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Outside Voices

Perfect Harmony
7 days ago

Perfect Harmony

By  •  Supply And Demand

What’s the meaning of oil prices near $60 a barrel? It’s a sign of harmony – a moment when demand is growing, the global economy is strengthening and oil prices are about half of their 2014 peak. Rice Business Professor Bill Arnold explains the large and small global trends behind this equilibrium.

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Battle Cry
2 weeks ago

Battle Cry

By  •  Language Trends

Why is the word “embattled” popping up in headlines everywhere — and what’s the harm in using it so much? For one thing, militaristic hyperbole only adds fuel to our growing culture of division and intolerance, says Rice English Professor Terrence Doody. For another, it’s lazy writing.

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The Price Is Right
1 month ago

The Price Is Right

By  •  Spending

Hold your head high when you buy that slice of avocado toast. It’s not wasted money if you are disciplined about your finances overall, says Rice Business Professor Utpal Dholakia. If you’re spending more than your income permits, buying without a budget, or overpaying for the product itself you need more discipline. If not, you’re fine.

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Give And Take
1 month ago

Give And Take

By  •  Giving

When natural disasters occur ordinary people around the world are anxious to help those affect. But whom should they trust with their money? Governments may be corrupt or simply inept and even the venerable Red Cross has squandered hundreds of millions in donations. Jasmina Kelemen explains how to help, with confidence.

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Stormnesia
1 month ago

Stormnesia

By  •  After Harvey

The highways are open, deadlines are met and Houston is mostly back to business.So why, weeks after Harvey receded, are even unscathed Houstonians still feeling foggy? Houston therapists and Rice Business Professor Otilia Obodaru explain how a city fends off collective stress.

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Fast Company
2 months ago

Fast Company

By  •  Entrepreneurship

See how Rice Business’ entrepreneurship program turns visionaries into top entrepreneurs with the help of expert faculty.

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Running Game
2 months ago

Running Game

By  •  Energy

Before recent technology advances, exploration was, in football terms, a passing game. Not every well — or pass — was successful, but when it was, the team advanced far down the field. Rice Business Professor Bill Arnold explains why the game has changed. 

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Swept Away
2 months ago

Swept Away

By  •  After Harvey

Tiny Aransas Pass is rebuilding after Harvey. Can they find new, resourceful ways of healing their community? Rice Business Professor Scott Sonenshein comments on a town where many residents are starting over.

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Pumped Up
3 months ago

Pumped Up

By  •  Marketing

Whether 120 drivers will ever gas up at once is irrelevant — Buc-ee’s is investing in size for the sake of size. “It is clear that ‘big’ is their value proposition, and 120 fueling stations is a compelling way to convey it,” explains Rice Business Professor Utpal Dholakia.

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Survival Essentials
3 months ago

Survival Essentials

By  •  Crisis Resilience

For anyone rocked by Harvey’s life-upending losses: Houston’s refugees and their experiences can be a monumental resource.

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Running On Empty
3 months ago

Running On Empty

By  •  Energy Infrastructure

Harvey has disrupted energy infrastructure, and gas shortages — real and anticipated — are resulting in price spikes for gasoline. Prices at the pump tend to rise quickly but drop slowly. The good news is that the energy industry is resilient, and the disruption won’t last forever.

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Do The Right Thing
3 months ago

Do The Right Thing

By  •  Corporate Responsibility

A natural disaster can bring out the best and the worst in people — and in businesses. After Hurricane Harvey, some companies went to great lengths to help people in desperate circumstances, while others preyed on their desperation. Houstonians will not be quick to forget either response.

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The Cure For The Common Cubicle
4 months ago

The Cure For The Common Cubicle

By  •  Workplace

What works best to spur employees’ best work? Researchers say the ideal office space includes a variety of open places to brainstorm and private spots to sit and think.

