Companies like to implement self-service technologies because of the potential cost savings and the appeal of the cutting-edge. But a surprising number of managers fail to implement their own SSTs effectively, according to a study by several professors of marketing at the W. P. Carey School of Business. "The companies that plan their strategies well, and the ones that integrate their customers into the equation, are the ones that will succeed," says Mary Jo Bitner, director of the school's Center for Services Leadership.

The "Dove girls" advertising campaign has caught the attention of media consumers, and no wonder. In a world where the marketing of thin and flawless Victoria's Secret "Angels" dominate the prime-time landscape, suddenly there is a top-tier national campaign featuring curvy, real-world women parading proudly across the pages of People magazine in plain white underwear. But can the Dove girls' obviously healthy body image and — refreshing though it may be — actually boost women's self-esteem, not to mention product sales? Marketing professors from the W. P. Carey School of Business say the research isn't conclusive.

The marketplace has come a long way since Henry Ford's all-black Model T, mass produced at a price "everyman" could afford. Today's consumers want products designed the way they like, at the right price and with quick availability. For those products, mass customization is the solution, according to a professor of supply chain management at the W. P. Carey School of Business. Manus Rungtusanatham says companies can provide customers with the choices they desire by paying attention to the number and complexities of the variables, then devising their supply chains and assembly lines to meet demand.

There is a significant correlation between higher education and small-business success, according to a recent study by Behavior Research Center of Phoenix conducted in partnership with the Spirit of Enterprise Center at the W. P. Carey School of Business. According to the poll, 75 percent of the owners have a university degree or degrees from business colleges and community colleges. Among firms that are "healthy and growing," 52 percent are guided by university graduates, a third of whom have MBAs. "In the knowledge economy, everyone is going to have to be a lifetime learner," says one W. P. Carey expert involved in the study.

Experts say the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort arguably represents one of the great natural disaster recovery and redevelopment challenges in U.S. history — perhaps exceeding even the Dust Bowl of the 1930s and the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. But before the work can begin in earnest, the stakeholders in New Orleans must decide what to do — and this first step may turn out to be as difficult as the renaissance itself. Two professors from the W. P. Carey School of Business have made a study of the science of individual and group decision-making, and they offer their thoughts on the overwhelming task that lies ahead.