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In the news

December 2013

In the news

Simply touching an item of merchandise makes you more likely to buy it—even when you’re only virtually touching it on a tablet computer. So found Associate Professor of Marketing Adam Brasel and James Gips, the John R. and Pamela Egan Chair in Computer Science. Fast Company and Digital Intelligence Today reported on their research.

The rollout of was hamstrung by the kind of communication failures that plague many an organization, Dean Andy Boynton wrote in Forbes, especially the failure of vital information to make its way up the chain of command—often because of managers who habitually kill useful conversations. In another guest column for Forbes, Boynton wrote about the great bull market under analysts’ noses.

The Economist and the St. Louis Post cited number-crunching by the Center for Retirement Research showing that only about 8 percent of city revenues are absorbed by pension costs. U.S. News & World Report reported on another center study, which found that employees who are automatically enrolled in 401(k) plans save less than those who actively sign up and choose their own contribution amount. And Steven Sass, the center’s associate director, was quoted in the New York Times explaining the advantage that accrues if you delay collecting Social Security.

The Huffington Post quoted, at length, a Center for Work and Family (CWF) study asserting that corporate policies against significant paternity leave add up to lots of missed opportunities for involvement that would have benefited children as well as their fathers. Danielle Hartman, the center’s director for corporate partnerships, told Fox News Boston that U.S. birth rates are declining in part because of the economic recession. In a two-part guest blog for PwC Gender Agenda, CWF Member Relations Specialist Franca Godenzi detailed the findings of her study of dual-career families: that employers with family-friendly policies, such as providing on-site child care, boost worker retention and productivity; and that men face more barriers when seeking schedule flexibility. Associate Director of Marketing and Communications Jennifer Fraone spoke to Fox News Boston about evidence that raising children really is the most exhausting job and about ways that employers can combat worker burnout. Fraone was also quoted in a Miami Herald article about “reverse mentoring” (in which employees fresh out of college teach the higher-ups about social media), and she wrote a column in the  Huffington Post about how successful companies embrace workplace flexibility.

Utility companies need to figure out how to “deliver cleaner energy in the future, make sure it’s reliable, and at the same time afford it”—a series of conflicting goals, National Grid CEO Steve Holliday told a luncheon gathering of the Boston College Chief Executives’ Club. The Boston Globe and Boston Herald covered Holliday’s comments.

With a slew of start-ups as well as the branches of large tech companies (from Google to Trip Advisor, “the quiet giant”), Kendall Square in Cambridge is fast becoming the East Coast’s Silicon Valley, John Gallaugher, associate professor of information systems, told NECN.

Forbes reported on new research by Spencer Harrison, assistant professor of management and organization, about the “Grammy Best New Artist Curse,” which examines why “an early success such as winning the Best New Artist Grammy can harm a career.”

The Boston Globe quoted Brad Harrington, executive director of the Center for Work and Family and associate research professor of organization studies, about the rise of the compressed work week (four days, 40 hours). Harrington also wrote a column for the Huffington Post exploring the dark underbelly of the NFL’s macho culture, and he spoke with the Washington Post and the New York Times about how many fathers want to pitch in equally at home even as they face workplace policies treating them as “second-class parents.”

Appearing on Fox Business News to represent the Boston College Investment Club, students Pablo Beltran ’14, the club’s co-president, and A&S economics major Keely Henesey ’16 told “Money” host Melissa Francis that the club has about $440,000 invested in a major oil driller as well as in an aircraft leasing company with a unique business model that saves it 30 percent on costs.

Don’t treat slackers as hackers, say Stephanie Green, associate professor and chairperson of business law, and Christine Neylon O’Brien, professor of business law. In a journal article summarized in Boston College Magazine, the professors argue that employees who violate office computer policies for time-wasting but innocuous activities should be dealt with in civil cases, not prosecuted under the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as has happened recently.

Professor of Business Law Frank Parker spoke to the Boston Globe about the centennial of the public library in his hometown of Hull, Massachusetts. The library’s building was once the summer home of poet and Boston Pilot editor John Boyle O’Reilly.

A summer business education program for non-Carroll School students will be offered in 2014, Billy Soo, associate professor and chair of accounting, told the Heights.

Clients don’t fully understand the training, qualifications, and duties of nurse practitioners, architects, accountants, and litigation attorneys, O’Connor Family Professor of Management and Organization Michael G. Pratt told McKnight’s and The Almagest. The misconceptions about those professions is more than an annoyance; Pratt says it depresses job satisfaction, pay, and even performance.

Most Bay Staters want casinos in Massachusetts—just not in their backyards, Adjunct Associate Professor of Finance Richard McGowan, S.J., told WBUR, NECN, and the Boston Globe.

Warren Zola, executive director of the Office of Corporate and Government Affairs and an adjunct associate professor of business law, commented in a USA Today article about college athletes’ lawsuit against the NCAA over the use of their names and likenesses in merchandise and video games. USA Today also reported that Zola has been tweeting advice for college football players who are going pro.