Welcome to the first issue of the second year of the Graziadio Business Review, an electronic journal dedicated to serving business practitioners. This issue marks the one-year anniversary of the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University venturing into online publishing. As editor, I am happy with the first year’s progress, but certainly not content. The future holds multiple opportunities and challenges. The GBR is similar to any one-year-old child: It is beginning to display its own personality and it still needs a lot of support and nurturing.
The journal’s personality, or tude in current jargon, is dedicated but not in awe of business practitioners. A prior editor of the Harvard Business Review once noted that management was best approached with “the passion of the scientist and the precision of the artist.” This intentionally ironic positioning is difficult for a business journal in a world where movies and television continually suggest that managers are idiots or criminals and much of the business press suggests canonization for Saints Eisner, Welch, etc.
The GBR requires continued support as we continue to search for the balance between dedication and accurate appreciation. We are consciously targeting the “Conversations with…” interviews to be more introspective and less promotional. This has required dropping one interview with a noted business executive immediately prior to publication because the interview had become an infomercial for his firm. The managing editors each work tirelessly on the passion-precision balance. I continue to listen for reader and contributor input on how we make reading this electronic journal functional and fun. Some days I succeed, some days I don’t. I enjoy the opportunity to do both.
This quarter’s attempt begins with a powerful yet simple tool for improving employee productivity. Charles Kerns, Ph.D., explains how to impact profits by 20 percent by motivating people to take P.R.I.D.E. in what they do. Bill Bleuel, Ph.D., proposes that viewing customers as assets and inventory can provide useful insights into how firms can leverage consumer resources. Lindsley Boiney, Ph.D., explores how organizations could more effectively warehouse and mine the information they possess, and suggests that organizational change is needed to support better use of the power of knowledge.
This issue also discusses why giving minimal employee references may create firm liability. Linnea B. McCord, J.D., explains that not letting prospective employers know of former employee issues can create numerous problems. Another burgeoning venue for business is the Internet and e-commerce. Jim Wilburn, Ph.D., dean of the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine, and former Dean of the Graduate school of business at Pepperdine, joins with Phil Romero of the School of Public Policy in summarizing the work of the Inaugural Class of the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy as they examined the issue of taxing e-commerce transactions.
If all of this makes you hungry, then this issue’s conversation with Bud Knval may help. Steve Ferraro, Ph.D., and Darrol Stanley, Ph.D., spoke with Bud about his success in developing a commercial lending niche targeting fast food franchisees. And, in the personal issues venue, Bill Larson, J.D., combines the certainty of death and taxes to discuss how strategic estate planning may help reduce the tax liability of your estate once you personally are beyond the grasp of the IRS.
As always, I heartily recommend The Loop, which explores how to improve your communications effectiveness and etiquette on e-mail and (gulp) in person. Also, we encourage you to participate in our opinion poll, test your knowledge of estate planning in an online quiz, and share your comments in our messaging areas. Let us know what you like, like less, and don’t like.
As editor, I would specifically like to thank my colleagues who reviewed the articles in this edition: Brad Zehner, Rick Hesse, Mark Mallinger, Bob Canady, and Tom Penderghast. I also want to thank our readers for the insights and encourage you to email me with your thoughts. The quickest way is to e-mail my name at the top of this letter.
Enjoy. Let us know what you think.