How waiting longer for the iPhone could help workers — Richard Locke

MIT Sloan Deputy Dean Richard Locke

From the So. China Morning Post

Richard Locke faults a production system geared to speed at all costs

Two decades after Nike faced heat for poor working conditions in its suppliers’ overseas factories, Apple has been responding to a series of scandals – health and safety problems, worker suicides and riots by workers employed at Foxconn, one of its lead suppliers in China. And, once again, consumer activists and others are calling for better standards, more workplace inspections and other steps to prevent such abuse. Read More »

From Data to Decisions: Lessons from Davos, 2012

We are at the beginning of the Big Data era, and there is widespread anticipation that this will be a huge benefit to companies. I’ve been attending the World Economic Forum in Davos and in my `Data to Decisions’ panel we heard CEOs tell how Big Data can reinvent everything from CRM to internal processes to product design.

We also heard that there are significant challenges in data sourcing, permission agreements, data quality and of course privacy concerns, as most Big Data is personal data about customers. Fortunately these challenges can be addressed by conventional business practices.

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MBA Interest in Sustainability Careers is on the Rise at MIT Sloan

MIT Sloan Career Development Director Jackie Wilbur

Sustainability is a hot topic these days, especially on business school campuses. At MIT Sloan, we’re seeing a strong and increasing interest among our MBA students in this area.

A recent survey of our incoming first-year MBA students showed that 15% of the class is interested in the social enterprise sector, including sustainable business, nonprofits and education. That is even higher than the year before.

To support these students – whose numbers are growing — we have many initiatives and programs in place such as the Sloan Sustainability Initiative, which offers courses like the MIT Sloan Sustainable Business Lab (S-Lab) where student teams work with organizations on specific sustainability projects. Through the Sustainability initiative, MBA students also can earn the MIT Sloan Sustainability Certificate. Building on the Institute’s tradition of interdisciplinary studies, the certificate combines core and elective courses in areas such as process improvement, organizational learning and adaptation, entrepreneurship and commercialization, and the dynamics of organizational and social change.

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Student-run ‘SloanGear is a real company; this was not just a mathematical exercise’


There’s this notion that business school students tend to do a lot of talking, yet very little walking. But when I look back on my year as the Chief Marketing Officer of SloanGear – the only student-owned campus store in the country – I can honestly say that I applied what I learned in the classroom every day. SloanGear is a real company; this was not just a mathematical exercise, or Excel model or a case study. When we were buying the business, for instance, we had to come up with an enterprise valuation, which we figured out using a discounted cash flow model and other approaches we learned in finance and investment management classes. And in one of our marketing classes, we learned about how to use conjoint analysis to drive product innovation and as a company we implemented those methods.

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