Showing posts from November, 2010

MBA Rankings, a pinch of salt and a tomato

Any reasonable person knows to be weary of any ranking, after all there is usually some subjective criteria by which the position in the ranking in judged. For example, how does one determine wealth ? Is it cash in the bank, assets, potential assets etc. The same care should be taken with MBA rankings, which often have a very strong weighting towards salary increase. You should be aware that this might be the reason many MBA schools are keen to recruit young students (their potential earnings can only go up !). Also watch out for fluctuations in exchange which may cause disproportionate salary increases when adjusted to the US dollar (or British Pound). Another often considered factor is the International flavor of the course, but many of us have dual nationalities and this figure can easily be fudged. Faculty members qualifications and academic contribution is also often weighted, again there are various ways in which this figure can be fudged. All in all, you should not choose an

Misusing models

Interestingly, having in my last post posted a model, the issue I want to address in this post is the misuse of models. Firstly, let's consider what a model is and what it is not. A model is really an abstraction of reality, in most real-life situations it is impossible to capture all the parameters that influence any social phenomena. So for example, in economic growth there are far to many variables that impact economic growth. We can create some simplified model, which helps us attempt to capture at least the most important variables and suggest a way in which the economic growth mechanism works. Note, this is not a theory, a theory is an attempt to explain the workings of a mechanism whereas a model is only a simplification of a mechanism (see Mario Bunge for more discussion on this). When one person or organization create a model, it is with a particular context and set of assumptions in mind. If they create a model which is valid for all contexts and situations and does not

Towards a theory of economic growth

A couple of years ago, whilst attempting to complete a masters degree in Business Administration  I somewhat naively attempted to create a model linking entrepreneurship to economic growth. I began a 3 year quest to read all I could about entrepreneurship and economics. It become apparent early on, that academics simply do not agree on what entrepreneurship is. Furthermore modern economic theory has very little to say about the entrepreneur. I found this to be somewhat confusing, being a simple engineer, I expected there to be at least some basis on which to build an economic theory based on entrepreneurship. Afterall, it would seem evident from our current and historic experience that entrepreneurship (if we agree on what it is) generates economic growth. Almost every nation has a host of policies trying to stimulate entrepreneurship, however, academics did not seem to have a very good idea of how this growth worked. I presented my model for my dissertation, however, it w

Can over-tweeting be bad for your Health ?

I have been following quite a few very good Tweeters, some provide me with a daily digest of really interesting information. Then there are the ones that provide me with nothing at all and yet others that are amusing. Irrespective even the good ones can get to a point where they are over-tweeting. What is most relevant, what is the optimum number of tweets to keep peoples interest and when have you gone too far ? I think there is a fine line between interesting and annoying and getting it right in terms of both content and volume could be the key to generating happy tweet-fans .... Would it be sensible to set yourself tweet quotas, e.g 1 tweet per hour or 50 tweets a day ?