School of Business in the news


Our faculty members were expert sources for national, special interest, regional, and local during the 2017-18 academic year. Each story below links to the online version of the story, where available.


Here’s what else you need to know about Amazon’s scary new AI offering
According to Lauren Rhue, Assistant Professor at Wake Forest University School of Business, the issue is far greater than just image. She says, “This (M.I.T. Media Lab) study is well executed, of course, and highlights the problems associated with large-scale deployment of facial recognition without oversight. This is especially true as law enforcement adopts the software, but it affects other companies who would use facial recognition for their internal needs.”


Scientists prove crowded hedge fund stocks are real and risky
It’s a trader’s maxim: don’t follow the herd. Now, new research suggests you actually can make money piling into stocks that speculators are obsessed with, but at a high cost to your nerves. While swimming with the hedge fund sharks returns a few percent more than the market over time, watch out when the rout comes, when crowded shares fall harder than everything else, according to research by three business school professors at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Wake Forest University. “The crowdedness of an equity position is an important ingredient for characterizing risk,” Gregory Brown, Philip Howard, and Christian Lundblad wrote in a new study titled “Crowded Trades and Tail Risk.” 


Prescriptive analysis in manufacturing to boost profitability
International Business Times
Jeff Camm writes: “I have to chuckle when I hear people ask, “Did you know analytics can be applied to manufacturing?” Well, yeah — have you ever heard of operations research? It’s been around since World War II and is the use of data, mathematical models and algorithms to solve problems in operations. Sound familiar? I suppose some people think of analytics as new to manufacturing because of analytics’ focus on big data, social media, and marketing. Although many might disagree, I equate analytics with operations research/management science, especially in its origins, which were problem-centric.” 


‘A new era on guns:’ Gun-safety groups look to 2020 a year after Parkland
These generational differences underscore the “upside potential” on the gun issue for brands that appeal to a younger customer base, said Roger Beahm, executive director of the Center for Retail Innovation at Wake Forest University’s School of Business.


Are ‘10-year challenge’ photos a boon to Facebook’s facial recognition technology
New York Times
Lauren A. Rhue, an assistant professor of information systems and analytics at the Wake Forest School of Business, said the #10YearChallenge could conceivably provide a relatively clean data set for a company that wanted to work on age-progression technology.


The viral ‘10-year challenge’ may be mining data to teach facial recognition algorithm, tech writer says
Lauren Rhue, a professor at the Wake Forest School of Business, said the “10-Year Challenge” highlights the dangers of giving up too much personal data to a social media company. She said there is a lack of transparency on how Facebook and other platforms are using this data, and in the past, it has been handed over to government agencies and law enforcement officials, bypassing the Fifth Amendment rights of Americans who readily give up information like biometric data and DNA.


Want to close the pay gap? Pay transparency will help
New York Times (Smarter living newsletter)
It’s not just women. Pay secrecy reinforces racial biases as well, and the pay gap is wider for black and Hispanic men and women, according to a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In a study with her colleague Derek R. Avery of the Wake Forest University School of Business, Dr. Hernandez found that when black job applicants negotiated their starting salaries, evaluators viewed them as more pushy than white job applicants who also negotiated. Evaluators also mistakenly thought black job applicants negotiated more than white applicants, even when they negotiated the same amount. Worse still, the black job applicants received lower starting salaries as a result of this.


Interviewing while black: How race affects salary negotiations
CNN Business
Derek Avery writes: “We talk a lot about the gender pay gap in the United States. Rightfully so. It is shameful that women made only 80.5 cents for every $1 earned by their male counterparts in 2017, according to data from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. The troubling number has closed significantly since the Equal Pay Act became law in 1963, but progress has slowed despite the continued scrutiny of the issue.

Another disparity, equally disturbing and just as discriminatory, has not gotten the same kind of attention: the racial income gap. In 2016, the Pew Research Center released figures showing that college-educated black and Hispanic men earned 80% of the hourly wages earned by college-educated white men.”


Emotion-reading tech fails the racial bias test
The Conversation
Lauren Rhue writes: “Facial recognition technology has progressed to point where it now interprets emotions in facial expressions. This type of analysis is increasingly used in daily life. For example, companies can use facial recognition software to help with hiring decisions. Other programs scan the faces in crowds to identify threats to public safety.

Unfortunately, this technology struggles to interpret the emotions of black faces. My new study, published last month, shows that emotional analysis technology assigns more negative emotions to black men’s faces than white men’s faces.”


Research is set up for bullies to thrive
Working conditions in academic labs encourage abuse supervision. It is time to improve monitoring of and penalties for abuse, says Sherry Moss.


10th Gaidar Forum: Business Education has Entered the Era of Digital Transformation

Business Insider

And, if earlier business education was a pass to the middle class, now it is an opportunity to be different, to realize your dream with the help of breakthrough technologies, information and thinking. Charles Iacovou, Dean of the Wake Forest University School of Business, drew attention to the growing gap between the scientific and industrial world, and the slow growth rate of business schools compared to the pace of companies.


