Even more diverse!


April 2008 | By Margarita Alonso, Professor of Diversity Management at IE Business School

Ladies and gentlemen, we are now facing an even greater challenge than gender equality- that of non discrimination against homosexuals in the workplace. Learn how itâ??s done.

Many companies have still not managed to break down the barriers that discriminate against women and disabled workers, and still face challenges in terms of reconciling workers and finding imaginative formulas to attract and retain young talent. And now an even more difficult challenge has appeared: what to do with gays and lesbians.

More than a year ago now, a group of students took the initiative and set up IEOut, the first known LGBT network in a business school in Spain. It was a challenge that was not entirely free from controversy.

This experience, and several studies in progress, have enabled us to learn a great deal. We have achieved our objective in that we are now in a position to give guidelines and advice to firms that want to include this collective in their diversity policies.


Albert Krisskoy, Director of IE Business Schoolâ??s China Office, talks in CHINESE to leading Chinese portal â??Sinaâ? about the IEâ??s highly international environment and special focus on entrepreneurship.   Albert is alumni from the IE International Executive MBA and also explains about the innovative IE online approach he experienced personally during the 13 month of…


Adapt or perish


April 2008 | By Javier Carrillo, Professor and Executive Director of the Centre for Eco-Intelligent Management at IE Business School

Renewable energies are revolutionizing the world energy scenario, bringing excellent business opportunities in Latin America, Asia and the US.

It is estimated that world investment in renewable energies broke through the $100,000 million ceiling in 2007, up 40% on the previous year. This trend promises consolidation in the context of unstoppable rises in oil prices and intense efforts to develop renewable energies by the industrialised nations committed to reducing their CO2 emissions.

The growth in turnover is being accompanied by a no less dynamic transformation of the structure of the sector, which is witnessing a progressive concentration of the ownership of once-independent companies in the hands of large multinationals. A growing number of participants in the renewable energy industry are also promoting the search for new opportunities in emerging markets and technologies. Special mention must be made of the Asian and Latin American markets as far as wind energy and biofuels are concerned. Outside the emerging countries, the United States market is also highly attractive, with a stable legislative framework that is becoming increasingly committed to renewable energies and offers an abundance of federal tax incentives for its development.


Spain's global companies

Original published by Forbes, http://www.forbes.com/forbes2000. One world; one gigantic marketplace. This year, 60 countries have global 2000 entries vs. 51 in our inaugural list in 2004. The Forbes global 2000 are public companies with the top composite scores based on their rankings for sales, profits, assets and market value. Our justification for using a composite…


Iberdrola: building a brand name in the Energy sector


April 2008 | By Ramon Diaz Bernardo, Professor of Marketing at IE Business School

For years now, the energy sector has spurned marketing, but changes in legislation and share structures have brought about a shift in attitudes. Iberdrola is a prime example.

Marketing in energy enterprises, especially electricity companies, is a relatively new phenomenon. Indeed, until a short time ago, many of these companies did not even have a marketing department. The nearest they had was the public relations function or relations with the media, but not much more.

However, for a few years now, electricity companies have been discovering the world of marketing and the question is: why? What has led these companies to invest in marketing? Like almost everything in this sector, the answer has to do with changes to sector legislation and changes to the companies´ capital ownership structures. Yet, in my opinion, until the domestic consumer has the real capacity for choosing his electricity supplier, there will be no real competition. The introduction of a certain level of competition among electricity companies has led them to start investing in their corporate image and it has given rise to a concern for building a differentiated position. In addition, the electricity companies have invested heavily in marketing aimed in some cases at attracting investors (in the case of public invitations to bid) and in others at defending their “independence” (in the case of public takeover bids, especially if they are hostile).


Teams comprising students from IE Business Schools Master in Financial Management have received the 2nd and 3rd prizes in the third edition of CFA Spainâ??s Financial Analysis Competition, run in collaboration with Bolsas y Mercados Españoles, Sol Meliá and Spanish daily El Economista. The 2nd prize went to the team formed by Ahmed Al Balooshi…


Online Education in Era of 'Social Web'

Prof. Enrique DansOnline education has a long and winding history. Initially regarded by many institutes as a very interesting option to lower costs and offer students a way to learn with interactive materials, it evolved into something that could be described as “education on steroids” â?? in a regular classroom, time with the professor is limited.

Once a student raises ones hand, the professor can either notice or not. In many cases, the number of people raising their hands can be quite high and itâ??s just impossible to allocate time for all of them. The student can ask a question or talk for only two to three minutes as the classmates may start to get nervous.

The professor has a split second to think about the question, and is forced to reply immediately â?? no real time connection from the brain to the Web has been invented yet. Finally, when it comes to grading, the professor may or may not recall that brilliant intervention from the student, and may or may not introduce it in the grade.

Now compare that to online education. At IE Business School a student sends a message to the online forum. The professor can either reply right away or send the question back to the forum for other students to build on it.

The dialogue can be much richer, diverse, involve more participants and one can build more knowledge and perhaps generate questions or lessons that could create new threads. In the end, when it comes to grading, everything is there, in the forum or digital drop box, waiting to be evaluated. The difference, is the richness of the digital medium â?? something that can really make a difference given the special characteristics of executive education, where students generally donâ??t have to memorize formulas or equations.


Financial storm or perfect storm?

1488.jpgApril 2008 | By Francisco Lopez Lubian, Professor of Finance at IE Business School

The subprime crisis, which began with problems of liquidity, is now a confidence and profit crisis with a marked impact on the real economy. The virtuous circle could be turning vicious.

The financial crisis unleashed last summer was previously announced and summarised by reports from international organisations such as the IMF and the BIS. Essentially, the message at the time was: the real economy, fine; but be careful with the excesses of the financial economy.

At present, can we confirm that the crisis is essentially financial or are we in a situation where the elements necessary for a perfect storm have been blown together?

One summary of the facts could be the following:

1) Recent years of expansive monetary policy with negative interest rates in real terms, which has allowed intense growth in consumerism and investment (homes, corporate takeovers) based on significant family and corporate leverage.
2) A widespread development of financial products, especially credit risk transfer (CDS, CLO/CDO), on both a national and international scale.
3) An increase in the securitisation of credits, which has enabled an apparent alienation of risk and profits obtained simply from the structure.
4) The purchase of this securitised debt by investors who were looking for a higher level of profitability than that offered by the traditional markets on a scenario of very low interest rates.