The George Washington University

School of Business: GWSB News

July 17, 2008

School of Business Professor Takes Ninth GWSB Class to the Olympics

GWSB Associate Professor of Tourism and Sport Management Lisa Delpy Neirotti in China, October 2007.

More than a million people from around the world will attend the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing--including 28 GWSB graduate students. Lisa Delpy Neirotti, associate professor of tourism and sport management, will take students enrolled in her “Behind the Scenes at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games” class to Beijing Aug. 4-24 to learn the latest sports marketing and business methodologies.

The students will collect 50 spectator surveys on spending habits and customer service impressions at the games; they will tour prominent sites such as the International Broadcast Center and the U.S. Training Center. The students also will meet with International Olympic Committee members and Olympic sponsors, including representatives of Samsung, VISA, and Coca-Cola.

As part of their class work, the students will be assigned with keeping a daily journal about their experiences and posting their news and pictures on a “next generation” sports Web site. Eric Herd, BBA ‘06, a former student of Neirotti’s, is head of sales and business development for the site.

To prepare for the trip, the students met four times to study the history of the games, learn more about the International Olympic Committee, and select their term paper topics. They also were charged with reading two books about the business side of the Olympics and taking an exam on the books and class material before leaving for Beijing.

Neirotti has attended 14 consecutive Olympics, and this will be the ninth time she has included students. “I realized how much I learned being a part of the games so I wanted to share the experience,” says Neirotti. “The Olympics is a testing ground for new ways of marketing. Students also have the opportunity to meet a lot of key people for future jobs, and it’s a great chance for both education and networking.”

Fellowship Program Bridges Academic and Business World

GWSB Professor of Marketing Pradeep Rau has temporarily traded in the classroom for the boardroom. Rau will serve as a fellow at Infosys Technologies Leadership Institute in Mysore, India. As part of the fellowship program, academic experts join the company for short periods of time and participate in a number of activities including teaching, research, and documenting Infosys experiences.

Rau says the experience is a great way to bridge the academic and business worlds. “The opportunity for me to observe a new and dynamic industry from the inside for an extended period of time should provide rich experiences that I can bring back to the classroom and future scholarly work. While it entails a considerable amount of personal sacrifice to undertake an assignment on the other side of the world in a non-academic setting, I am glad to have the opportunity,” said Rau.

Rau is the company’s first fellow and his duties range from writing papers / case studies documenting company experiences to developing short marketing courses for middle- and senior-level management.

Infosys Technologies is an IT solutions provider headquartered in India. The company also has offices in China, Australia, the Czech Republic, Poland, the UK, Canada, and Japan.

Rau’s fellowship is for one year. He will return to the classroom in June 2009.

Fort’s Corporate Responsibility Book Scores Glowing Review

“Bold, daring, provocative, and challenging,” are just a few of the adjectives William Frederick uses to describe GWSB Lindner-Gambal Professor of Business Ethics Tim Fort’s book, “Business, Integrity, and Peace: Beyond Geopolitical and Disciplinary Boundaries.” Frederick, a leading scholar and ethicist says Fort’s book is a must read. “From his impressive interdisciplinary background, Tim Fort invites you to explore new pathways, take unexpected turns along the way, dare to step into what some may consider forbidden theological/philosophic territory, and even urges you to accept that business firms—including those big bureaucratic corporations directed on occasion by ego-driven, power-aggrandizing executive maniacs (think Enron, WorldCom, Bear Stearns et al.)—can be major players in securing a peaceful world.”

“Bill is one of the founders of the modern field of corporate responsibility and while he has been a mentor to me, Bill calls it like he sees it. He is widely respected and getting a review like this is simultaneously humbling and exciting,” commented Fort.

According to Fort, the main theme of the book is that ethical business behavior can produce an unexpected outcome: it can contribute to more peaceful societies. Part one of the book shows how this connection is made. Part two details an integrated ethical system called “Total Integrity Management,” which shows how businesses can achieve peace through commerce.

Fort says he recommends the book but doesn’t require it for his students. “It really isn’t a classroom textbook; it’s a scholarly, research work, so it’s not the ideal book for class.” Fort also serves as the Executive Director of GWSB’s Institute for Corporate Responsibility.

Business, Integrity, and Peace: Beyond Geopolitical and Disciplinary Boundaries” can be purchased on Amazon or Borders.com or bought directly from Cambridge University Press, 270 pages, $95.

Students Analyze Virtual Businesses in Second Life Class

Second Life business created by GWSB students.
Students Blaine D’Armico, David Muller, Lindsey Heitman and Jonathan Robinson present final project to class.

How can class not be fun, when your homework is to check out the latest virtual pets, funky hair styles, and protection services in the on-line fantasy world of Second Life (SL). GWSB Associate Professor of Information Systems and Technology Management John Artz’s summer course, “Web-based Systems Development,” required students to analyze a SL business. Some of the businesses the students evaluated included a virtual pet store, detective agency, and a hair and beard boutique.

