health sector. The teams then presented their findings before a panel of judges from leading health sector companies, including sponsor DePuy Synthes Spine.

The competition is unique due to its interdisciplinary nature; in addition to MBA students, each team included a public health, medicine, engineering, or law student. The event took place at Boston University School of Management on November 1-3, 2012.

The winning team from Harvard Business School was awarded the top prize of $20,000. Team members included Jason Bae, Shirley Leong, Jesse Li, and Judith Li. Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, came in second place, and Fuqua School of Business, Duke University came in third place. The finalists were announced during an awards reception on Saturday, November 3.

The schools who competed in this year’s event included:

  • Boston University School of Management
  • CEIBS (China Europe International Business School)
  • Frankfurt School of Finance and Management
  • Fuqua School of Business, Duke University
  • Harvard Business School, Harvard University
  • Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad
  • IPADE Business School, Universidad Panamericana, Mexico
  • Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
  • Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
  • Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College and The Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science