In the Understanding Business profile for Chapter 8, we looked at how Denise Morrison brought a lifetime of business experience to her role as CEO of the Campbell Soup Company. She landed the job in 2011 just as the company was ready to undergo some major changes. Rather than continuing to use unhealthy, processed ingredients, under Morrison’s leadership Campbell’s began to focus on developing more organic options. “We believe we need to participate in this, so you can either lead Continue reading

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April 19, 2018

Last week, a manager at a Philadelphia Starbucks called the police on two African-American men who were waiting for a friend to arrive. Their subsequent arrest was caught on video and quickly went viral as thousands of social media users directed their outrage towards the coffee chain. Starbucks then took the drastic step of announcing that it would close all stores on May 29th for racial sensitivity training. Along with showing clips of the offending video, this short report also Continue reading

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April 12, 2018

The concept of working from home has been a controversial issue among some employers for years. On the one hand, proponents claim that remote working can reduce costs while improving morale among staff. For its critics, though, the idea of working from home brings to mind images of employees who would rather lounge on a couch than do their job.

But according to a new study from Stanford, the former group’s assessment is likely the more accurate one. It all Continue reading

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February 16, 2018

Although Americans are known for spending a lot of time at their jobs, they’re not always working during those long hours behind a desk. In fact, a recent Harvard study found that 78 percent of surveyed employees experienced some type of idleness at work. This isn’t referring to laziness or procrastination: “We are talking about time at work when employees are supposed to be working, and available to work, but they are unable to,” said Andrew Brodsky, co-author of the Continue reading

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April 25, 2017

chinese-companiesFor years tech giants like Facebook and Google have tried to set up shop in China only to see their efforts blocked by the country’s restrictive government. In place of these global brands, domestic companies like the search engine Baidu and the social network Weibo have flourished among China’s enormous Internet community. And in an ironic twist, this growing tech sector owes much of its success to the structure and culture of Silicon Valley’s biggest names.

Many Chinese companies are Continue reading

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March 9, 2017

SwedishSoftwareCompany-wo-CEOThree years ago, the staff of the Swedish software consulting firm Crisp felt it was time for a change in leadership. The company had been recently experimenting with its upper management structure, going from a standard CEO model to one that replaced the top executive annually through a staff vote. Then, a radical idea took root in the minds of Crisp’s employees. “We said, ‘what if we had nobody as our next CEO – what would that look like?’” said Continue reading

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March 7, 2017

LisaNottinghamIn recent years, many companies have sought to create work environments that place a heavy emphasis on collaboration. With flattened hierarchies and open door policies, these workplaces give employees easy access to managers and other top performers. The system is meant to improve office efficiency by allowing staffers to receive unique advice that makes their jobs easier.

But while regular employees can have their workloads lightened, managers quickly become overwhelmed by overly collaborative workplaces. After all, executives who spend much Continue reading

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November 4, 2016

MartinThomasFrom short essays to lengthy term papers, college students are no strangers to writing. Matters don’t change much once they graduate to the business world: internal memos, progress reports, and a seemingly endless amount of emails constitute the daily tasks of many office employees. According to a recent study of businesspeople who write at work, an average of 22 percent of their time is spent reading. Unfortunately, the quality of the work that passes their desks is often clumsy or Continue reading

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October 20, 2016

CorttoAccording to a study conducted by the Manufacturing Institute, over the next decade American workers will miss out on two million industrial jobs due to lack of training. For years the Obama administration has tried to close this growing skills gap by promoting German-style apprenticeships that provide on-the-job education for young workers. In Germany roughly half of all high school graduates opt for these intense training programs, not least of all because they are virtually guaranteed employment at the end. Continue reading

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October 18, 2016

LindsayHolmwoodThe grisly nature of the meat industry practically ensures that the business will never be pretty. Still, conditions in a slaughterhouse can always get worse if management marginalizes their workforce. According to the global development agency Oxfam America, that’s precisely what’s happening at a number of U.S. poultry plants. In facilities owned by big names like Tyson, Perdue and Pilgrim’s Pride, workers complained that superiors regularly denied them bathroom breaks. Some even reported wearing diapers while working on the line. Continue reading

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