The students presented their final evaluations to the entire class on July 15, and most concluded that many SL business owners aren’t in it for the money. Artz says this was not a surprise. “SL is a fantasy world and part of the fantasy for most business owners is that they are running a profitable business. I think the students learned that people who are on the cutting edge of technology are usually not good business people, and good business people are not usually on the cutting edge of technology,” commented Artz.

One group of students took their project to another level and seized an opportunity to not only capitalize on a top grade but top dollar. Student Matt Silverman’s group used the weaknesses they discovered while analyzing an existing business to create their own SL business, called GetFreeLindens.com. Lindens are SL currency; 250 lindens are equal to $1. GetFreeLindens.com. is a way for SL residents to earn lindens by signing up for various sponsor offers.

“By taking the time to do a more in-depth analysis for class, it allowed us to thoroughly understand the nature of business in SL, and in turn spark all kinds of ideas for ways that we could get involved ourselves,” said Silverman. Unlike many SL business owners, Silverman’s group has already turned a profit, earning $30 just one week after opening. They plan to increase their advertising to drive visitors to the business and they are also creating a software product to help SL business owners better understand the financial aspects of running a business.

Brazilian City Managers Spend Two Weeks at GWSB

Brazilian city managers take a break from classes to hug the GW hippo.

In June, the GW Institute of Brazilian Issues (IBI) hosted a group of nearly 20 public servants from Porto Alegre, Brazil. During the two-week program, the group examined contemporary issues in international economics and business and their relevance to Brazil. The participants, all senior managers of municipal programs in Porto Alegre, attended classes taught by GW professors and visited local organizations such as the National Association of Public Administration; the World Bank; and the Organization of American States.

The Porto Alegre program was the first in what promises to become a regular series of such visits to GWSB by groups of public servants from cities throughout Brazil. The program is supported by the Movement for Brazilian Competitiveness (MBC), a non-governmental organization dedicated to improving Brazil’s competitiveness by enhancing the management skills of Brazilian public servants.

GWSB Development Office Adds Associate Director

Eric Goldman is the newest face in the GWSB Office of Development and Alumni Affairs. He joins the team as an Associate Director of Development. Eric comes to GWSB from Southeastern University where he was most recently Interim Director of Development and Corporate and Foundations Manager. Prior to that, he worked in Institutional Giving for the National Symphony Orchestra. His background includes development experience at the Woodlands Foundation in Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon University and The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields in London. He is an accomplished bassoonist and a graduate of The Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. Eric participated in advanced studies in bassoon performance at Trinity College of Music in London and Carnegie Mellon University.

Summer School in London

GWSB graduate students and Professor of International Business Robert Weiner, pose for the camera in London, England. The trip was part of a 10-week summer course on privatization and competition. The session began with seminars at GW to discuss privatization and competition policies in theory and practice and culminated in a one-week study tour in London, England.

GWSB Student Wins Beauty Pageant

GW Presidential Administrative Fellow Titi Williams-Davies, BBA ’07, can add another title to her resume--Miss DC International 2008. A native of Nigeria, William-Davies competed against five other women to win the title May 10 at GW’s Dorothy Betts Marvin Theatre. She will spend the next year as a spokeswoman for Serve D.C., a mission of the D.C. Commission on National and Community Service.

Williams-Davies, who expects to receive an MBA from GWSB in 2009, will represent Washington, D.C., at the Miss International Pageant in Chicago, July 25. The International Pageant System provides pageant winners with the opportunity to embark on a year of public service to promote a platform of their choice.

At GW, Williams-Davies works as a Presidential Administrative Fellow in GW’s Licensing and Trademark Program and is involved in many cultural and service student organizations, including the Mu Delta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., the AATASH Persian Dance Group, the Black Student Union, and the Black Women’s Forum.

Getting to Know: Ray Marin

Title: GWSB Center for Latin American Issues (CLAI) Program Manager.

Job Duties: CLAI engages in two main activities: offering short-term professional development courses for groups (especially public servants) from Latin America, and hosting forums on public policy issues. Our aims are to propagate the principles of democracy, good governance, market-friendly development throughout the continent, and to help raise the profile of Latin America – an oft-ignored region of vital interest to the United States – in Washington policy-making circles. I devote most of my time to developing and organizing new courses and public forums that serve those objectives.

Years at GW: Nine

Best part of working for the GWSB: Meeting and working with really interesting people – students, teachers, and professionals from all walks of life – from around the country and the world.

Favorite place on campus: For a quick psychic energy lift (or a dollop of cholesterol), J Street is the place, at least when classes are in session. It is a microcosm of the vibrant GW student community. When in a more contemplative mood, I enjoy strolling through “President’s Gate” and reflecting on the generations of alums whose names are engraved in the paving stones and who passed this way before.

What co-workers don’t know about me: My wife, Margaret and I have been best buddies since the seventh grade. We have four children, each acquired in a different country: Canada, Portugal, the United States, and the Netherlands.

