Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

What makes a good manager? [excerpt]

Is modern work culture is pushing otherwise good people to adopt poor management styles? From creating “growth opportunities” to taking on mentors, managers often find themselves falling into progressive traps that seem like the right thing to do, but ultimately lead employees astray. In the following excerpt from Good People, Bad Managers, Samuel A. Culbert examines the effectiveness of modern management approaches.

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What Norway might tell us about Venezuela’s economic crisis

It is common to blame Venezuela’s current crisis on the price of oil. Despite sitting atop the world’s largest proven oil reserves, the Venezuelan economy is in a shambles and the country is gripped by chaos. When the price of oil fell precipitously in 2014, so too did Venezuela’s access to foreign exchange. Without this money, Venezuela has been unable to buoy the country’s national oil company and the social programs and food subsidies that support the sitting government.

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Academy of Management 2017: a conference and city guide

The 77th annual meeting of the Academy of Management will take place this year from 4 August through 8 August in Atlanta, Georgia. This year, the Academy of Management will convey the theme of “At the Interface”, inviting attendees to reflect on the ways interfaces both separate and connect people and organizations. We’ve highlighted some of the events that we’re excited about.

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The good tax

No one enjoys paying taxes. Remember receiving your first paycheck and discovering how much of your hard-earned money you would be sharing with the government? Most of us recognize that some taxes are necessary. Although economics recognizes the need for taxes to fund the government, it is pretty clear-eyed about the downside of taxes. One example is the tax on cigarettes.

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Optimism in economic development

There is much discussion about global poverty and the billions of people living with almost nothing. Why is it that governments, development banks, think-tanks, academics, NGOs, and many others can’t just fix the problem? Why is it that seemingly obvious reforms never happen? Why are prosperity and equity so elusive?

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Does “buying local” help communities or conflict with basic economics?

As summer approaches, picturesque roadside stands, farmer’s markets, and fields growing Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) dot the horizon from the Golden Gate to the Garden State. Consumers go to their local Farmer’s Market to keep spending local and to hopefully create jobs in the community. They “buy local” to reduce environmental impacts. Some believe interacting with neighbors builds trust within the community.

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Macronomics En Marche

Emmanuel Macron has completely upended French politics. Just over a year after founding a new centrist political party, En Marche (“On the move”), the former investment banker and Minister of Economy and Finance was elected president of France on 7 May by an overwhelming majority.

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Puerto Rico in crisis

The US territory of Puerto Rico is currently experiencing its most severe and pro­longed economic downturn since the Great Depression (1929–33). Between 2006 and 2016, the island’s economy (measured as Gross National Product in constant 1954 prices) shrank by 15.2%, while total employment fell by 28.6%. The elimination of federal tax exemptions under Section 936 of the Internal Revenue Code in 2006 dealt a serious blow to the island’s manufacturing industry.

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Savings banks in Germany: welfare versus politics

In Germany, it is not uncommon for primary-school children to have their own savings account. A reason for this is that on World Savings Day, savings-bank representatives visit schools all over Germany to educate pupils about the benefits of saving. Besides being clever marketing, this program is rooted in the savings banks’ legal pledge to foster economic welfare: German state law requires savings banks to support the local economy.

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Corruption: are you an expert? [quiz]

Headlines regularly focus on political scandals and corruption. From public officials embezzling government monies, selling public offices, and trading bribes for favors to private companies generate public indignation and calls for reform—corruption, it seems, is inevitable. But what really is corruption, and who is responsible for its continuation?

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Visualizing the global income distribution

The evolution of the distribution of income among individuals within countries and across the world has been the subject of considerable academic and popular commentary in the recent past. Works such as Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century or Joseph Stiglitz’s The Price of Inequality have become unlikely bestsellers, garnering a startling degree of both academic and popular interest.

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Can all refugees become economically successful?

We are celebrating the 16th United Nations’ World Refugee Day, scheduled on 20 June every year. It is a day to recognize and honour refugees’ resilience, agency and capability. In the area of refugees’ economic lives, there is growing evidence demonstrating that refugees are economic actors who are able to sustain themselves and to make socio-economic contributions to their hosting society.

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Did branding predict Brexit?

Branding predicted Brexit. This bald assertion points to a fascinating truth about the art of branding. Because branding feeds on, and feeds into, popular culture, it’s often a leading indicator of bigger, political phenomena. Where branding leads, the rest of us follow. Let me explain. 2016 was the year of populism. Among other things, the phenomenon of Brexit and Trump was a popular backlash against the globalisation.

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Paul A. Samuelson and the evolution of modern economics

For thirty years after the Second World War, the teaching of introductory economics in the US was dominated by a single textbook, initially titled Economics: An Introductory Analysis, later shortened to just Economics. When the first edition appeared in 1948, its author, Paul Samuelson, was only 33 years old. The book provided an account of what had rapidly become the accepted way of thinking about problems of unemployment.

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Pound foolish–but not penny wise

The Trump Administration released its $4 trillion budget on 23 May. Like the president himself, the budget promises a lot, delivers very little, and is full of misinformation. The administration promises to eliminate the federal government’s budget deficit within 10 years, while at the same time offering tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. To get a sense of the scale of this task, consider the current fiscal position of the US government.

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An economist views the UK’s snap general election

There is something unusual about the 2017 UK general election. It is the way in which all the manifestos clearly make their promises conditional on the ‘good Brexit deal’ that they claim to be able to secure. They are not the only ones. On 11 May the Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney reassured the markets that the ‘good Brexit deal’ would stabilise our economy after 2019, and the markets were duly sedated.

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