Management Science Review

Today’s consumer leverages different channels to acquire information before making her purchase decision. This leads to showrooming behavior when a consumer acquires product information involving “touch-and-feel” attributes at the physical store, and then checks price information at competing online retailers. As a result, if the prices at the online retailer are lower, a store may get foot traffic that may not necessarily translate into purchases.

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Therapies for a number of chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis are only effective in a subset of “responders” in the population, and biomarkers that accurately assess a priori whether a given patient will be a responder are often not available. In such cases, the main way to evaluate the efficacy of a disease modifying therapy (DMT) is by initiating treatment and then continuously monitoring the patient through self-reported surveys, periodic check-ups, or more in-depth scans and evaluations.

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Interruptions are common in the workplace. From equipment breakdowns to unscheduled meetings and communication requests, unplanned breaks from a smooth and continuous production often trigger losses in work hours and reductions in productivity. Nowadays, with firms adopting modern organizational and communication technologies such as open-plan offices, e-mail, and instant messaging, managing interruptions has become increasingly important and challenging for businesses and their workers.

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In the last few years, businesses are increasingly using online labor marketplaces to contract with freelancers. Consequently, these marketplaces are growing at an unprecedented rate, as seen in the explosion of freelancers in the US and around the world. By 2020, it is estimated that a full 40% of the workforce in US will be made up of freelancers.

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Multitasking is a common practice to increase the output in the workplace. When there exist idle times during the execution of a task, multitasking (i.e., switching between different tasks) helps employees better utilize their work times and improve their productivity in terms of throughput. Yet, in recent years, many service firms have come to realize that the productivity of an employee is much more than his/her mere “throughput”. Quality of outcome and end-user satisfaction are equally important performance metrics that can be affected by, but rarely studied from the lens of multitasking. Despite the abundance of anecdotal evidence, there has not been systematic research that questioned whether customers get bothered by multitasking employees in a service environment and if so, how sensitive they are to such actions.

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Fast rising health care costs continues to be one of the important policy issues that has major societal costs in the United States. Electronic Health Record (EHR) adoption is considered as a policy tool to reduce health care costs while simultaneously improving the quality of care; and EHRs are being promoted with substantial public subsidies. The underlying belief behind these policies is that EHR adoption would lower the health care costs and improve the quality of care via improving clinical decisions and care coordination, and reducing medical errors, unnecessary re-admissions, and over-testing. However, EHR systems are also expensive to acquire, implement and maintain, and several hospitals that adopted EHR systems have experienced an increase in their operating costs.

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Setting prices in a constantly changing environment is hard. When you consider the history of shopping, it’s probably true that consumers have never had it easier than they do today. Want to know if that food processor is any good? You can read hundreds of reviews from experts and regular folks alike. Need an item tomorrow that’s sitting in a warehouse across the country? Just choose overnight shipping on the checkout page. Of course, the convenience of online shopping has been good for retailers as well, since the Internet allows businesses to reach much larger audiences.

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In 2007 Toyota sold more cars than General Motors. It was the first time since 1930 that GM lost the Number 1 position in the world auto market. Bob Lutz, GM's vice chairman, claimed that "there is absolutely nothing to be gained by being the world's biggest." However, Rick Wagoner, GM's Chairman and CEO, stated that "hanging onto the No. 1 sales ranking is a distinction GM won't give up without a fight". In fact, by means of aggressive (and costly) price cuts GM eventually regained the lead. Lutz lamented that "I tried to tell them [the Board] to say, no, it's not our objective to be No. 1, but they just couldn't do it."

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How do patients choose care in the healthcare market, a service sector that spends almost 18% of the GDP in the United States every year? Knowledge of patient preferences and choice behavior in care seeking—i.e., what patients want—is essential for managing modern healthcare enterprises as the healthcare sector becomes more patient-centered.

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Extensive debate exists among policy makers and economists about the employment of highly skilled immigrants in the United States. One argument is that foreign workers drive down wages and take jobs that would otherwise go to domestic laborers. Another is that U.S. firms seek out foreign workers because they can’t find qualified U.S. citizens for the positions, and that these foreigners bring unique and valuable skills that help U.S. companies compete in the global marketplace. While these issues have been heavily debated, empirical studies examining these questions in a focused setting are limited, principally because of the nonavailability of data.

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