Tax breaks are widely promoted by economic development agencies and the business lobby as an effective tool to promote corporate investment. Cities use the offer of tax breaks to lure development - often to prevent neighboring communities from landing the companies with the most potential for creating jobs or sales. The practice is hotly debated, yet despite the controversy public officials appear unlikely to abandon it. An accounting scholar at the W. P. Carey School examined one form of tax incentive - corporate income tax breaks - and found evidence that in fact, the increased investment public officials hope to buy infrequently comes to pass.

When accounting problems at American International Group surfaced last winter, it looked like a small matter next to the corporation–busting scandals of the Enron era. But AIG directors acted as if the company's very survival was at stake, removing Maurice Greenberg as CEO and later forcing him to step down as chairman. The heart of the problem is this: No one can be sure how big the scandal will grow, because it involves business relationships, insurance products and accounting practices so arcane that few people understand them - including a controversial product known as "finite insurance."

While integrating different software applications is always a challenge, it is easier when the different components come from the same vendor and are designed to fit together. But don't assume the path of least resistance is always best for your organization, says Julie Smith David, associate professor of information systems at the W. P. Carey School of Business. David has been studying whether it is better for a company to buy its enterprise systems from a single source or to choose a composite. Her study shows that in many cases, using one vendor's offerings to provide all of an enterprise's functionality is not always the best for the bottom line.

Your company's most valuable resource may be locked inside the brains of employees. A W. P. Carey School of Business professor has written a paper that describes ways a business can unlock and use this powerful resource. "Measuring Knowledge Management Capabilities" presents a game plan for creating a knowledge management infrastructure that pinpoints knowledge sources and then helps employees solve problems and achieve goals, such as developing new products, raising an existing product's sales or boosting productivity.

Companies know that finding the right people to take care of business is critical for success. But how to attract and hold onto those people? A W. P. Carey School of Business management professor has identified a new use for the branding concept: focusing on human resource management. Companies that develop a brand for their personnel practices have a powerful competitive advantage in the talent marketplace. Some have successfully aligned their employment and product brands, but in many cases the most lasting value results from employment brands that are tied to a firm's core values rather than to its product.