Lies, Damned Lies and Accounts

In a normal sense, an account of something means the telling of a story. What financial accounts do is to tell the story of business performance through numbers, although the story may require in-depth analysis to establish the real truth. Examination questions on accounts and finance are often avoided by students in IB examinations, but perfomance tends to be better on these 'harder' topics, than on the softer topics such a marketing and HRM, where there are no right answers. As ...

Sports’ activities – is football obscene?

The recent transfer of the footballer Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for a world record 100 million euro transfer fee took place this week, leading to a new currency - 'the Bale'. For instance, the GDP of Cuba is 734 Bales. The question asked of students in the recent blog, 'Is football obscene?',  is whether the size of the transfer and Bales annual salary of nearly $25 million can be morally justified in light of the parlous state of Europe's economies ...

Crowds move from surfing to sourcing to financing

Small may be beautiful as E.F. Schumacher once said, but it is normally more expensive. How can smaller firms challenge the goliaths in any market, such as Apple and Samsung, when resources required for research and development are so significant and where large firms gain from substantial economies of scale? Mass production methods create cheap goods and, with automation and robotics, standardisation is no longer the automatic downside.  So what is the solution for a new, or innovative, firm wanting ...

Visioning on a Monday morning

One of the activities I used to enjoy on a Monday morning was a quick look into the future. Students would gather news stories that had caught their eye over the previous week and would bring in news cuttings, which we would put to the marketing, finance, social and HR test. For example, we might examine a technology advance and examine the possible ramifications in terms of the market, costs and human resources. I would nominate two students per week ...