Favorite things to do on the weekends: Gardening and occasionally slipping away to New York City for a quick visit with family.

Favorite Book: All-time favorite (though not exactly a nail-biter), “Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body.” It has fascinated me since I was a pre-teen and discovered it at my local library. I own several editions (and even a Gray’s Anatomy Coloring Book). Another favorite (which I almost read once as a high school student) is, “The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody.” I borrowed it from a friend to read on a long subway ride. The more I got into this hilarious account of world history by American humorist Will Cuppy, the more I laughed. Soon I could not control the fits of laughter that seized me each time I turned a new page. Pretty soon, people started giving me wide berth, and were moving into the next car. I had to close the book mid-ride, and return it to my friend, unfinished. It is on my summer reading list.

Presentations

William Halal, professor emeritus of information systems and technology management, presented his work on emerging technologies at the U.S. National Academies on May 29. Halal received a contract from the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence to use his “TechCast Project” for a study on national intelligence.

Vanessa G. Perry, assistant professor of marketing, and George Solomon, associate professor of management, presented, “Does One Size Fit All? Firm Size, Technical Assistance and Small Business Growth,” at the 54th World Conference of the International Council for Small Business in Canada.

George Solomon, associate professor of management, Erik Winslow, professor of management, and David Tomczyk, GWSB doctoral student, presented, “Human Capital Strategies of Successful Entrepreneurial Firms: Practices of Entrepreneur Magazine’s 500 Fastest Growing Businesses in America” at the 54th World Conference of the International Council for Small Business, in Canada. (2008)

Publications

Elias G. Carayannis, professor of management science, published and edited, “Diversity in the Knowledge Economy and Society and Knowledge Matters Technology,” and “Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Innovation Networks and Knowledge Clusters.” Carayannis is launching a new book series with Springer Science+Business Media. The series will showcase emerging research and applications in the fields of innovation, technology, and knowledge management.

Sanjay Jain, assistant professor of decision sciences, published, “Homeland Security Simulation Domain — A Needs Overview,” in the Proceedings of the 2008 Euro Simulation Interoperability Workshop. The workshop was organized by Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization and the Society for Modeling and Simulation. The paper was co-authored with C.R. McLean and T. Lee of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

George Solomon, associate professor of management, published “Entrepreneurial Selection and Success: Does Education Matter?” in the Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development. The article was co-published with Pat H. Dickson from Wake Forest University and Mark Weaver from Louisiana State University. Vol. 15, No. 2, p.239-258 (2008) Solomon also published, “Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century: From Pedagogy to Practice,” and served as a guest editor for this article. Vol. 15, No. 2, p.235-238 (2008)

Solomon also received of the Emerald Literati Network for 2008 Award for Excellence, for his paper, “An Examination of Entrepreneurship Education in the United States,” published in the Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 14, No. 2, 2007.

Getting Ink

John Artz, associate professor of information systems and technology management, was interviewed by BizEd magazine. The article, “Professor, Course Offer Insight on Virtual Worlds,” was about Artz’s summer course on virtual-world businesses. When Artz was asked what he wants students to learn from his course, he replied, “Business students will soon find themselves designing or using virtual worlds for serious business applications. Product decisions, personnel decisions, reorganizations, mergers all can be simulated in virtual environments. They need to be aware of and understand this technology.” (July/August 2008)

Richard Green, professor of real estate finance and director of the GW Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis, was mentioned in New York Times Columnist Paul Krugman’s blog. Krugman was blogging about the Freddie Mac / Fannie Mae issue and quoted Green’s blog, “But for the reasons Krugman gave, moral hazard did not produce lax underwriting at Fannie-Freddie–regulation (and to be fair, I think corporate culture at Freddie) prevented that from happening. To the extent they are in trouble, it is because of market conditions outside the realm of historical experience. It is, after all, their job to be in the market at all times–no matter what. That is why they have their charters.” (7/14)

Lisa Delpy Neirotti, associate professor of tourism and sport management, was mentioned in the USA Today article, “American students go for Olympic gold in learning.” The story was about study-abroad programs in Beijing that focus on learning from the Olympics. Reporter Rebecca Kaplan wrote, “Lisa Delpy Neirotti, a sports management professor at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., has been taking her students to study every Olympics since 1992. They prepare with lectures about the business side of the Games, and then meet with corporate sponsors, executives and Olympic Committee staff once they’re there.” (7/10)

Class Notes

Chris Pitre, BBA’06, was recently appointed to the board of the Houston Interactive Marketing Association and chair of its annual conference, “Interactive Strategies.” As a fan of technology, social media, and pop culture, Chris plans to enliven the conference by hosting it in a movie theater and encouraging attendee interaction. Chris is a marketing associate at Whiteboard Labs where he oversees the branding and marketing strategy for the company and its products and applications.
http://twitter.com/chrispitre.

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