Volume 3, 2009

"Understanding India: The New Frontier for American Business"
by Gunjan Bagla (Volume 3, Number 1, pp. 1-2, 2009)

Executive Briefing: India presents a huge untapped business opportunity for American executives. But many myths hinder the success of Western companies in India. Five common fallacies ranging from outsourcing, to finance, to marketing, are cleared in this article.

"Common Sense Benchmarking of Information Technology"
by Michael L. Kasavana (Volume 3, Number 2, pp. 1-2, 2009)

Executive Briefing: Technology can provide competitive advantage through product differentiation, unique services, cost reductions, and informed market segmentation. In addition, productivity is improved through gains in both data processing and workflow processing procedures. Together automation applications can be evaluated relative to enhanced profitability. Using these three 'common sense' benchmarks provides a beyond best practices approach to the evaluation of information technology.

"Worldwide Faculty Perceptions of Marketing Journals: Rankings, Trends, Comparisons, and Segmentations"
by Tomas Hult (Volume 3, Number 3, pp. 1-23, 2009)

Executive Briefing: How does the marketing professorate at the top business schools worldwide rate marketing journals? In this study of 629 faculty members, the authors rank marketing journals using the Popularity/Familiarity and Importance/Prestige Indices. Overall rankings are presented along with ten segmented rankings based on faculty rank, geographic location of schools, and subareas within marketing. A trend analysis using 1987, 1997, and 2007 data is also conducted, and comparisons to ranking studies using different methodologies are summarized.

"The BRIC Countries"
by Tomas Hult (Volume 3, Number 4, pp. 1-2, 2009)

Executive Briefing: Brazil, Russia, India, and China form the so-called BRIC countries. This article summarizes the basics of the BRIC countries, including: the impact on the BRIC's by the world economy, organizing by the BRIC countries, economic and population changes in the BRIC countries, key strengths and weakness of the BRIC countries, and key issues for countries and firms to consider when doing business with the BRIC countries.

"How to Go Offshore – Set up a Captive Unit or Outsource?"
by Mahesh Ramamani (Volume 3, Number 5, pp. 1-3, 2009)

Executive Briefing: Firms today are facing increased pressure from shareholders to cut down costs of operation and one of the ways firms have cut costs effectively with limited changes to their strategy is to look at offshore production of firm's activities. While outsourcing firms offer easy offshore solutions in well developed and defined markets, firms are increasingly investing in establishing a foreign subsidiary in a low cost offshore location with a view to withholding control of processes and knowledge of their critical activities. Hybrid arrangements involving a combination of outsourcing and captive unit strategies are also increasingly becoming common. How does a firm know which is the best way to go offshore – setting up a foreign subsidiary in an offshore location or engaging with an offshore based outsourcing provider? What are the considerations that managers take into account while they make this decision? What are the enablers and barriers in either of the strategies? These are some questions that I will try to address in this article.

"Job Satisfaction – A Comparative Analysis"
by Susan J. Linz (Volume 3, Number 6, pp. 1-3, 2009)

Executive Briefing: The objective here is to report job satisfaction results from an employee survey conducted between 2005 and 2007 in four formerly socialist economies: Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, with a focus on gender and generational differences in response patterns. Personal contacts, the currency used to achieve objectives in formerly socialist economies, dictated the survey locations. Foreign scholars, part of a mentoring program that involved training in survey research, became the local project coordinators; so by default, the project locations included: Ufa, Russia; Yerevan, Armenia; Almaty and Taldyquorgan, Kazakhstan; and Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. While a single location cannot possibly capture the population or workforce diversity in the country, for convenience, I refer to country name when discussing results.

"Doing Business in Armenia – Local CEOs Are Optimistic"
by Patricia Huddleston and Susan J. Linz (Volume 3, Number 7, pp. 1-2, 2009)

Executive Briefing: Several months after the new government administration took office in spring 2008, local business leaders in Yerevan were optimistic about an improved economic and business environment in Armenia, citing simplified tax codes and reduced tax rates as key features underlying their optimism. Visually, their optimism is underscored by the numerous construction projects actively underway throughout the capital city. Strategically, many are positioning their companies to take advantage of the government's decision to develop Armenia's regions by designating up to five cities as 'centers' of culture, finance, and so forth, with the requisite investment that entails.

"Microfinance: The Journey from Non-Profits to Major Financial Institutions"
by Paulette L. Stenzel (Volume 3, Number 8, pp. 1-2, 2009)

Executive Briefing: The microfinance industry began through individuals and non-profit organizations that wanted to help the poor obtain loans for microenterprises. Today microfinance is a growing industry returning profits to investors and offering basic financial services to the poor. Since its inception, microfinance has expanded and matured in its global reach, legal structures, and product diversity. The sustainability of the industry illustrates that programs designed to promote social equity can evolve into viable business models.