Could a Baltimore happen in Chicago? — Robert McKersie

MIT Sloan Prof. Emeritus Robert B. McKersie

MIT Sloan Prof. Emeritus Robert B. McKersie

From The Huffington Post

Recently we have witnessed the unfortunate sequence of legitimate and responsible protest actions being hijacked by those who use the crowd effect of many marchers as a cover for their criminal activities of looting and burning. This same juxtaposition occurred 50 years ago this summer in Chicago and there are some lessons to be learned — so history does not need to repeat itself.

It was clear that Chicago was in for a long hot summer when on May 22, 1965 the board of education reappointed superintendent of schools, Benjamin Willis — and in so doing, violated assurances that leaders of the civil rights movement had received that Willis would retire. Nightly marches from Buckingham fountain to city hall and the board of education soon followed — in some cases marchers were arrested for blocking traffic. During the third weekend in July, Martin Luther King arrived in Chicago and led a march of more than one thousand participants.

By far the most noteworthy marches were those led each evening by the comedian, Dick Gregory. On August 1 and 2 his group decided to march to the home neighborhood of Mayor Daley. A crowd of over one thousand neighbors gathered and the police, in order to avoid a major confrontation, ordered the 50 marchers to leave or be arrested. Gregory and most of his followers were arrested.

Soon thereafter on August 12 riots broke out on the west side when an undermanned fire truck killed a black women. At the height of the riot a police car was sent to the headquarters of the Coordinating Council of Community Organizations to bring the convener and civil rights activist, Al Raby to the troubled streets.

While any riot is lamentable, by comparison to the turmoil that occurred in the Watts section of Los Angles at the same time, matters in Chicago were quickly brought under control, largely due to the actions of the police and the leaders of the civil rights movement.

Read the full post at The Huffington Post.

Robert McKersie is Professor Emeritus of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

New research shows social media posts have a positive impact on companies’ sales — Juanjuan Zhang

MIT Sloan Associate Prof. Juanjuan Zhang

MIT Sloan Associate Prof. Juanjuan Zhang

From Yahoo! Tech

It’s the Age of Social Media, and most companies are all in. They vie for likes on Facebook; they post pictures of products on Instagram; and they collect followers on Twitter and Weibo — China’s popular microblogging site — and regularly post about new services.

And yet, even as companies continue to spend time and money on social media, many are dubious about whether all that posting, tweeting, and retweeting has any effect on the bottom line.

My collaborators from Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management and I have just completed a large-scale field experiment on the Chinese microblogging service Weibo with a large global media company that produces documentary TV shows. We found that when the company posted about its shows, viewership rose 77 percent. Reposts by influential users, meanwhile, increased viewership by another third. The upshot: Social media platforms, like Twitter and Weibo, can have a significant impact on sales.

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The Taxi-Meter effect: Why do consumers hate paying by the mile or the minute so much? — Catherine Tucker

MIT Sloan Professor Catherine Tucker

MIT Sloan Professor Catherine Tucker

From Slate

When I get a taxi for the 15-minute ride from my office to the airport, I have two choices. I can hail a cab on the street, and pay a metered fare for the 4.6-mile trip. Or I can walk to the local Marriott and pay a fixed fee of $31.50.

Truthfully, I’m always a lot happier paying the fixed fee. I’m happier even though it probably costs more in the end. (A congestion-free trip on the meter comes out to about $26.) Sitting in a cab watching the meter tick up wrenches my gut: Every eighth of a mile, there goes another 45 cents—tick … tick … tick.

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Is London becoming the world’s greatest city for innovation? — Peter Hirst

MIT Sloan Executive Director of Executive Education Peter Hirst

MIT Sloan Executive Director of Executive Education Peter Hirst

From Wired

Earlier this November, the British-American Business Council’s  New England chapter (BABCNE) hosted an inspiring event in Boston that brought together nine high-ranking foreign diplomats, members of international business associations and business leaders to discuss how innovation can increase productivity and income opportunities through cross-border participation. The fact that the event was organized by Susie Kitchens, HM Consul General of the United Kingdom is no surprise.

National Mind Shift

The UK is mobilizing a strong and quite deliberate push for innovation-driven business development—domestically and globally. And nowhere is this more evident than in London. As a British “subject” (yes, that’s still the term!) who now calls the USA home, I am struck by a truly seismic cultural shift taking place in Britain—the nation’s stereotypical attitudes toward risk-taking and shunning conspicuous success are at long last changing, and quite visibly. Having lived and worked in London for several years, I may be partial to its continuing progress as a major center of cultural, academic and economic influence, but the changes I see during every visit are undeniable. Especially so in the last couple of years.

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The US has a jobs crisis. Here’s how to fix it — Simon Johnson

MIT Sloan Professor Simon Johnson

From The Guardian

To reduce the persistently high unemployment rate in the United States, Congress should move to relax some of our current constraints on immigration.

This is a controversial idea because many people are under the impression that allowing in more immigrants would push up unemployment. But that would only be the case if the number of jobs in the US were an unchanging constant. Read More »