News & Events | Neeley in the News
Here is a brief look at some of the recent news stories that featured Neeley students, staff and faculty. For a complete look at Neeley in the News, check out In the News Archives.
How to Prevent Turnover in Your
“Why Do Salespeople Quit? An
Empirical Examination of Own and Peer Effects on Salesperson Turnover
Behavior,” by Sarang Sunder, V. Kumar, Ashley Goreczny, and Todd
Maurer (Journal of Marketing Research, 2016)
worry about employee attrition in every department, but it’s especially costly
in one function: sales. Estimates of annual turnover among U.S. salespeople run
as high as 27%—twice the rate in the overall labor force. In many industries,
the average tenure is less than two years. While some attrition is desirable,
such as when poor performers quit or are terminated, much of it isn’t—and every
time a solid performer leaves, his or her company faces a number of direct and
indirect costs. U.S. firms spend $15 billion a year training salespeople and
another $800 billion on incentives, and attrition reduces the return on those investments.
Turnover also hurts sales: Positions may sit empty while companies recruit
replacements, and the new employees must learn the ropes and rebuild client
relationships. If managers could identify good salespeople who are at risk of
quitting and take steps to retain them, their companies could realize
study by four marketing professors can help them do just that. The researchers
examined more than two years’ worth of data from a Fortune 500
telecommunications company that sells consumer electronics and software
services, and created a quantitative model—the first of its kind—to predict
which salespeople were likely to quit. This work builds on previous research by
some of the same academics, who developed a method of estimating an individual
salesperson’s future profitability (see “Who’s Your Most Valuable
Salesperson?” HBR, April 2015). Knowing who is most likely to drive
profits is useful, of course, but the new research could add greatly to that
value: By learning who is at high risk of leaving and why, sales leaders can
address problems before star performers give notice.
researchers studied data on 6,727 salespeople working in 1,058 stores, dividing
it into two batches. One set of metrics dealt with how well each salesperson
was doing; those numbers measured past performance (on the basis of revenue
generated), customer satisfaction, and how often monthly quotas were met. The
second set measured “peer effects”: the variation in performance among
coworkers and the voluntary and involuntary attrition in each store. The study
controlled for geography, store size, and demographics.
researchers expected that salespeople with high ratings in historical
performance and customer satisfaction would be less likely than average and low
performers to quit, because the good marks would increase their sense of job
security, their incentive payments, and their feeling that they controlled
their ability to succeed—and that proved to be the case. When it came to quota
attainment, however, the study showed an inverted-U-shaped distribution: Here,
too, high-performing salespeople were less likely than average performers to
quit (managers did a good job keeping their stars happy), but so were low
performers (their poor showing limited their opportunities at other firms). “It
is the ‘middling’ salespersons who [are] likely [to] turn over,” the
researchers write. Though those employees aren’t “A” players, the loss of them
still hurts their firms, because they often constitute a large and profitable
part of the sales force.
biggest surprise concerned peer effects, which turned out to be the strongest
predictor of quitting. The researchers theorize that in companies without much
variation in performance, people are less likely to feel challenged and may
have little incentive to work harder or smarter; they’re apt to leave instead.
In settings with high voluntary turnover, employees often lose faith in the
company’s strategic direction (because they see others jumping ship), and they
tend to be more aware of outside job opportunities, partly because their
networks include former colleagues who recently defected. And when there’s lots
of involuntary turnover, employees may lack trust in managers, feel little job
security, and move on. “An individual’s attitudes and intentions are heavily
influenced by his or her environment,” the researchers write; the strength of
the peer effects in the model suggests that turnover can be contagious.
research is part of a broad trend of efforts to understand what events cause
employees to seek greener pastures and what behaviors indicate that they may be
doing so—issues of increasing relevance in an era of tight labor markets and
the growing use of analytics. For instance, research by the advisory firm CEB
examined how events in employees’ personal lives, such as milestone birthdays
and college reunions, spur them to take stock and to compare their careers with
others’, often prompting them to job hunt (see “Why People Quit Their
Jobs,” HBR, September 2016). And a study by researchers at Utah State and
Arizona State identified 13 “pre-quitting” behaviors, likening them to poker
tells; these include leaving work early, showing less focus or effort, and
being reluctant to commit to long-term assignments.
of the new study is that managers should pay careful attention to peer effects
and consider conducting interventions in settings with little performance
variation among employees and ones with rising levels of turnover. But Kumar
says the larger message isn’t that firms should plug their
data into the model predicting turnover at the telecom’s stores. Rather, it’s
that big data can enable companies to identify variables that predict turnover
in their own ranks. In the future, managers might routinely rely on data-driven
dashboards labeling employees as being at high, moderate, or low risk of
quitting. They could then decide which members of the high-risk group warrant
interventions to help them stay put.
