Loiseau sees future in traditional haute cuisine

PARIS, Aug 3 (Reuters Life) – Even its three-star Michelin badge could not protect Bernard Loiseau during the crisis that racked the French restaurant industry in 2009.

That year, the restaurants company posted a record loss of nearly half a million euros amid declining sales.

Read more at Reuters

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Resolution Revolutionary

As court cases go, this was hardly a run-of-the-mill contract quarrel. The parties were major airline companies from France and Libya. Their contract stated that any dispute was to be resolved by arbitration in Montreal. Oh, and the French company was arguing the contract did not apply in light of UN sanctions placed on Libya after the 1998 terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

For newly minted lawyer Frédéric Bachand, the 1999 case was not only a baptism by fire in the world of international commercial arbitration, it was also an opportunity to participate first-hand in an emerging field of law—one in which he has since become a world authority.

Read more in Headway Magazine

FREAKONOMICS 2.0: Fighting knowledge monopolies, or how to avoid being ripped off

`Information imbalances’ cost North Americans billions of dollars a year. One intrepid economist wants to change that.

Henry Schneider, an economist at Cornell University, believes that auto mechanics are no more dishonest than the rest of us. His opinion is something of a surprise in light of his research.

In a new paper, Schneider describes data from undercover visits to Canadian garages, which show that 61 per cent of the total sum spent on car repairs was completely unnecessary. Repeating the undercover experiment in the United States, he found the same thing: an industry characterized by systemic rip-offs where concern for reputation had little effect on service.

Read more in the Toronto Star

Didn’t get the job? Could it be your name?

It’s a difficult and little-discussed issue for many people on the hunt for work: What if the one essential on every resume and a symbol of your identity is hurting your prospects of landing a position?

A funny thing happened to Rajiv Prasad when he invented an alter-ego named Roger Pritchard — prospective employers responded to his job applications.

It was the mid-1990’s and, despite having a university degree and work experience in the high-tech sector, Mr. Prasad was having a hard time finding a job in a slumping Ottawa economy. So he tried an unusual experiment.

Curious about whether his Indian name was hindering his employment prospects, Mr. Prasad responded to five job postings with two versions of his resume. The only difference between them was the name at the top. One listed Mr. Prasad’s real name and the other listed a “white alias” named Roger Pritchard.

Read more in the Globe and Mail story (pdf version)

Management is from Mercury; IT is from Pluto

They’re the star-crossed couple of the business world. The nattily dressed manager and the rumpled computer expert come from different backgrounds and often seem to speak different languages. When they work together, beautiful things can happen for a business. When the two don’t communicate well, their misunderstandings can lead to disaster.

Enter Professor Geneviève Bassellier, a specialist in information systems at McGill’s Desautels Faculty of Management. In her research, Bassellier acts as a marriage counsellor of sorts between the suits and techies, helping them understand one another and build a stronger, healthier relationship.

Read more in Headway Magazine

Anti-guru: Management prof bites big

Strategy gurus beware: management professor Henry Mintzberg is back with a new book that turns some favourite corporate conventions on their head. In Strategy Bites Back (Prentice Hall, 2005, 292 pages) Mintzberg serves up a lighthearted gallery of tidbits to debase and debunk anyone who proclaims to know the secrets of strategy.

Described by Business Voice as “a really cheeky little brat of a book which ought to be spanked soundly and sent to bed without any supper,” Strategy Bites Back promises to make strategy fun once again, slipping witty insight into sections with titles like “Forecasting: Whoops!” “The Soft Underbelly of Hard Data” and “Strategy is a Little Black Dress.”

Read more from the McGill University Press Release