This issue completes our first year of producing the GBR and oh, what a year. The economic hardship in the Pacific Rim, the continued drama/comedy of the Monica Lewinsky affair, and tenuous persistence of the Russian government all have impacted business this year. The GBR remains dedicated to focusing on how these events and changes in business knowledge affect business practitioners. The managing editors and I have enjoyed our role in observing the chaotic order and orderly chaos of the business world.
In this issue we focus on how practitioners can draw people together to solve issues better. Dr. Chuck Morrissey initiates this effort by discussing the powerful collaborative technologies to create more fluid, organic work environments as he explores the idea of online teams. Dr. Morrissey notes that business schools and other professional education programs cannot escape the same dramatic shifts in infrastructure and process redesign experienced by industry and government as the net continues to emerge. Those who learn how to use technology will be strengthened, those who fail to master the technology will fail.
John Milliman, Ph.D., at the University of Colorado and Ann Feyerherm, Ph.D., an associate professor of organization and management at the Graziadio School examine how organizations can use a citizen advisory panel (CAP) to work with surrounding communities on touchy subjects. John and Ann include what elements are needed to make a CAP credible and how to promote positive intergroup dynamics within a CAP.
Our conversation this issue is with Christos Cotsakos, Chief Executive Officer of E-Trade, one of the first electronic stock brokerages. Linnea McCord, J.D. and Accounting, Law, and Finance Department Chair, had a conversation with Christos about the brave new world of online investing and how the E-Trade team constantly changes the organization to deal with the challenges of a virtual market handling large amounts of real money.
The next two articles explore the international dimension of business in the later days of the 20th century. Dr. Wayne Gertmenian explains how the Russian state achieved its uneasy balance atop its current economic precipice. Wayne offers some advice on what Western countries need to understand if we are to help the Russian economy stabilize. His perspective is truly global, having weathered more than one blustery winter in Mother Russia.
We also explore the world of countertrade with William Smith, Ph.D., who uses a classroom case discussion of how cash-starved companies can enter the global trading arena. Bill uses the trials and travails of the Canadian Railway Car Corporation, a fictional third player in a duopoly, trying to enter the U.S. market. The case is a good story well told, so please enjoy.
Working with teams, electronic commerce, international politics, and countertrade could easily stress us out. In the personal perspective piece this month, Richard Rierdan, Ph.D., explains how time management and self-awareness can reduce executive stress and bring peace of body and mind. I count Dick as one of my truly great colleagues and often sit in wonder at his ability to remain calm amid the chaos of academia, so please accept his insight as both informed and enlightened.
I also strongly suggest you check out The Loop, which features interesting insights and news to use on the many dimensions of business. This month, Managing Editor Scott Fletcher takes us all on a whirlwind ride into the jaws of the Y2K problem. It is informative, entertaining, and (appropriately) irreverent. Scott has abandoned his razor in preparation for the crisis of the centuries, but his wit and intellect remain extraordinarily sharp.
Remember to take your turn at the bat in “Your Turn” to let us know what you see that you like, what you see that you like less, and what you don’t see that you’d like to see. Scott, Frieda Gehlen and I all enjoy input from our readers.
As the editor, I would specifically like to thank my colleagues who reviewed the articles in this edition: Rick Hesse, Bob Canady, Clif Darden, and Ed Rockey. Your insights, opinions, and thoughts are critical to shaping this electronic journal. I also want to thank our readers for the insights and encourage you to email me with your thoughts. The quickest way is to email my name at the top of this letter.
In any event, enjoy. Let us know what you think.