Archive for February, 2013

Ernst & Young CEO highlights importance of global ethics

Monday, February 25th, 2013

In the wake of Enron and other corporate scandals, business schools across the nation have put a much greater emphasis on the teaching of ethics, but in a talk at the A. B. Freeman School of Business last Friday (Feb. 22), James S. Turley, chairman and CEO of Ernst & Young, said those efforts can only go so far.

“I’m not sure whether in a university you can teach ethics,” Turley told a packed audience in Dixon Hall on Tulane’s Uptown campus. “My guess is if someone doesn’t have it by the time they come here, it’s going to be really hard to convince them they should have it.

James S. Turley

James S. Turley, center, chairman and CEO of Ernst & Young, discussed global ethics as featured speaker at the 20th annual Burkenroad Symposium.

“I am fairly convinced you can un-teach ethics,” he quickly added. “If you’re in an environment where someone comes in and they think, ‘I play by the rules,’ and they see everyone around them cheating, you can un-teach it pretty quickly.”

Turley discussed integrity, ethics and transparency in a global business environment as the featured speaker at the Burkenroad Institute’s 20th annual Symposium on Business and Society. Joining Turley for a wide-ranging conversation on business ethics were Adrienne Colella, director of the Burkenroad Institute; Daryl G. Byrd, president and CEO of Iberiabank; James M. Lapeyre Jr., president of Laitram; and Ira Solomon, dean of the Freeman School.

To help prevent the “un-teaching” of ethics, Turley said organizations must endeavor to create a culture of integrity from the top down, but just as importantly, those organizations need to put systems into place to ensure that their commitment to ethical conduct is being met on a daily basis.

“It’s not just training and culture,” Turley said. “It’s holding people accountable and doing so in ways that are measurable. It’s really important to hold business unit leaders and practice leaders accountable for an array of cultural [objectives], not just for revenue growth and profitability.”

In today’s business environment, with centers of economic power shifting to new countries and new cultures, Turley said it’s even more critical for companies to develop a global set of values and a global code of conduct.

“People coming out of universities today want to be in an organization that has strong standards and a clear sense of purpose,” said Turley. “If you do not have something that unites the many different cultures that are present in your workforce, you’re going to lose some of the best talent and you’re going to be at the scene of many more train wrecks than you’d like to be at the scene of.”

And while Turley may have some doubts about the ability to teach ethics in business school, he said there’s still much that universities can do to help prospective managers avoid unethical behavior.

“In any kind of ethics, fraud or corruption issue, there’s always a combination of pressure to do something wrong, opportunity to do something wrong and then the need to justify why you did something wrong,” Turley said. “I would encourage places like Tulane to continue to help people understand this intersection—the triangle of pressure, opportunity and justification—because it’s real.”

The Burkenroad Symposium was just one of several events at the Freeman School that Turley participated in. He also attended a breakfast with faculty, alumni and local business leaders prior to the symposium, and he joined students for a luncheon workshop on business ethics immediately following the symposium.

“Jim Turley leads a huge global professional services organization and is one of the most astute leaders I know,” said Freeman School Dean Ira Solomon. “It was a very special honor to have him join us and share his experiences and expertise with our students and faculty.”

To see photos from the Burkenroad Institute’s 20th annual Symposium on Business and Society, visit the Freeman School’s Flickr site.

Business student named Department of Energy ambassador

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Alexis Vrotsos of Aspen, Colo., a graduate student in the A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University, has been selected to serve as a Department of Energy Student Ambassador for the 2012-13 academic year.

Alexis Vrotsos

As an Energy Student Ambassador, Alexis Vrotsos conducts presentations and workshops at Tulane and collaborates with career services representatives and faculty members. (Photo by Ryan Rivet)

Vrotsos, who is pursuing a master of business administration and master of management in energy, serves as an on-campus resource for DOE job and internship information, providing “insider” tips on where to find and how to land DOE positions. Vrotsos is hard at work, conducting presentations and workshops at Tulane and collaborating with career services representatives and faculty members.

The Energy Student Ambassadors program is part of the Department of Energy’s efforts to expand its presence on U.S. college and university campuses and connect student job seekers with DOE job and internship opportunities. This year, seven students representing schools nationwide were selected from a competitive group of applicants.

The DOE is looking to fill jobs in a wide range of mission-critical occupations including engineers, mathematicians, statisticians, economists, accountants, physical scientists and analysts.

Despite the array of opportunities, many federal agencies have trouble attracting students because of a lack of knowledge about job opportunities and how to apply for them.

“The Energy Student Ambassadors program is a win-win for DOE and student job seekers looking to make a difference,” said Tim McManus, vice president for education and outreach at the Partnership for Public Service.

To be eligible for the program, students must complete an internship at DOE or in an energy-related field. This year’s ambassadors interned at the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, among others.

The Energy Student Ambassadors program is conducted in collaboration with the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. It is part of the Federal Student Ambassadors program within the Partnership for Public Service.

