Author: Olin in the Media

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About Olin in the Media

Posting the latest on Olin student, alumni, faculty, and staff stories from business and news outlets locally, nationally, and around the world.


The bad news is: “the money companies spend on R&D is producing fewer and fewer results,” according to Anne Marie Knott, Olin strategy professor, and author of the just-published book How Innovation Really Works.

Knott_chosenIn an article published on the Harvard Business Review website this week, Knott says, “My research shows the returns to companies’ R&D spending have declined 65% over the past three decades.” This decline begs the question and title of Knott’s article, “Is R&D Getting Harder, or Are Companies Just Getting Worse At It?”

Her research finds that companies are getting worse at R&D, but there’s a silver lining:

“It appears the decline in companies’ (and the economy’s) ability to drive growth from R&D stems from the fact that companies have gotten worse at innovation, rather than because innovation has gotten harder. This is great news, because the problem of companies getting worse is fixable, whereas the problem of innovation getting harder isn’t. The challenge, of course, is knowing what to fix and how to fix it.”

Link to Harvard Business Review


“Right now, I think the increase in CEO pay is more stock market driven than profit driven,” said Radhakrishnan Gopalan, Olin associate professor in finance told NBC News in response to a new study from the Wall St. Journal on CEO compensation.

“The stock market is rising in anticipation of future growth in profits,” Gopalan said. “The stock awards, which are basically what’s driving the growth in CEO pay, are mostly a motivator for future performance.”

This kind of forward-looking optimism is typical of a stock-heavy incentive structure, but some warn this can be an imperfect way of measuring performance, since bull market gains aren’t matched proportionately with bear market losses.

Unfortunately, they never retrench,” Gopalan said. “That link is weaker on the down side.”

Link to NBC story here.

Watch video about related research on CEO compensation from Prof. Gopalan and Prof. Todd Milbourn that won the Olin Award in 2016.




When Marketplace asked Patrick Rishe about the potential of advertising brand-fatigue among NBA sports fans, Olin’s director of the sports business program, said, “No.”

Even with the NBA Developmental League re-branding next season as the “G” League after Gatorade bought the naming rights?

Even after the NBA lets teams sell advertising space on the upper-left corner of player’s jerseys next season?

“Rishe… doesn’t think people are going to tire of branding anytime soon,”according to the Marketplace story. “I am not concerned about the over saturation,” he said. “And I think though some purists may say that they are, let’s see how they feel two or three years from now. I doubt they’ll raise a fuss then. The sports consumer will adapt.”

Link to Marketplace story.

CATEGORY: News



Radhika Ghai Aggarwal, MBA 2002, Chief Business Officer and Co-founder, Shopclues, is featured as one of five “women-led startups smashing the glass ceiling in India,” in a column by Suparna Dutt D’Cunha, a contributor to Forbes.

“She’s the first Indian woman to break into the unicorn club. Valued at over $1 billion, Shopclues is one of India’s home-grown e-commerce stars. Started in 2011, along with Sanjay Sethi (CEO), ShopClues becomes the ninth startup to join India’s unicorn club by raising about $150 million from Singapore government’s GIC and its existing investors Tiger Global and Nexus Venture Partners last year. What started with a team of 10 is now a 1,000-strong organisation.

“Prior to starting Shopclues, Aggarwal, a management graduate from Washington University, worked for diverse sectors including retail, e-commerce, fashion and lifestyle with companies such as Nordstrom and Goldman Sachs in the U.S. She looks after branding, marketing, acquisitions, sales, hiring and product mix at ShopClues.

“There has never has been a better time than now to do any kind of business in India,” said Aggarwal. The e-tailer has about 350,000 small and medium sellers on the platform, and 14 million registered users.

“But, do people still stereotype the woman entrepreneur? ‘It’s not as much about stereotyping. The challenges are the same in entrepreneurship, man or woman. The only challenge is that because there are so few of us, people end up asking questions like, ‘How do you ensure work-life balance?’ You need a support system at home and work as your responsibilities grow.'”

Link to Forbes article.

CATEGORY: Career, Global



Olin’s full-time and part-time MBA programs remain among the top business schools nationwide in the U.S. News & World Report 2018 Best Graduate School Rankings released March 14, 2017. The full-time program remains at #21 for the second consecutive year, and the part-time program tied with Georgia Tech and the University of Maryland for the #30 spot.

“In terms of job placement rate, Olin continues to rank among the top five full-time programs in the country,” said Joe Fox, associate dean for graduate programs at Olin. “We’re very proud of the quality of students we attract to our programs and the success they have upon graduation.”

Full-time methodology

The 471 master’s programs in business administration accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business were surveyed; 377 responded, with 131 MBA programs providing the data needed to calculate rankings based on a weighted average of eight indicators:

  • Peer assessment survey
  • Mean GMAT score
  • Recruiter assessment survey
  • Employment rates 3 months after graduation
  • Mean starting salary and bonus
  • Mean undergraduate GPA
  • Employment rates at graduation
  • Acceptance rate

Part-time methodology

U.S. News part-time MBA ranking is based on five factors:

  • Average peer assessment score (survey of business school deans)
  • Average GMAT score and GRE scores of students entering in the fall of 2016
  • Average undergraduate GPA
  • Average number of years of work experience
  • Percentage of the fall 2016 total MBA program enrollment that is in the part-time MBA program

The complete 2018 Best Graduate Schools rankings methodologies are accessible at https://www.usnews.com/gradmeth

CATEGORY: News