July 10, 2017
Obamacare Wounds Doctor-Owned
Hospitals – by Kimberly Leonard
Specialty Hospital in South Dakota is regularly full. Its doctors and nurses
often have to work longer hours or perform elective surgeries such as hip or
knee replacements on weekends.
cases, patients have to wait forever,” said Dr. R. Blake Curd, an orthopedic
surgeon and the hospital’s CEO. “We don’t have the physical capacity to take
care of them.”
like to expand the hospital by adding beds or rooms, but he isn’t allowed to do
so because of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. The law largely bans the
expansion of hospitals such as Curd’s, which are partly owned by doctors. New
physician-owned hospitals also cannot be set up unless they forego government
reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid.
other types of hospitals, such as community and for-profit hospitals, the
passage of Obamacare injected more money into the healthcare system by
expanding health insurance to more than 20 million people. This meant hospitals
did not have to provide as much uncompensated care as they used to,
and many of them flourished.
physician-owned hospitals, 250 facilities across 33 states, are dwarfed by the
5,000 public or for-profit hospitals. And Obamacare is crushing them.
regulations can damage the healthcare industry’s bottom line in many ways. They
limit the use and nature of telemedicine. Small, rural hospitals have struggled
to achieve the efficiencies Obamacare demanded from them. Because they must
stick to specific federal guidelines for electronic health records, individual
practices have been overwhelmed and bought up by larger healthcare systems. As
with many regulations, compliance costs are too much for the smaller
businesses. One of the most stark examples of how these regulations have
affected a business’s bottom line comes from Obamacare’s effect on doctor-owned
Obamacare, 37 physician-owned hospitals were not built, 40 nearly finished
construction projects were prevented and 20 major expansion projects have been
halted, according to their trade group Physician Hospitals of America. It
estimates the ban resulted in a loss of $200 million in tax revenue and 30,000
jobs that went uncreated.
of the ban, among them nonprofit community and for-profit hospitals, argued for
years that doctors at these hospitals are improperly referring patients to
facilities in which they have a financial interest. These doctors, they say,
have cherry-picked healthier patients and those who need specialized, profitable
medical treatment, and have ordered unnecessary medical procedures that result
in higher costs to the government.
nonprofit community and for-profit hospitals with patients whose care is less
profitable, such as those who need emergency care or burn treatment. As they
saw physician-owned hospitals expand, lobbyists from the American Hospital
Association and the Federation of American Hospitals successfully pushed for
the ban in Obamacare.
is mixed about whether doctor-owned hospitals were engaged in troubling
practices. But experts say there must have been a better way to curb abuse, if
it existed, than by imposing an outright ban on new ones. The ban came as
people gained more health insurance, opening the door to care for people who
weren’t previously able to afford it. Obamacare encouraged medical providers to
improve healthcare outcomes, a goal that many doctor-owned hospitals, whose
leaders understand how things work in a real, clinical setting, are able to
hospitals: A history of tension
physician-owned hospital movement grew, particularly in the early 2000s, out of
frustration that some doctors were being left out of administrative decisions
in large facilities.
doctor-owned model, Curd says, allowed him and others to have more control in
the operation of a hospital, whether determining how it should be laid out, or
what equipment would provide the best results or how long patients should stay
in the hospital after surgery. This means doctors take some of the rewards and
risks involved in the healthcare business. Proponents say these hospitals can
reach the “triple aim” of improving care, improving population health and
But these hospitals posed a challenge to non-profit and for-profit
hospitals. Congress had previously imposed a temporary ban on the construction
of doctor-owned hospitals that specialized in cardiology, orthopedics and other
areas, after the Hospital Corporation of America, the for-profit hospital
group, accused them of dipping into for-profit hospitals’ lucrative outpatient
took the restrictions further. The little-known ban, part of Section 6001,
gives physician-owned hospitals the option to expand if they stop using
Medicare, the federal program for people 65 and older. Cutting a hospital off
from Medicare can kill it. For many hospitals, Medicare is half their revenue.
