Monthly Archives: April 2014

Creating valuable conversations through discussion forums

April 8, 2014
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Creating valuable conversations through discussion forums

The coming of changes in the Common Core Standards will affect our university classrooms very soon.  During Spring break this year, I attended the CUE (Computer Using Educators) annual spring conference in Palm Springs, California. Many of the sessions explored how the Common Core affects teaching/learning in the K-12 classroom.  Surprisingly, several sessions covered how…

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April classroom―mergers, acquisitions and competitive strategy

April 8, 2014
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April classroom―mergers, acquisitions and competitive strategy

Any of the completed work from these activities can be converted to face-to-face discussion.   Try adapting the content to your specific course format. Using your classroom teams in their online Wiki sites, have students conduct the following studies: Conduct a study of the toy market for construction toys.  Look at the trends over the past…

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European merger faces antitrust hurdles―global dominance in cement

April 8, 2014
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European merger faces antitrust hurdles―global dominance in cement

The two video clips listed in the referenced links discuss the Holcim-LaFarge merger that is currently on the table for review.  Holcim of Switzerland and LaFarge of France have agreed to join forces,with Holcim taking a 53% share in the new business.  These two companies dominate the world cement manufacturing business.  Holcim’s strength is in…

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Saving the environment through merchant banking principles

April 8, 2014
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Saving the environment through merchant banking principles

In this interview with Mark Tercek, CEO of the Nature Conservancy, Thomson-Reuters Associate Editor, Antony Currie explores how stakeholder needs are being fulfilled through the application of merchant banking principles.  The Nature Conservancy acts as the environment’s bank, providing consultancy services to companies to help them achieve financial returns from developing green infrastructure.  Several examples…

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Taking advantage of the backchannel―virtual online chat room

April 8, 2014
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Taking advantage of the backchannel―virtual online chat room

Keeping up with the discussion clutter during conference presentations disturbs both the presenter and the listener.  Twitter and other social media require mastery of technologies and the ability to respond with the appropriate symbols, such as hashtags.  In the end, conversation bits that might be useful can get buried in the mass of information or…

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Statistics made easier

April 8, 2014
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Statistics made easier

With partial support from the National Science Foundation, a selection of useful education tools for reviewing statistics’ concepts is made available for free through the Rice Virtual Lab in Statistics.  The interactive website uses Java, which must be brought current in the user’s computer and security level needs to be set back to medium.  Otherwise,…

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Beefing up strategic defenses through acquisition

April 8, 2014
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Beefing up strategic defenses through acquisition

Lego is the world’s leader in snap-to construction block toys.  Mattel is the world’s leader in toys, but it did not have a competing product for the Lego blocks.  Recently, Mattel reached an acquisition agreement with MEGA Brands of Canada in which it will pay $460 million for the company, giving it the MEGA BLOKS…

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Sustainability and chocolate

April 8, 2014
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Sustainability and chocolate

Chocolate has long been a staple in our diets, either for medical or pure pleasure reasons. Recent reports indicate that there is a growing shortage of the cocoa bean used to make chocolate.  Current and futures pricing are rising, as demand increases and availability decreases due to disease, climate changes, agricultural production inefficiencies, and the…

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Sustainability and the business model

April 8, 2014
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Sustainability and the business model

A certified B Corporation, Sustainability describes itself as “a think tank and strategic advisory firm, working to catalyze business leadership on sustainability.”  Begun in 1987, the company now has offices in Washington, DC, London, San Francisco, New York, and New Delhi. In this sixty two page report, authors Lindsay Clinton and Ryan Whisnant explore business model innovation as…

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AmEx spins corporate travel into a joint venture

April 8, 2014
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AmEx spins corporate travel into a joint venture

Since 2011, AmEx revenue from travel commissions and fees has dropped by approximately 3%.  Recognizing a shift in business and consumer purchasing habits, the company is refocusing its efforts on consumer business.  For corporate travel business, it is creating a joint venture with an outside investor group under the leadership of Certares International Bank LLC. …

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