Markets Business Insider,, and other media outlets

John Allison on Senate banking committee
Squawk Box/CNBC
The Senate banking committee will hold a hearing tomorrow to discuss economic growth and regulatory relief. witnesses from the fed, the FDIC, and the national credit union will all be there. joining us now, former BB&T CEO John Allison currently an executive in residence at the Wake Forest School of Business


We are not doing enough to eradicate workplace bias against women
Then, Derek R. Avery, Presidential Chair in Principled Leadership in the Wake Forest School of Business, published a piece in Quartz highlighting a study on how innovation in the workplace pays off more if you’re a man. My writing in the area of bias against women has primarily focused on ways to better support female entrepreneurs, but after this month I feel compelled to offer my perspective on how people can fight back against bias in the workplace.


Wake Forest University School of Business: All in for Analytics
Associated Press
Business advisors. Analysts. Critical thinkers. You won’t find the old-fashioned idea of an accountant at Wake Forest University’s School of Business and its Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) program. Instead, you’ll find professionals who can not only balance the books but also confidently use business analytics to help advise and guide an organization. The School’s curriculum now provides all graduate accounting students leading-edge analytics instruction and real-world applications.

This story was posted online more than 300 times.


What will cost more — and less — in 2019
U.S. News & World Report
What’s more, some industry watchers say there are factors that could help further push down costs for consumers. “Competition in the grocery industry has intensified with planned growth of Amazon and expansion by international chains such as Aldi and Lidl,” says Haresh Gurnani, Benson-Pruitt professor of business and executive director of the Center for Retail Innovation at Wake Forest University. “This should put further pressure on prices in the grocery retail industry.”


Race doesn’t impact how job-seekers negotiate salaries – but it does affect how much money they get
“Previous research has demonstrated that black men expect lower starting salary offers, and also may not have the same foundation to confidently know what fair market value they can command,” says co-author Derek Avery, a professor at Wake Forest University School of Business. “But the hiring process shows it’s not just the job-seeker’s mindset that must change. Hiring managers who negotiate with black candidates also bring their biases to the table.”



The 20 most “deeply optimistic” MBA courses
Poets & Quants
The global nonprofit think-tank has been awarding innovative business professors since 1999. This year, the Ideas Worth Teaching Awards were handed out based on courses that “inspire and equip future business leaders to tackle the issues of our time,” a release announcing the winners says. The story mentions Why Business?’s Matthew Phillips, James Otteson, & Adam Hyde, Wake Forest University School of Business.


Effective supplier development: The groundhog day syndrome
Manufacturing Today
Denis Maier writes: “Manufacturing supply chains, especially in the automotive industry, are characterized by a significant volume that is outsourced to suppliers. The added value in-house can be as low as 20%. Sophisticated supplier selection and management systems combined with supplier development activities are essential tools to manage the inherent supply chain challenges. However, the enormous efforts for every new product launch are an indicator of the lack of sustainability. Manufacturing 4.0 will impose additional challenges on top of that and require a focus shift on supplier development.”


Often no reward for innovative women in the workplace
Calling it the “think innovation, think male” bias, researchers from Wake Forest University School of Business demonstrated that both male and female managers tend to rate females high during performance ratings when they demonstrated low levels of innovative work behaviors.

To correct such behavior, Derek Avery, professor, and David Darnell chair in principled leadership at Wake Forest University School of Business said, “Being aware is a start, but the workplace is an extension of society, which has long undervalued women as innovators.”


How having multiple jobs impacts your identity
Quartz at work
Sherry Moss writes: “When my colleagues (Brianna Caza and Heather Vough) and I started research on what challenges this population faces, we expected individuals to struggle with the logistics of handling multiple responsibilities, especially juggling calendars and conflicting demands from employers. Less expected was a challenge that plural careerists we interviewed said was particularly difficult: fitting their multiple jobs into their identities.”


Competition shakes up U.S. Grocery Industry
The Food Institute
“If you can’t win the war on prices, then you have to find another reason to get customers to come in your store and pay higher prices,” says Roger Beahm, executive director for the Center For Retail Innovation at Wake Forest University. “For Harris Teeter, one reason could be its North Carolina heritage.”


The 20 most interesting business school classes in the world, with links to their syllabi
Every year, the Aspen Institute honors forward-thinking professors with the Ideas Worth Teaching Awards, to “celebrate curricula that bring to life the promise of meaningful work in business.” This year, the institute said, the researchers and academics behind its Business and Society Program (BSP) “focused on critical social issues ripped from the headlines” populism, water scarcity and artificial intelligence among them” and illuminate how and why these issues are business issues.”


Rising demand for business analytics education programs
The profusion of graduates with business analytics degrees could have a substantial effect on smaller organizations looking for analytics expertise, said Jeff Camm, associate dean of business analytics at the Wake Forest University School of Business. After starting two years ago, Wake Forest’s new MSBA program has already graduated about 100 students, a high number for a new program, according to Camm.