A study published in the journal
Health Affairs, left little doubt about the effect of Obamacare on hospitals
owned by doctors. The ban was effective at curbing growth from doctor-owned
hospitals that existed before the ban, the authors concluded after examining
106 physician-owned hospitals in Texas, home to 40 percent of the country’s
Researchers also examined 92
physician-owned hospitals built between 2004 and 2013. They noted that as the
deadline approached, plans to build hospitals came together quickly, as did
expansions. In 2010, 83.3 percent of newly formed for-profit hospitals in the
study were physician-owned. In total, 20 physician-owned hospitals were formed
in 2010, right before the construction ban took effect.
Physician-owned hospitals that formed
after the ban were unviable enterprises, authors concluded, noting that those
hospitals either went bankrupt or were sold because they didn’t have help from
Medicare or Medicaid, and therefore private insurers wouldn’t include them in
One of the study’s researchers, William
Wempe, an accounting professor at Texas Christian University, also found no
evidence that existing physician-owned hospitals stopped accepting Medicare
beneficiaries as a way to expand their facilities.
Instead, they appeared to do more with
less, Wempe says. The study revealed that staffed beds increased by 15.1 percent,
revenue per square foot increased 21 percent and revenue per full-time employee
increased 20.1 percent. This means doctors may have worked longer, conducted
more procedures in less time, or ordered more tests to boost revenues.
Wempe says this could raise safety
concerns. “They may try to get people to do more, but at some point they are
working beyond their optimal pace,” he said. “We can then begin to ask how
healthcare is affected, quality and cost-wise.”
July 18, 2017
Trump Seems Much Better at
Branding Opponents Than Marketing Policies – by Emily
Badger and Kevin Quealy
J. Trump, the master brander, has never found quite the right selling point for
his party’s health care plan.
has promised “great healthcare,” “truly great healthcare,” “a great plan” and
health care that “will soon be great.” But for a politician who has shown
remarkable skill distilling his arguments into compact slogans — “fake news,”
“witch hunt,” “Crooked Hillary” — those health care pitches have fallen far short
of the kind of sharp, memorable refrain that can influence how millions of
Americans interpret news in Washington.
two years of his tweets highlights a pair of lessons about his messaging
prowess that were equally on display as the Republican health care
bill, weakly supported by even Republican voters, collapsed
again in Congress on Monday. Mr. Trump is much better at branding enemies than
policies. And he expends far more effort mocking targets than promoting
items on his agenda.
patterns point to the limits of the president’s branding powers when it comes
to waging policy fights. He hasn’t proved particularly adept at selling his
party’s ideas — or shown much inclination to turn his Twitter megaphone toward
them. He seemed effective in branding his immigration policy during
the primary campaign — #BuildTheWall — but even that subject has occupied less
of Mr. Trump’s attention on Twitter since he became president than, say, CNN.
contrast, dating to the campaign, Mr. Trump has been deft at branding his
opponents. There is no definitive canon of Mr. Trump’s messaging, but his
Twitter feed serves as a reasonable proxy: It’s the social media account he’s
best known for, and his use of it helped propel his candidacy. We’ve
kept our tabulation of his Twitter insults current throughout his
presidency. Using them as a guide – beginning in June 2015, when he declared
his candidacy – you’ll notice patterns in how he refers to his political
Consider Hillary Clinton.
The word choice is memorable. But it’s
also the repetition that’s important. In its simplicity and consistency, that
message is textbook marketing, said William Cron, a professor of marketing
at Texas Christian University. “This is what the product stands for,” he said
(Mrs. Clinton being the product in this case). Marketing research also suggests
that the more we’re exposed to a belief or a brand, the more likely we are to
believe that others share or use it. And so by repeating the slogan, Mr. Trump
also feeds the notion that Mrs. Clinton is widely believed to be crooked.
have another term for what Mr. Trump does here that is so effective. He
“essentializes” Mrs. Clinton and his other opponents, like Lyin’ Ted Cruz.
use of this phrase implies a subtle but important distinction: It’s not merely
that Mr. Cruz tells lies; rather, lying is essential to who Ted Cruz is.
Clinton didn’t just commit a crime (in Mr. Trump’s telling); she’s crooked to
write the psychologists Gregory Walton and Mahzarin Banaji, “implies that
a characteristic is inherent in the person (self or other) rather than the
product of circumstance; that it is biological rather than social in origin;
stable rather than unstable; and capable of great explanatory power rather than
tactic is also used against The New York Times, a favorite
target of Mr. Trump’s derision.
