Loblaw-Shoppers merger benefits customer: prof

This week’s $12.4-billion acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart by Loblaw Companies Limited, which appears to be good news for you, will likely be one of several such deals to come, said Schulich School of Business marketing Professor Alan Middleton in the Aurora Banner July 18. Ordinarily, mergers and acquisitions, such as the one between Loblaw and Shoppers, reduce the number of shopping options for consumers and result in oligopolies and potentially higher prices, said Middleton. However, that’s not likely the case with this merger, he said, as it’s being motivated by reasons other than maximizing profits for the new combined entity. Read full story.

York’s Schulich ranked best executive MBA in world by The Economist
In its inaugural evaluation of the world’s top Executive MBA programs, The Economist ranked York University’s Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA program number one, earning the program higher review than some of the academic world’s most esteemed institutions, including UCLA, Oxford, Cornell, Columbia and Georgetown, reported the Financial Post and others July 19….“One of the key strengths of our program is the fact that it is one of Kellogg’s worldwide network of partners schools, giving our students unprecedented opportunity to study alongside high-potential executives from around the world, in some of the world’s major business markets,” said Schulich School of Business Dean Dezso Horvath. Read full story.

Monetary system needs overhaul, says report
The global business community should push government officials and financial institutions to overhaul the international monetary system to assure its stability as the US dollar’s dominance erodes and other national currencies come into widespread use, said Gregory Chin, a York University political science professor, in China Daily July 19. “If you have multiple currencies, but no coordination, it’s extremely messy,” said Chin. Read full story.

Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA Rated No. 1 by the Economist
“The Schulich School of Business early on took on a global orientation, and also early on we engaged in a responsible enterprise concept, but further back in time Kellogg and us joined forces – back in 2001. And over the years Kellogg also developed a network of other schools, integrating us in the global environment. There are five partner schools in different locations in the world, providing opportunities to [become a] truly global program for global leaders,” said Schulich School of Business Dean Dezso Horvath in an interview with Business News Network’s Michael Hainsworth July 19. Watch full interview.

Crunching literary numbers
“Can the technologies of big data, which are transforming so many areas of life, change our understanding of American novels? After conducting research with Google’s Ngram database, which tabulates the frequency of words used in more than five million books, I believe the answer is yes,” wrote York University history Professor Marc Egnal in the New York Times July 12. Read full story.

Reinventing the humble beer can
Now available on the 473 ml cans of Molson Canadian and Coors, the top of the can features the usual pull tab and drinking hole, but by turning the tab clockwise and pressing down, drinkers can open an extra hole, or vent. The extra hole allows more air to flow through the can, resulting in a smoother pour….The timing of this roll out is perfect, said Alan Middleton, marketing professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business, in the Toronto Star July 18. It’s midsummer, peak beer-drinking season, and Middleton says it will almost certainly catch on quickly….“Beer is one of those things that the more you can get in the home, the more you’ll drink, and packaging is always part of that,” he said. Read full story.

Co-operation between business schools seems to produce good results
This week we publish our first ranking of “executive” MBA programs. These pricey, part-time degrees for senior managers have become more popular in the past decade, reported The Economist July 20. The Kellogg school near Chicago has four in the top ten, including its joint degree with York University’s Schulich School of Business, which comes first. Read full story.

Toronto-based Drumhand fuses sounds of the world
Toronto-based world music ensemble Drumhand is venturing west of Ontario for the first time – but as a group built on geographic explorations, it should feel right at home. Founding member Larry Graves, who teaches music at York University, said that before forming Drumhand in 2008, he travelled to Ghana for some music education. He wanted to reach the source of music, from jazz and rock to Motown. “I’d always been told that this music had roots in African culture,” Graves said in the Alberni Valley Times July 17. “I thought, well, if I really want to understand this, I should just go there and experience it first-hand.” Read full story.

University of Ottawa explores potential expansion to southwestern Ontario
The University of Ottawa is exploring the possibility of creating a satellite campus in southwestern Ontario, looking to put its bilingual status to work in a region with limited French-language postsecondary programs, reported the Ottawa Citizen July 17….Only five of the 21 postsecondary institutions in the region offer some French-language programs, the report states, though it recognized ties the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Education has with Glendon College, York University’s bilingual liberal arts campus, and Windsor. Read full story.

The humidex, the flawed Canadian way to calculate summer discomfort
The humidex – short for humidity index – is based on a calculation of heat and humidity by using current air temperature and the dew point….Bodies try to maintain a temperature of 37 C. In summer, sweat helps cool you down. But when the humidity is high and the air is already nearly saturated with moisture, sweat evaporation stops. That’s when a person’s body temperature rises and they can suffer a slew of heat-related problems, from a minor heat rash to a potentially deadly heatstroke. “The issue really is a health issue,” said York University atmospheric science Professor Peter Taylor, in CBC News July 18. The humidex “gives you a measure of how effectively your body can cool down.” Read full story.

Racial and sexual minority studies is at a crossroads in Canada
“The field of racial and sexual minority studies is arguably in its formative stage in Canada. This is not the case in the United States, where a large corpus of studies has been published on a range of issues that affect the health and well-being of sexual minorities of colour,” wrote York University PhD candidate Sulaimon Giwa in University Affairs July 17. “One area of research that has received wide coverage and attention at scholarly forums and in academic journals is the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS on men who have sex with men (MSM), especially MSM of colour.[…]However, in Canada this shift has yet to materialize in a substantive way.” Read full story.

War of attrition: Asking why PhD students leave
“What necessitates this research is that there are long-held misconceptions about the causes of non-completion,” wrote York University PhD candidate Melonie Fullick in University Affairs July 17. “Since those who leave don’t generally get to tell their stories, assumptions can be made that they simply ‘didn’t have what it takes’ or that the admissions committee didn’t ‘select’ the right candidates for the program. Not only does this download the blame onto the individuals who leave, but it also masks other entrenched problems that can then continue without serious examination. Additionally, it doesn’t mesh with research that’s shown the non-completers tend to look just as ‘prepared’ for academic work as the students who finish.” Read full story.

VA customers irate about rule changes
Ten years ago, folks leaving the workforce sought the best of two worlds when it came to their retirement savings: They wanted a guaranteed stream of income, along with the opportunity to capture market gains….These days, however, insurance companies are backing out of providing retirees those benefits, either by blocking them from saving more money in these accounts or by forcing them into lower-returning investments.…“The issue is that if this is a surprise to you, it’s because you didn’t read this carefully when you bought it,” said Schulich School of Business Professor Moshe Milevsky in InvestmentNews July 21. “Anyone who played in this arena should have taken a look at these provisions and warned clients about it.” Read full story.

Can more friends on Facebook induce stress and anxiety?
Many Facebook users spend considerable time and energy collecting hundreds of virtual friends, and posting updates with the intention of increasing positive relationships, raising their self-esteem or living a happier life….A Canadian study at York University – published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking – of Facebook users ages 18 to 25 reviewed the subject’s use of the Facebook as well as the content they posted on their profiles….The researchers concluded that the people who used Facebook the most tended to have narcissistic or insecure personalities reported Business Insider July 19. Read full story.

Building up a ‘mental reserve’ is just as important as saving for retirement
Cognitive reserve is the term scientists use to describe the extent of the brain’s capacity to resist aging and degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.…Reading and writing aren’t the only ways to augment your cognitive reserve, reported Business Insider July 19. Research on bilingualism by Ellen Bialystok of York University in Toronto, for example, has demonstrated that speaking more than one language delays the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms by an average of five years. Read full story.