Creating international leaders: Why sequential master’s degrees offer a unique graduate business education experience
“A sequential master’s degree is the bundling of two specialized and distinct degrees into one multi-year experience at our school,” explains John White, Executive Director of Enrollment Management, at Wake Forest University School of Business. The outcome, continues White, “is that students emerge in two years with two specialized degrees that will enable them to add immediate value to any company.”


Pay gaps for black job seekers 
HR Dive
Black job seekers are expected to negotiate less than their white counterparts, according to a new study, ” Bargaining while Black: The role of race in salary negotiations.” Authored by Derek Avery, the David C. Darnell presidential chair in Principled Leadership at Wake Forest University School of Business and published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, the research included experiments with equally qualified black and white candidates.


Samsung SDS: is using blockchain technology to simplify shipping
Ajay Patel, a professor at Wake Forest University who studies the intersection of business and blockchain, said that as the cost of blockchain goes down, and as companies become more comfortable with it, its uses will “explode.”

This story also appeared in


Is There a Moral Obligation to Help the Poor Abroad, and Other Moral Questions Asked of Libertarians
The Tom Woods Show
Philosopher Jim Otteson and I discuss his book Actual Ethics (Cambridge University Press), which advances a vigorous moral defense of the classical liberal, or libertarian, political tradition. We also discuss the claims of Peter Singer, who claims it is morally obligatory on each of us to give substantial aid to peoples overseas



U.S companies are rolling in cash. See where Philadelphia-area companies stand
Philadelphia Business Journal
Ajay Patel, chair of Wake Forest University’s finance department, cited the U.S.’s ongoing trade dispute with China as a prime source for the economic uncertainty creeping into corporate board rooms.

This story appeared in several business journal publications across the U.S.


The companies that paid the most — and least — to the IRS last year

Puget Sound Business Journal

“For companies that primarily do business in the United States, the lower corporate rate is probably the aspect of the law that will have the greatest impact on their tax liability,” said James Willis , associate dean for accountancy at Wake Forest University.


With Kroger now gone, which grocers are making gains in the Triangle? A new report offers clues.

Durham Herald-Sun

It wasn’t just the Triangle where Target saw improvement. In Charlotte, the retailer also gained the most market share of any grocer, The Charlotte Observer reported. The improvement for Target coincides with the company’s re-focused efforts on grocery, said Roger Beahm, executive director for the Center for Retail Innovation at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem.


When it comes to big bank deals, Charlotte’s been a winner – mostly
Charlotte Business Journal
Ajay Patel, the Thomas S. Goho Chair in Finance at the Wake Forest University School of Business, casts the two departures as similar. “BB&T will keep community banking here, but that’s a small piece,” Patel said. “BB&T has been a big partner in our community, but the question remains how much of that investment and commitment will stay in the Triad. Like Wachovia, it’s possible that commitment will shift over to Charlotte.


Charlotte Talks: Bosses behaving badly
The national conversation about what is appropriate behavior in the workplace began with the #MeToo movement shining a lot on sexual misconduct by bosses.

Intertwined with that behavior are reports of workplace bullying and abuse in general, including yelling and belittling of co-workers. Wake Forest University business professor Sherry Moss says these environments lead to “a whole set of negative consequences for employees,” and they encourage the bullied “to become bullies themselves.”


˜Blush your heart” – Belk launching products focused on southern identity
Charlotte Observer
Launching private brands is something retailers are doing more often these days for a handful of reasons, according to Roger Beahm, an executive director of the Wake Forest School of Business Center for Retail Innovation.



Amazon fulfillment center in Triad may not lead to quicker deliveries
Winston-Salem Journal
Roger Beahm, executive director of the Center for Retail Innovation at Wake Forest School of Business, said Amazon’s fulfillment center expansion strategy is necessary as retail stores, such as Walmart and Macy’s, are maintaining customer loyalty through enhancing their online shopping options.


WFU’s undergrad business program is top 10 percent
Winston-Salem Journal
The Wake Forest University School of Business undergraduate business program has ranked No. 35 in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report’s recently released 2019 Best Colleges Guide.


Krispy Kreme launches home delivery service in the Triad
Winston-Salem Journal
“Home delivery is one of the most important capabilities and consumer benefits that retail food and grocery is striving for today,” said Roger Beahm, executive director of the Center for Retail Innovation at Wake Forest University School of Business.


Black Friday: The traditional start of the shopping season is alive and clicking
Greensboro News & Record
“If you think Black Friday is becoming extinct because of the rising popularity of online shopping, think again. “Black Friday still remains important,” said Roger Beahm, executive director of the Center for Retail Innovation at Wake Forest University. That’s because the day continues to be the start of the holiday shopping season for most Americans.


Winston-Salem Reacts to BB&T’s pending merger and move
But major mergers often create overlap where the two companies once competed. There may currently be a SunTrust branch next to a BB&T branch, which doesn’t necessarily make good business sense. And according to Wake Forest University finance professor Ajay Patel, that’s where cost-cutting – and workforce reduction – often come into play.

“They’ve talked about reducing $1.6 billion in costs. Some of that’s going to come from closing branches. You close branches, and you’re going to eliminate certain positions,” he says.