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s+b Blogs

Matt Palmquist

Matt Palmquist is a freelance business journalist based in Oakland, Calif.


March 19, 2015
A CEO’s character can change a company’s culture, the way it operates, and its performance.
March 3, 2015
Large chains that compete too aggressively against small businesses may suffer the wrath of consumers.
February 25, 2015
The joys and struggles that leaders experience at home have a major impact on their attitudes at work, as well as on their subordinates’ moods and performance.
February 18, 2015
Establishing a profile on Wikipedia can be a boon for companies, but managers must forge ties with the site’s contributors rather than relying on typical marketing strategies.
February 10, 2015
Although personal relationships among coworkers are usually viewed as positive, excessive socialization can lead to a decline in team performance.
February 6, 2015
Being honest about the expenses that go into developing and distributing a product can increase sales and enhance a firm’s bond with consumers.
January 29, 2015
Firms that make an effort to be responsible are rewarded more than those that seek only to make money.
January 22, 2015
The loss in stock value and trading volume for companies targeted by phishing scams proves that firms have plenty to lose from these high-tech attacks.
January 15, 2015
A chief executive with a diverse background usually brings innovation and new ideas to a company, but the shake-up doesn’t necessarily pay off.
January 7, 2015
While compensating managers generously might induce more of them to stay, paying anyone too much can upset the balance of the executive suite.
December 23, 2014
Potentially harmful rumors can start because employees feel inadequately informed, and they can spread when companies fail to keep their promises to their workers.
December 18, 2014
Vacations taken by CEOs provide an unlikely, but highly reliable, way to approximate a firm’s corporate activity and anticipate its stock returns.
December 11, 2014
To stay ahead of political and social upheaval, multinational firms should consider elevating external affairs to the same level as other top management spheres.
December 4, 2014
Companies that winningly reposition their brands tend to do so by anticipating market trends and overcoming or minimizing common challenges.
November 20, 2014
Despite lawyers’ conventional wisdom, becoming a household name can actually be a brilliant marketing strategy.
November 13, 2014
Young firms seeking outside funding can attract investors by acknowledging they have room for improvement, while also playing up their strengths.
November 3, 2014
Your own employees may pose a bigger IT hazard than outside threats.
October 30, 2014
By selling a mix of novel and existing items, retailers can optimize their profits; to do so, however, managers must use their salespeople in the right way.
October 3, 2014
Advertisers are eager to take advantage of mobile channels, but they must carefully position their products to get consumers’ attention.
September 25, 2014
For service companies seeking to lure customers away from their rivals, success lies in keeping it simple.
September 16, 2014
To keep growing amid volatility, companies should remain adaptable in their approach to supply chain management.
September 9, 2014
By structuring CEOs’ contracts to focus on the long-term health of their company, newly public firms can encourage an emphasis on innovation.
September 2, 2014
Executives who take more chances may prove to be a better long-term bet than those who play it safe.
August 27, 2014
Bad economic conditions don’t necessarily mean a death sentence for small companies. They can employ multiple strategies to keep growing.
August 18, 2014
If you want to keep your co-workers happy, you should resist the temptation to look at your mobile during meetings.
August 7, 2014
Marketers probably don’t want consumers to watch commercials while they eat.
July 31, 2014
Companies must find a balance between the luxuries customers will pay for and the necessities they expect.
July 28, 2014
Employees who feel their managers listen to their complaints are more likely to use social media to benefit their company than to air their grievances.
July 7, 2014
How advertising execs’ relationships with clients can shape their firms’ fortunes.
June 13, 2014
To discourage procrastination, managers should give their employees more work, not less.
June 9, 2014
Learning what other companies did to acquire firms in developing economies may help U.S. companies be more successful in their own M&A efforts.
June 2, 2014
A company that collaborates with its rivals can create more business for itself.
May 15, 2014
Crowdsourcing offers companies the opportunity to analyze large amounts of data in innovative ways.
May 12, 2014
The effectiveness of women in the boardroom can depend on whether the company is having a period of good performance or bad.
May 5, 2014
Business units abroad that focus on technology and R&D exert more influence with the home office than those that focus on sales or marketing.
April 25, 2014
The ice cream market reveals that consumers don’t mind smaller packaging as much as they do bigger price tags.
April 9, 2014
Sharing soft data between salespeople and marketers can boost a company’s innovation efforts and improve its relationship with customers.
