moving forward in 2018
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Professors Make 2018 Predictions

What’s ahead in the New Year? Impacts of #MeToo movement, wrongdoing handled in C-suites, Disney/Fox and AT&T/Time Warner mergers, online shopping trends and the sharing economy.

Professor Kimberly Elsbach, Stephen G. Newberry Endowed Chair in Leadership

Impacts of #MeToo movement: The outing of perpetrators of sexual misconduct and the #MeToo movement will affect the year ahead.

  • What came from women speaking out in 2017 will embolden more women to pursue and demonstrate leadership in the business and political arenas.
     
  • And in C-suites, the values of integrity and transparency will play greater roles not only in how wrongdoing is handled, but also in guiding overall business strategy. People at the top are going to have to deal with a new reality.

Professor Hemant Bhargava, Jerome and Elsie Suran Chair in Technology Management

  • Transformation in entertainment and media industries: The Walt Disney Company’s merger with 21st Century Fox is likely to go through; AT&T’s with Time Warner ought not to, given the recent slaughter of net neutrality. Many content firms, such as Disney, CBS and HBO, will try direct-to-consumer services with exclusive and differentiated content. These actions will force typical consumers to source their entertainment content from a dozen players. Most direct-to-consumer efforts will fail to strike out on their own and lead to consolidation, bundling alliances or use of stronger intermediaries such as Netflix. 
     
  • More agile technologies for work: We should see the adoption of technologies that are more agile, lightweight, open and extensible (e.g., Slack over email; open, cloud-based documents and collaboration over desktop computer tools). Nearly all work will demand rapid and good organization of data and the ability to do meaningful analytics. Companies and people who use these newer tools are five to 10 times more efficient and effective than those who rely on “legacy” tools. Those that don’t adapt will, on account of their inefficiencies, incur higher costs to produce less and slowly wither and die. 

Dean H. Rao Unnava, expert in brand loyalty, consumer response to advertising and sales promotions, and consumer memory

  • Less social interaction in shopping: We will have even less social interaction in our role as consumers. More of us are opting for online over bricks-and-mortar shopping and ordering groceries online for home delivery. Following pioneers in China and Japan, Amazon is experimenting in Seattle with an unattended store where people pay with a cell phone application. And fulfillment businesses are bypassing retailers to offer online subscription services for the delivery of everyday needs.
     
  • The declining value of ownership: As more people use renting and sharing services like Uber, Lyft, Airbnb or even toy subscription services, the value of ownership will decline. Ownership won’t mean the same thing that it once did.