Research Projects Description
Evaluating tools for entrepreneurs, leaders, and business planning success
Dr. Rhoads has several research projects going on at the present time. One project is being done with the Small Business Development Center. The purpose is to evaluate the effectiveness of on-line tools for entrepreneurs in either starting or improving their businesses. The project started in May of 2008 and will complete in May of 2009.
Surviving and Thriving in Poor Economic Times
Another project builds on the work of Jim Collins in his breakthrough research described in his books; "Built to Last" and "Good to Great". In the first book, Jim Collins and Jerry Porras identified corporations that had provided more than three times the industry average returns on their investment over a long time span (fifty years). Then he identified "matching" companies; businesses in the same industry, roughly the same time period, with the same environment that didn't do nearly as well. Then he studied the differences between the companies that didn't succeed and the companies that did in order to identify the factors that made the difference between them.
In the "Good to Great" book, Jim Collins used the same methodology - finding companies that far surpassed the average returns of the industry, then matching them with other companies that didn't do as well; but this time he was specifically looking for companies that did okay for many years, and then seemed to have a turnaround that enabled them to become great. Again - he studied the differences and described the factors that caused the success.
Jim Collins' work is rather unique in the field of academic research because, though rigorous, it provides practical useful advice for business owners struggling with day to day issues in keeping their businesses afloat. To get a complete idea of his findings, read his books or go to his website.
Dr. Rhoads is following in Jim's footsteps but taking a specific look at how organizations prosper during difficult financial times. Dr. Rhoads believes that the current recession is not going to turn around for years and years. During the last fifty years, there have been six major recessions. Dr. Rhoads is going to identify companies that not only survived those recessions, but thrived. In addition, her team will investigate paired companies - organizations in the same industry, in the same timeframe, that did not survive. Then they will investigate the differences and, building on the factors already identified by Jim Collins, determine the differences between the companies that prospered and the companies that did not. Keep watch here for postings of her findings as they are documented.