Fox Business: Costly Vaccines Linked to False Sense of Security?

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Fox Business

From Fox Business, Feb. 7, 2013

What’s in a price? When it comes to medicines, the cost could affect your health and well-being, according to Janet Schwartz, assistant professor of marketing at the A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University in New Orleans. A recent study found in the Journal of Consumer Research, “Goods: Changing the price of medicine influences perceived health risk,” by Schwartz and Adriana Samper of the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, found that the cost of a medication directly impacts how consumers view their risk of catching an illness associated with the medicine.

To read the entire article, visit

NPR: Why You Love That Ikea Table, Even If It’s Crooked

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013



From, Feb. 6, 2013

NPR’s Shankar Vedantam interviewed Daniel Mochon, assistant professor of marketing, for a Morning Edition segment about Mochon’s research into the so-called Ikea Effect.

“Imagine that, you know, you built a table,” said Daniel Mochon, a Tulane University marketing professor, who has studied the phenomenon. “Maybe it came out a little bit crooked. Probably your wife or your neighbor would see it for what it is, you know? A shoddy piece of workmanship. But to you that table might seem really great, because you’re the one who created it. It’s the fruit of your labor. And that is really the idea behind the Ikea Effect.”

To hear the entire segment, visit

Tulane MBA Project wins top prize in FCG Showcase

Friday, February 1st, 2013

A team of eight Freeman School MBA students that studied the current landscape of MBA education and made recommendations to the Freeman School’s MBA Task Force took home top honors and a $500 prize at the inaugural FCG Consulting Showcase.

The Freeman Consulting Group organized the event to highlight the nine projects that FCG teams worked on during the fall 2012 semester. Each team delivered a 10-minute overview of its project and recommendations and answered questions from a panel of guest judges, who were charged with picking the top project based on the team’s understanding of the client’s needs, its development of a strategic plan of action and the client’s satisfaction.
Serving as judges for the showcase were Rick Conway of JSC Management, Kristi McKinney of Deloitte, Allen Bell of Topside, Axel Freudmann of AIG and Seth Hamstead (MBA ’12) of Cleaver & Co.

The MBA Task Force is currently developing a new strategic plan for Freeman’s MBA program. As part of that effort, the task force reached out to the Freeman Consulting Group and asked a consulting team to help clarify the school’s current market position, its primary competitors in the market and the differentiation strategies being used by other programs to position themselves in the market. The team also developed recommendations and potential short and long-term strategies.

The Tulane MBA Project consulting team included Ahmed Al Massry, Dan Morrell, Timur Ivannikov, Ana Hernandez, Olga Bustamente, Jing Guo, Wei Shen, Yutong Ding and Zhu Jinghong.

In addition to the Tulane MBA project, the judges also recognized two projects as second-place winners: a project for the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Economy to review and analyze the city’s system for allocating Live Entertainment Tax Credits and a project for alternative drink company Be: Well to develop a channel and marketing strategy for its Iconic drink. A project for nonprofit investigative journalism organization the Lens to develop alternative means of revenue generation earned the third-place prize.

Ambassador highlights importance of U.S.-EU relationship

Friday, February 1st, 2013

When British Prime Minister David Cameron last week called for a referendum on Britain’s membership in the European Union, it was just the latest challenge to the beleaguered union, which has struggled in the wake of the global financial crisis. But in remarks at the A. B. Freeman School of Business on Tuesday (Jan. 29), the EU’s ambassador to the United States said Cameron’s comments should not be interpreted as a rejection of the union.

Joao Vale de Almeida

EU Ambassador to the U.S. João Vale de Almeida highlighted the importance of U.S.-EU trade in a presentation at the Freeman School on Jan. 29.

“David Cameron in his speech is very clear about his own personal position—he believes that Britain should remain in the European Union,” said João Vale de Almeida, who has served as head of the delegation of the European Union to the United States since 2010. “We expect David Cameron to do what’s necessary to keep Britain in the European Union.”

Established in 1993, the 27-nation union is the world’s largest political and economic bloc. In his presentation to business students and faculty, Vale de Almeida discussed the past, present and future of the EU but put a special emphasis on the importance of union’s relationship with the United States.

“If there’s one lesson that we need to draw from the financial crisis, it’s that we are in this together,” Vale de Almeida said. “The world economy is so globalized, interconnected and interdependent that what happens here in Louisiana matters for Europe just as what happens in Greece matters for Louisiana. That’s why it’s so important to look at the potential of cooperation between the EU and the U.S.”

Together, the U.S. and the EU represent 800 million consumers and account for 47 percent of the world’s gross domestic product, but Vale de Almeida said many U.S. businesses tend to overlook those facts when they think about international trade opportunities.

“We are so obsessed with China, and rightly so because it’s a great success story, but we sometimes forget that we are next door to a very powerful economic engine across the Atlantic,” he said. “Maybe this engine can go even faster and deliver more for us.”

To see more photos from Ambassador Vale de Almeida’s talk, visit the Freeman School’s Flickr page.


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