March 27, 2014
The very business model that made the company so wildly successful could eventually cause its downfall.
March 20, 2014
To take advantage of employees’ innovative efforts, managers must first learn how to encourage and nurture them.
March 12, 2014
By keeping group sessions tightly focused and on schedule, managers can earn their employees’ respect and commitment.
March 6, 2014
Large initiatives such as oil pipelines have a higher chance of succeeding when stakeholders work together to manage the risks.
February 27, 2014
When consumers are rude and abrasive, it’s up to managers to help employees deal with the stress.
February 20, 2014
Unless a company is backing a philanthropic event, U.S. investors tend to be unhappy with corporate sponsorships.
February 13, 2014
Incoming leaders follow a predictable pattern of disinvesting from their predecessor’s flops and eventually investing just as unwisely.
February 6, 2014
Consumers respond better to commercials with emotional appeal than to neutral ads or those that are too informative.
January 30, 2014
Hostile acquisitions may be largely a thing of the past, as they’ve been replaced with gentler—and more effective—M&A strategies.
January 23, 2014
New high-tech companies are more attractive to investors when they show room for growth.
January 16, 2014
External leaders who take over in good times make a greater strategic impact than those recruited during unstable periods.
January 9, 2014
Companies that implement socially and environmentally responsible strategies tend to profit—but the benefits take time to show.
January 2, 2014
For multinational companies operating in Russia and China, the key to success is finding ways to avoid PR crises, rather than managing them after they happen.
December 24, 2013
People prefer old-fashioned voicemail messages to emails when receiving bad news.
December 19, 2013
New hires who receive positive support from their bosses and co-workers during their first 90 days on the job tend to have better long-term performance.
December 12, 2013
As GM’s new CEO, Mary Barra, may discover, many women who get to their company’s top spot find themselves facing yet more obstacles to achieving full power.
December 5, 2013
As consumers increasingly expect to be able to customize the products they buy, giving them creative control over the assembly process makes them value a product more.
November 27, 2013
Financial officers tend to overestimate their own abilities to predict the stock market, which can adversely affect their firms.
November 21, 2013
Business managers may think they’re fooling customers with a $4.99 price tag, but a new study shows most consumers would rather pay $5.00.
November 14, 2013
Borrowing clout gives large companies an edge in a financial crisis.
November 7, 2013
When planning large projects, managers should base their forecasts for costs and timelines not on their own optimism, but on statistical data from previous ventures.
October 31, 2013
When it comes to managing a company’s working capital, CFOs must balance the need to stock inventory against the need to provide value for shareholders.
October 24, 2013
New businesses may be tempted to expand as quickly as possible, but such rapid growth can doom a fledgling company.
October 17, 2013
Women who “want it all” are finding that starting their own business is the way to get it.
October 9, 2013
A higher pay differential between CEOs and their employees may encourage employees to work harder, not to slack off.
October 3, 2013
As board members become more entrenched and partisan, their institutional knowledge loses value.
September 26, 2013
To keep employees from goofing off on the Internet during business hours, employers have to keep them interested in their work.
September 19, 2013
Having too much inventory can hurt sales, but offering a variety of products is good for business.
September 12, 2013
An embarrassed consumer doesn’t automatically translate to a bad review for a company.
September 5, 2013
Companies that collaborate on certain projects with other firms can reap greater rewards than going it alone.
August 29, 2013
Retailers can trigger shoppers to make impulse buys online just as they can in a physical store.
August 22, 2013
Leaders who project their negative attitudes onto their subordinates can hamper the way their companies do business.
August 15, 2013
Online retailers can encourage word-of-mouth advertising by appealing to consumers’ benevolence.
August 8, 2013
Corporations that understand why people buy counterfeit goods can learn to draw more consumers away from fakes.
August 1, 2013
Companies that focus on consumers with little spending power can change the dynamics of an industry.
July 25, 2013
Companies can capitalize on the wealth of information in consumers’ and competitors’ online posts.
July 18, 2013
Games in the workplace can have a beneficial effect on employees, but not when they’re mandated by management.
July 11, 2013
There are certain rules to follow if you want to grow your Twittersphere.
July 2, 2013
An increasing number of companies are giving consumers specific details about their efforts to protect the environment and their workers.
June 27, 2013
What’s the right move when your famous pitchperson takes a public beating?
June 13, 2013
New research shows how successful managers keep complex projects on track.