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B-School Buzz: Entrepreneurship and Negotiating in Shaky Times, Doing Business in Russia, Money for McCombs, and More


Stacy Blackman's Weekly Roundup of B-School Intelligence
Will and Beverly O'Hara have pledged $16 million to the University of Texas McCombs School of Business, the largest individual gift to the school since Red McCombs donated his name and $50 million eight years ago. It may be small potatoes next to David Booth's recent endowment to the University of Chicago business school, but their gift will create scholarships for the school's business honors program, more fellowships for doctoral-level research in accounting and a pool of money to help fund new methods for teaching today's students.

In a new FT Management podcast, Tim Cullen, Director of the Oxford Programme on Negotiation at Oxford University's Saïd Business School, talks about how to negotiate in the climate of mistrust engendered by the current financial downturn. The key to effective negotiation, he says, is to fully explore the interests on both sides. Information gathering in advance is essential, and getting to know the people involved is also highly desirable. To listen to this podcast, click here.

Thunderbird School of Global Management and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies have announced a new strategic collaboration in executive education. Both schools will also expand their menu of offerings in executive education, through collaborative open enrollment programs and the development of a joint certificate.

Thunderbird has also launched "Doing Business in Russia" -- a comprehensive, online certificate program on the dynamics of Russian business. The new four-week program offers working professionals the tools and knowledge they need to work effectively within Russia's business, political and cultural environment.

People are willing to perform the most menial of tasks, even for little pay, as long as they consider the work meaningful or are recognized for their contributions, according to new research from Fuqua School of Business professor Dan Ariely. Ariely's findings contain important lessons for managers, and result from a series of novel experiments, including one that literally turned play into work by paying participants to assemble Lego figurines.

In a new podcast from London Business School, associate professor of management practice in entrepreneurship John Mullins answers key questions about entrepreneurship and investment that are even more important to new businesses in the current economic climate. Mullins comments that, "broadly the credit crunch is good news for entrepreneurs, but it's not a time for the faint of heart," going on to explain that in a downturn bigger companies become more conservative, leaving new business opportunities open to entrepreneurs.

Spain's IE Business School now offers open access to its multimedia materials for individual use under a Creative Commons license. The main advantage for users is that they can access high-quality content free of charge. According to a press release, the move is in line with IE's philosophy of innovation and knowledge-sharing and has led the school to develop 200 teaching materials covering all areas of management.

And now, for a glimpse into the crystal ball...

Harvard University Business School will be closing its doors following an unprecedented drop-off in applications this fall, New York Times reports. The school will be renamed the Harvard University School of Integrity, and students will receive Masters in Integrity and Compassion, or M.I.C.s. "We believe that the recent increase in visibility of progressive movements and ideals, coupled with the demotion of free-market capitalism as a viable belief system, has led students away from training in accumulation for its own sake and into fields where they can advance peace and justice," said Harvard spokesperson Susan Morrison.

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