On the unveiling of there new ranking of distance learning programs, the Economist Intelligence Unit has ranked IE Business Schools programs No.2 in the world. The ranking has been developed in response to the increasing importance of distance learning programs in the management education sector. The developments in forms of delivery, teaching methodologies and overall…

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Managing a changing planet

1443.jpgJanuary 2008. By Santiago Iñiguez de Ozoño, Dean, IE Business School.

 

Firms are facing a raft of changes brought about by the tension between globalisation and diversity, which could generate new sources of business.

One of the most famous sentences attributed to Heraclitus, the flagship philosopher of ancient Greece, is “everything flows, nothing stands still”. To illustrate his statement, he explained that nobody can bathe twice in the same water of a river because the current flows constantly. Similarly, the circumstances that surround us are constantly changing, in the same way that nature and our very lives change. Indeed, the phenomenon of change is a reality and represents the starting point of the strategic analysis of business. Strategists explain that enterprises do not operate in paradigmatic environments, where the references are static (e.g. the field of exact science), but rather they operate in changing environments, which justifies the need for frequently reviewing the strategy of any business and the suppositions on which it is based.

One of the aims of business schools is to train managers and entrepreneurs to understand the phenomenon of change and know how to adapt and take advantage of the business opportunities that arise from it. Today, the IE Business School Annual Alumni Conference is being held in Madrid under the title of “Managing a changing planet”. During the day, which is to bring together 1500 executives and entrepreneurs from 30 countries, the participants will debate on some of the matters which will most probably affect business activity in the coming years. They will lead to important business opportunities, such as new energy sources, the need for exploiting natural resources in a framework of sustainability, the challenges facing demographic development and the new world order that will come from the tension between globalisation and diversity.

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Keys to the success of Chupa Chups

1442.jpgJanuary 2008. By Ramon Diaz Bernardo, Professor of Marketing at IE Business School.Many think the success of the original lollipop company, Chupa Chups, is because they were the first to put a sweet on a stick. But the real key to this success story is good marketing.

The success of Chupa Chups is, as almost always, the consequence of various concurrent factors. Therefore, it is not easy to identify one single reason why Chupa Chups is today a large enterprise. Searching for the common denominator of these factors, I consider it reasonable to say that the key to the success of Chupa Chups lies in the fact that they have been very good at marketing.

Why does the key lie in marketing? Because, in my opinion, the company´s success can be summarised by examining how it has very efficiently managed for famous Ps of marketing: product, pricing, promotion and placement.

When we speak about product in marketing, we referred to something tangible, i.e. the product itself (in this case, a sweet on a stick) and to something intangible, i.e. the brand name. The product designed by Bernat in the 1950s was undoubtedly an innovation in the sweet world, but what I consider to be the radical innovation was the development of the brand name associated with the product. Bernat was a visionary when he realised that a somewhat undifferentiated product such as a sweet could be given a brand name and differentiated.

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FT MBA Diary: The real journey is about to begin

olga-slavinka-small.jpgBy Olga Slavinka, IMBA 2007, published in FT.com

I now have my MBA diploma in my hands, the diploma for which I have worked so hard. Although the programme took only 13 months to complete, the sheer intensity of these five terms made me feel that I had been at IE Business School in Spain for far longer.

On the one hand, the idea that I no longer have to burn the midnight oil analysing business cases is quite appealing. On the other, I now realise that the unbelievably intensive academic experience was not only one of the smartest investments of time and money I have ever made, but was also amazingly, albeit exhaustingly, enjoyable. It may sound clichéd but I feel very well-equipped to deal with the real world waiting for me, although maybe I should add that Iâ??m acutely aware there is still plenty to learnâ?¦

Returning to where I left off in my last entry, in the summer I travelled for a couple of weeks after the core MBA courses came to an end, returning to Madrid in September with my batteries somewhat recharged for the fifth, and final, elective period. Whereas during the core terms classes ran from 9am till 3 pm, with a permanently heavy workload in the afternoons, the elective period seemed easier to handle. The schedule was not as structured however, with classes sometimes taking place from early morning till 10 pm to allow practitioners to come and teach after their working day was over.

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Spain´s role in the relations between Asia and Latin America

1440.jpgJanuary 2008. By Gonzalo Garland, Professor of Economic Environment at IE Business School.

Some analysts believe Spain is playing a key role in building relations between Asia and Latin America. That may be so, but we need to examine some aspects of this role in greater detail.

Recently, certain analysts have commented on the possibility of Spain becoming an important player in the relations between Asia and Latin America. They talk about a “triangulation” between the three geographical and economic areas that can be compared with Spain´s role in the European Union in the relations between the latter and Latin America. To a certain extent, it could also be compared with the important role Spain plays in the region when the interlocutor is the United States. However, there are significant differences that question whether or not Spain´s role can be so relevant in the case of Asia as it has been in the past in the cases of Europe or North America.

No one doubts Spain´s importance in the region of Latin America due to its history, language and culture and to the presence of Spanish enterprises in the local countries. In the European context, this clearly gives Spain and Portugal a privileged position as interlocutors for these countries in the context of the Union. The idea of the Ibero-American summits followed by the creation of the Secretaría General Iberoamericana (SEGIB) constitute two indicators of this trend. We could say that even the geographical location of the Iberian peninsular in the context of Europe makes the relations “natural”. Indeed, some European enterprises with interests in the region manage their operations better from the Iberian peninsular.

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IE Business School invites you to live the IE experience in real-time with a member of our world-class faculty. Enjoy a case discussion with Prof. Gamaliel Martinez, Professor of Operation Management with more than 20 years of experience in consulting in industries like Shipbuilding, Automative, Agrofood, Pharma. You can actively participate debating about the general…

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IE Business School invites you to live the IE experience in real-time with a member of our world-class faculty. Enjoy a case discussion with Prof. Gamaliel Martinez, Professor of Operation Management with more than 20 years of experience in consulting in industries like Shipbuilding, Automative, Agrofood, Pharma. You can actively participate debating about the general…

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Students from IE Business School, Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Hamline University have won the second edition of JPMorganâ??s Good Venture Competition. The competition focuses on developing philanthropic non-profit organisations. This year 77 socially responsible teams from 48 universities and business schools pitched for $25,000 of direct funding from JPMorgan. Ultimately nine teams were selected…

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FUND MANAGEMENT: Real life gets in the way of BSM certainty

The following article was published in Financial Times on December 10, 2007 and written by Pablo Triana, Director of  the Centre for Advanced Finance at IE. If you wish to learn more about our finance related programs, please visit http://www.miaf.ie.edu/.

The recent debate on the Black-Scholes-Merton options pricing model continues to make waves. Research by veteran option traders and authors Nassim Taleb and Espen Haug claims that BSM was not really an original invention, that its real-world popularity has been greatly exaggerated, and that there may be no mathematical models behind option prices, with simple supply-demand interaction claiming authorship instead.
Such bold statements, while a welcome contribution to the search for truth, may deprive us of something that seemed valuable. BSM, for all its flaws, offered quantifiable light where before there was only unknown darkness. By “losing” BSM, we would lose such certainty, albeit misplaced.
The most obvious certainty that the model offered was a precise number for the value of an option. This it did in a quite ingenious way. Everyone would tell you that an option should cost money because it gives you the right to enjoy a potentially large pay-out while limiting the possible losses if things do not go your way. But who ensures that that right has value per se? That value is supposed to come from the probability assigned to the option expiring in-the-money. So who guarantees that the probability of making money on the option is non-zero? Who can honestly claim to know the exact distribution governing financial assets? Pricing options based simply on probabilistic assumptions sounds a bit fishy.

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