And the news media at large. Trump’s brand evolved from describing the
media as “dishonest” to labeling it “Fake News” after he became president. The
latter label holds more power because it suggests that dishonesty is endemic to
the news media’s identity.
even as Mr. Trump has been focused and disciplined over time in tailoring
messages around his opponents, he has seldom done the same for policies and
legislation, though these would seem like the larger prize.
Trump has used a number of slights to make the case against Obamacare,
which he has frequently labeled as a “total disaster” or “disastrous,” or with
variations on the theme of death (it’s dead, dying, in a death spiral).
the affirmative case for the Republican alternative? None of his language has
stuck. When Mr. Trump has tried to brand his party’s health care reform efforts in a positive light, his messages have largely taken the form of
unmemorable promises about “better” or “great” health care in the future.
any word kept coming up — and this one’s not from his Twitter feed — it was
his reference to the House bill as “mean.” The president
repeatedly confused even Republican legislators over what form of
health care law he favored (on Monday night, he came out, yet again, for the
strategy he previously rebuffed of repealing the Affordable Care Act now
and replacing it later).
the past two years, he has tweeted about “tax reform,” the G.O.P.’s next major
goal, only three times. “Big TAX REFORM AND TAX REDUCTION will be announced
next Wednesday,” the president tweeted on April 22. When the
following Wednesday rolled around — and the White House released a
one-page outline of the plan — his Twitter account had nothing more to say
about his immigration restrictions, another defining policy effort, have been
muddled by Twitter diatribes against the judges ruling on it and
debates over whether the ban should be called a ban. Mr. Trump even
undermined the case for his administration’s own proposal (with the courts and
the public) by repeatedly calling it “watered down.” As with the
“mean” House health care bill, it became unclear on Twitter whether Mr. Trump was
advocating the policy at all.
strategies that he has used against his foes — the repetition, the simplicity,
the consistency, the essentializing — could just as easily be deployed to
promote subjects as to deride them. That is, after all, what much of marketing
does (and what a few positive Trump Twitter parody
accounts have attempted to do).
July 21, 2017
Texas Dean Highlights Importance of Global Ethics
School of International Business (GSIB), GITAM University, organised a lecture on
'Globalisation and business ethics: The way ahead' here on Thursday on the
University Neely School of Business Dean Prof O Homer Erekson delivered the
lecture and highlighted the importance of new global ethic. He stressed about
common values across all cultures, nations and religions. He said that all
stakeholders of a business organisations should critically look at self and
connect to others with trust to have a sustainable and competitive advantage
University Chancellor Prof K Ramakrishna Rao highlighted on Mahatma Gandhi
principles and ethics. Vice-Chancellor MS Prasad Rao briefed about the growth
and international connectivity in education.
GITAM School of International Business Dean and Director VK
Kumar welcomed the guests. The lecture was attended by distinguished delegates,
invited guests, heads of institutions, faculty, staff and students.
July 24, 2017
A Guide to the Best Dallas
Accelerated MBA Programs – by Kelly Vo
To earn an MBA
you have to be committed. That means spending your time, money and your energy
to attending class, completing homework and participating at all levels of the
program. For some, two or more years is too much time to give when their job
and family is also taken into consideration. That’s where an accelerated MBA
program can be incredibly helpful. It allows you to complete your MBA as
quickly and efficiently as possible—typically within one year—so you can get
back on the job market and on with your career.
If you want to
earn an MBA but you don’t want to turn everything in your life upside down to
make it possible, then an accelerated MBA might be for you. To help,
here’s our newest guide to the top Dallas accelerated MBA programs.
Neeley School of Business – Texas Christian
Founded in 1884, the TCU Neeley School of Business first offered an MBA degree
in 1938. Now, the program offers six MBA programs including two accelerated
options: the Accelerated MBA and the Accelerated Professional MBA. The class sizes at Neeley are
small, with a 13-1 student to faculty ratio.
The full-time Accelerated MBA at Neeley
is a 12-month program that takes place over the summer, fall and spring. It is
designed for professionals who require minimal absence from the workplace. To
graduate, students complete 36-hours of curriculum including 13.5 hours of core
classes and 22.5 hours of electives. The electives can be used to tailor the
MBA in finance, supply chain, marketing, management, energy, health care, real
estate, entrepreneurship or consulting.
The Professional Accelerated MBA is an
even more flexible program. This program allows MBA students to graduate in
just 21-33 months while only taking evening courses. It’s an abbreviated
36-hour plan that is designed for professionals who already have a
distinguished business career and do not wish to take any time off.