Knowledge@Wharton

Human Resources: Who’s Watching the Kids? The State of Child Care in America
In a country where some child care workers undergo less professional training than manicurists, it’s not surprising that the quality of child care is a pressing issue for parents, policy makers and businesses. A recent conference at Wharton entitled, “Caring for the Young Children of Working Parents: A Call for Private and Public Sector Leadership” drew participants from government, the corporate world, the child care field and academia. Speakers raised a number of questions about child care conditions in this country: Solutions to the financial and educational dilemmas posed by the current system, or lack of one, were more elusive.

Leadership and Change: Are Women Natural Leaders, and Men… the Opposite?
In a world where powerful corporate women are still comparatively rare, a book that profiles 14 of today’s most successful businesswomen is especially welcome. But Why the Best Man for the Job is a Woman: The Unique Female Qualities of Leadership, by Esther Wachs, doesn’t just profile these individuals; it goes on to suggest that men have been made obsolete by the modern “feminized” workplace, and worse, are genetically incapable of acquiring true leadership skills. Is this the time for a cease-fire?

Marketing: Taking Stock of Supermarket Retail Performance
To shoppers at a typical supermarket, it might appear that new merchandise always appears to replace the old in time for their weekly visit. But a lot is actually going on behind the scenes. Food and other consumer goods manufacturers know that more than 70% of purchase decisions are made in the stores. They want to be tuned into retailers’ marketing and selling strategies. On the flip side, retailers have a job to do – sell products. They, too, benefit from measurements of their sales performance. A new paper from Wharton marketing professor Stephen J. Hoch, marketing professor Sanjay K. Dhar at the Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago, and Nanda Kumar, a professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, analyzes the factors that determine which retailers are doing better in terms of unit and dollar sales and why.

Marketing: That Elusive Customer Loyalty: How to Build It, Learn From It and Profit From It
In an article on Oct. 9, 2000, in the Financial Times’ Mastering Management series, Wharton marketing professor Barbara Kahn writes about the importance of turning customers into advocates who will not only develop loyalty to your company’s product or service but will also spread the word to other potential buyers.

Health Economics: Hunting Snake-Oil Salesmen Through Cyber-space: The FDA vs. the Internet
To anyone with access to the web, a dizzying array of drug and therapeutic offerings is just a few clicks away. And the force behind it – an intricate global network of chemical and drug manufacturers, distributors and buyers – may be threatening the ability of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to provide its traditional public health “safety net” for Americans. Last month FDA commissioner Jane Henney spoke about the agency’s attempts to protect consumers from “misleading information, disreputable web sites and dangerous products.”

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