In the world of the 21st century, we are awash with information. In fact, there is so much information available that it has become extremely difficult for us to sort out what is worthwhile versus what is just more flotsam and jetsam in the data stream. Furthermore, this constant stream of information can be helpful only if it compels us to think of and ask deeper questions. My favorite part of Douglas Adams’ “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Trilogy in Four Parts” was when the answer to the “ultimate question in the universe” was given, but nobody knew what the question was anymore. It is my sincere hope that this online journal has compelled readers in some small way to start asking deeper questions.
It has been my great pleasure to serve for the last five years as editor of the Graziadio Business Review. To switch metaphors, I have very mixed emotions as I pass the baton to a new editor. I have greatly enjoyed what I have learned from the authors as well as from our readers who have taken the time to let us know what they are thinking about and how well we are carrying out our mission. It has been an exciting and rewarding journey. I would like particularly to thank our associate editors past and present: Scott Fletcher, Frieda Gehlen, and Marjorie Walsleben. They have made working on the Graziadio Business Review both incredibly meaningful and a lot of fun. It has been an honor to work with them.
Over the last five years we have been able to increase both the quality and reach of the GBR, largely due to the tireless work of these individuals as well as to the efforts of our advisory board members, the faculty who have submitted their work for publication, our peer reviewers, and Michael Stamper, our technical wizard. I am extremely grateful that these individuals and groups will continue to support this publication.
Beginning with the next issue, we will have a new full-time editor for the GBR. I am sure that in a short time this will mean an exciting new direction and new features for the journal, while continuing the emphasis on improving the content to benefit our readers. Do stay tuned and keep asking compelling questions!
In the meantime, take a look at this issue, which addresses a number of wide ranging business issues and asks some intriguing questions. Linnea McCord, Carol Docan and Leonard Rymsza bring us into the problematic world of trademark dilution and infringement in their article entitled “The Uncertain World of Trademark Dilution.” Even after a Supreme Court ruling, questions remain regarding the degree of protection to which trademarks are entitled. Find out what Mattel, Al Franken, Victoria’s Secret, Caterpillar tractors and Disney all have in common.
The larger question that Karen Schnietz and Marc Epstein raise is, “Can the reputation of being a socially responsible corporate citizen help support a company’s bottom line in the event of a crisis? In their article, “Does Corporate Social Responsibility Pay Off?” they investigate the impact of the 1999 riots against globalization at the ninth round of the World Trade Organization – GATT meeting in Seattle. The authors specifically examine whether the change in stock prices after the collapse of the meetings differed for companies that had reputations for being socially and environmentally responsible from firms in industries that were the target of protest – the allegedly environmentally damaging and labor abusing industries. Review their evidence suggesting that a reputation for social responsibility may help sustain a firm’s value in a crisis situation.
Don Atwater and Aisha Jones pose the question, “What can managers do to ensure that their enterprises remain productive in the midst of a skilled labor shortage?” In their article, “Preparing for a Future Labor Shortage – How to Stay Ahead of the Curve,” the authors suggest that by anticipating and planning, management can make effective choices. They present some specific suggestions for consideration in this regard.
Peggy Crawford and Terry Young wrestle with the crisis of ballooning U.S. federal and trade deficits in their article entitled, “The Twin Deficits – a Looming Crisis.” In this thought provoking article they ask, “What are the implications of these events for future economic growth in the U.S.? What actions should U.S. businesses take to prepare for the future?” The implications are global. In this article the authors highlight the critical importance of managing debt costs and hedging against currency risk.
In a unique article, Sean Jasso and Doran Dragolovich probe the concept of leadership from an artistic angle. In their article, “From Michelangelo to the Boardroom,” they present lessons that business practitioners can learn from artistic leaders.
Last, but not least, Charlie Kerns brings us back to values based leadership in, “Strengthening Values Centered Leadership.” In this article he builds on work published earlier in the GBR to compel readers to ask the larger questions of “What, Why and How?” as they consider what is required to become a values centered leader.
This issue also features a Conversation with Robert Miller, the Chairman of the Board of Rite Aid, and a quiz on retirement from our soon-to-retire Associate Editor, Frieda Gehlen. And don’t forget to take a look at the Book Corner to see recommended reading from Graziadio School Business Faculty and staff and to check E-biz@GBR to learn about the new feature to come soon to this area of GBR.
This rich diversity of offerings for business practitioners is one of the reasons I will miss being the editor of the Graziadio Business Review. I have greatly enjoyed the experience. More importantly, I will miss the editorial staff as well as the opportunity to regularly interact with you, our readers. Although I will be busy with other academic responsibilities, you never know when I might just pop up again. Thank you for the opportunity to share this brief sojourn together!