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Hoop Dreams
5 months ago

Hoop Dreams

By  •  Professional Sports

Do you ever dream of owning a sports team? There’s more to it than owning a private company. When a city’s home team changes hands, fans can take it very personally. A Rice expert explains why selling a team can break hearts across a whole city.

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Culture Clash
5 months ago

Culture Clash

By  •  Mergers and Acquisitions

We’ve seen a dramatic transformation in shopping and retail in the past couple of years — a whole host of bankruptcies, the closing of hundreds of stores and a large increase in the number of online transactions. One day we will reach the tipping point where the majority of shopping is done online.

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The Unfriendly Skies
8 months ago

The Unfriendly Skies

By  •  Reputation

In a nation divided, Americans woke up Tuesday morning agreeing on one thing: United Airlines blew it. Or at least, after a physician/paying passenger was forcibly dragged off an oversold flight, leaving him bloodied and dazed, the United PR machine needs an overhaul.

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The Secret Life of Tea
9 months ago

The Secret Life of Tea

By  •  Networking

Increasing research now shows that employees’ personal networks – and the networks of their friends – are powerful boosts to innovation.

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Giant Steps
9 months ago

Giant Steps

By  •  Second Careers

“I spent my entire career in banking, but I was one of those people who just wasn’t passionate about my job. I realized that what I loved was elephants.”

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Shopping For Customers
10 months ago

Shopping For Customers

By  •  Retail

If department stores in the U.S. are to survive, they may have to somehow recapture a time when they were destinations in themselves. They may have to revive the art of customer service and figure out how to blend the convenience of technology with the real-life scent of perfume and the warmth of crowds.

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Life Of The Party
1 year ago

Life Of The Party

By  •  Cultural Literacy

Rubi Ibarra Garcia’s father made a video inviting people to her quinceanera. Since it’s been posted on YouTube, a fake Facebook page inviting people to the party has received more than 1.3 million RSVPs

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Shining a Light
1 year ago

Shining a Light

By  •  Energy Policy

In the case of President-elect Trump, his “America First” position and goal of restoring well-paid jobs provide a basis to project his actions in a number of areas. This is not a data-driven approach but is more like the scenario planning that is used widely in the energy industry. What are some plausible energy policies in a Trump administration?

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Fixer Upper
1 year ago

Fixer Upper

By  •  Urban Renewal

What is Houston going to do with the Astrodome? We’ve got some ideas.

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Not Just Digits
2 years ago

Not Just Digits

By  •  Marketing

Algorithms might help companies perform more effectively when it comes to their customers but how does the customer feel? And does that matter?

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Curiosity Shop
2 years ago

Curiosity Shop

By  •  Small Business

How can a small, cluttered, seemingly out-of-date business survive in a neighborhood rapidly transitioning from working- to middle- and upper-middle class? Rice sociologist Stephen Klineberg explains how the business reflects the essence of Houston entrepreneurship.

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Making Converts Of Consumers
2 years ago

Making Converts Of Consumers

By  •  Marketing

The same principals that have drawn people to organized religion can, and have, been used by marketers to draw people to their products.

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‘Buy American’: A Branding Toolkit
2 years ago

‘Buy American’: A Branding Toolkit

By  •  Marketing

Buying American is not just a matter of price and quality. Decades of research has identified four drivers of country-based branding: country branding, country animosity, consumer ethnocentrism and local identity.

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Best Of Intentions
2 years ago

Best Of Intentions

By  •  Regulation

Congress acted under the Congressional Review Act to overturn the Dodd-Frank rule and Trump signed it into law last Tuesday. While this action was appropriate, it gives no cause for celebration, nor should it pause efforts to fight corruption.

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When Love Is Not Enough
2 years ago

When Love Is Not Enough

By  •  Small Business

Sometimes in business, love isn’t enough. Te House of Tea closed after nine years because no one wanted to buy the small business from its founder and creator. “Trying to sell a social vision,” Rice Business professor Scott Sonenshein says, “is a lot different from trying to market a space purely for money.”

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