That Unbreakable Glass Ceiling; Not So Neutral on the Net; Location, Location, Location
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That Unbreakable Glass Ceiling
There are only 10 female CEOs in the Fortune500. Less than 1 in 5 of those companies' corporate officers is a woman. When are these numbers going to budge? Not soon, according to The Pipeline to the Top: Women and Men in the Top Executive Ranks of U.S. Corporations, in the current issue of Academy of Management Perspectives. Taking an unprecedented look into the pipeline to the executive suite, researchers from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and Loyola University Chicago found fewer women than they expected. As of 2000, nearly half of the 1,000 biggest U.S. companies had no top female execs. And if current trends continue, in 2016, only around 6 percent of CEOs will be women. In some fields-law, accounting, and information technology-women are well represented. But at the top, says coauthor Constance Helfat, a strategy professor at Tuck, "parity isn't going to happen for a long time."
Not So Neutral on the Net
They don't agree on much, but Google and Microsoftand a host of other big-name tech companiesdo see eye to eye on one issue: They all support "net neutrality" legislation that would prevent Internet providers from creating different tiers of Web access for small businesses and deep-pocketed corporations. In The Economics of Product-Line Restrictions With an Application to the Network Neutrality Debate, two economists at the University of California-Berkeley's Haas School of Business argue, though, that the tech giants and their congressional supporters have overlooked an important fact: Legislating a single tier of service is likely to hurt the very customers it is supposed to protect. By stifling competition, the authors conclude, "net neutrality" will keep prices high and quality low, satisfying neither lower-end nor higher-income customers. "If you poll 10 economists," says coauthor Benjamin Hermalin, "9 out of 10 would say net neutrality's a bad idea."
Location, Location, Location
Companies pay top dollar to place advertisements in "premium" spots in the middle of magazine articles and TV shows. But that system may be inherently flawed, according to Media Transportation and Advertising, appearing in the September issue of the Journal of Consumer Research. In three studies asking undergrads to read short stories interspersed with ads, researchers from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management and the University of Iowa's Henry B. Tippie College of Business found that the more the students were absorbed in the narrative flow of a story, the more likely they were to resent the ads that disrupted itespecially when the ads were relevant to the reader. In a twist, though, when those same ads were placed at the end of the stories, students projected positive feelings about the article they'd just read onto the products being advertised.
This story appears in the November 20, 2006 print edition of U.S. News & World Report.