At Harvard: Part 2

In our Negotiation class, we studied the case of the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association confrontation of 2004-2005 which resulted in the NHL canceling the season. Here we see how strong egos, water under the bridge, and distrust can lead to stalemate and a lose-lose scenario. The NHL and NHLPA have paid a high price for the mistakes committed in this negotiation.

In our Marketing class, we examined a classic case–Benihana of Tokyo. We learned how, in 1972 in midtown Manhattan, Rocky Aoki established a unique formula for a restaurant chain (minimum kitchen area, maximized bar area, controlled staff costs, reduced food costs, all enhanced by at-table entertainment) and managed to sustain a legacy for decades. Now if you google Rocky Aoki, you will find an expose about his life in the New York Magazine–sad, but funny. Some cases have odd endings.

On to our Globalization class–the case: India on the Move (set in 2003). A fascinating study made all the richer by the many well-informed Indians in the class. Was Nehru wrong in 1948 to have followed the Soviet Union’s example of a centrally planned industrialization of an agrarian, fragmented land? Would Indians be as equipped and autonomous in their current economic growth had he allowed foreign direct investment and a free market economy? How accurate are the official growth rates? Some of our Indian classmates contend they do not take into account a large informal economy. Will political and religious strife allow the economy to continue on its upward trend?

Kate Simpson

President,
Academic Travel Abroad

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