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Kansas State University
128 Dole Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506
785-532-2535
media@k-state.edu
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OH, BY THE WAY...

NO K-STATEMENT NEXT WEEK
Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, K-Statement will not publish next Wednesday.

The next publication will be Wednesday, Dec. 8. The deadline for getting items into that issue is Friday, Dec. 3.

If you have any questions, please contact Emily Vietti, K-Statement editor, at evietti@k-state.edu or 785-532-1545.

 

PROFESSOR EVALUATES GLOBAL BUSINESSES TO DETERMINE EFFECTIVE OUTSOURCING PRACTICES
A K-State professor has found that for outsourcing to be effective, the organization must not rely solely upon contracts but should also establish an informal supplier-buyer relationship.

"So many people are looking at whether to do outsourcing or not: is it a good decision or a poor one? Not too many have actually studied how to do it effectively, though. That question of 'how' is really key," said Chwen Sheu, Paul Edgerley Chair in Business Management, professor and interim head of the department of management at K-State's College of Business Administration.

Sheu studied how nearly 1,000 companies worldwide manage outsourcing for his paper, "What makes outsourcing effective -- a transaction cost analysis." He investigated how firms should structure and govern outsourcing transactions in order to achieve a competitive edge in the market. The paper was co-authored by John Wacker from Arizona State University and C.L. Yang from Chung Hau University, Taiwan.

It received a Best Paper Award at a joint conference between the Asia Pacific Decision Science Institute and the International Conference on Operations and Supply Chain Management. Both are academic organizations with more than 600 international members each. A Best Paper Award was given to five papers out of the 250 presented.

For their research, data was collected and analyzed from 970 manufacturing firms in 17 countries. The researchers evaluated the information using the transaction cost theory.

"The theory tries to explain why organizations exist and why they outsource," Sheu said.

In short, a company weighs the costs of outsourcing goods against the bureaucratic costs of producing them in-house, he said. This theory was first proposed by economist Ronald Coase, the 1991 Nobel laureate, and later extended by economist Oliver Williamson, 2009 Nobel laureate.

The researchers found that of the sampled firms, most depend on both legal contracts and an informal supplier-buyer relationship. Sheu said both mechanisms are effective, but the latter deserves more management attention since in outsourcing it's impossible to cover every risk and outcome contractually.

"When something unexpected happens, and the contract doesn't specify how to deal with it, you must be able to sit down and resolve the issues with your suppliers," Sheu said. "It's about trust and information sharing with each other so both parties can deal with unforeseen risks and uncertainties more effectively."

For a company to have the best outsourcing strategy, both forms of governance are needed as varying situations call for different responses, Sheu said.

"First we wanted to look at the overall data between different countries to see if outsourcing really does help to compete in the markets. We found that yes, it does help," Sheu said. "Our primary purpose then was to identify the governance mechanisms of how to make existing outsourcing transactions effective. And that's by legal and relational governance."

Sheu plans to reexamine the data and determine which countries are the using outsourcing most effectively, and how national culture may affect the utilization of legal versus relational governance. Those findings would improve the understanding of outsourcing practices in different countries. Such understanding should provide U.S. companies with valuable guidelines for their outsourcing decisions, Sheu said.

The paper is currently in review for publication in a supply chain management journal.

In 2009 Sheu also received a Best Paper Award at a conference presented by the International Conference on Operations and Supply Chain Management.

 

50 HOLIDAY POINSETTIA VARIETIES OFFERED AT K-STATE PLANT SALE
Nearly 50 varieties of poinsettias will be displayed and offered to the public as a fundraiser for the Kansas State University Gardens.

The flowering plants will be on sale 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1; and Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Quinlan Visitor Center, 1500 Denison Ave.

Horticulture students in professor Kimberly William's Greenhouse Operations Management class grew the poinsettias as a hands-on lab project.

Williams described the flowers, which are often used in holiday decorating, as "everything from the favorite red, to peach, white, pink, speckled and bi-colored."

Domestic and international poinsettia breeding companies provided the cultivar trials to the students to grow in the teaching space of the Throckmorton Plant Sciences Center greenhouses on campus.

Volunteers with the Friends of the KSU Gardens organization will staff the three sale dates. Gardens director Scott McElwain said 6.5-inch plants are $10 each or six for $50, and 10-inch centerpieces are $15 each.

 

BEACH MUSEUM GATHERS 'MATERIAL EVIDENCE' FOR EXHIBIT
The work of international artists is now on display at the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art.

"Material Evidence: A Phenomenology of Matter" features the work of eight artists from around the world. The artists work in a variety of media, such as painting, video, photography, sculpture, textiles, ceramics, and computer-activated installations.

The exhibit runs through Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011.

"Art that transforms our perceptions or ways of making meaning, through whatever medium, sparks intellectual curiosity and begs the question, 'How did they do that?'" said Geraldine Craig, guest curator for the exhibit and head of the K-State art department. "The work in this exhibition challenges us to consider the history of images and our engagement with physical matter as equals -- a parallel to the artists' experience in the studio."

Artists whose work is included in the exhibit are Jim Campbell, Sukjin Choi, Allan deSouza, Jane Lackey, Erwin Redl, Dario Robleto, Darren Waterston and Anne Wilson.

The exhibit is the world premiere of four new works of art: two new deSouza photographs, "Course of Empire, II" and "Course of Empire, III," and two site-specific pieces, Redl's "Benchmark" and Choi's "Recollection 2." These two pieces were constructed specifically for their spaces at the Beach Museum.

More information is available by contacting Martha Scott, Beach Museum of Art, at 785-532-7718; online at http://beach.k-state.edu; or dropping by the museum on the southeast corner of the K-State campus at 14th Street and Anderson Avenue. Free visitor parking is available next to the building.

Normal museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. The museum is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

 

K-STATE'S 'MR. MANNERS' PROVIDES HOLIDAY DINING TIPS
This holiday season don't let your bad manners get you relegated to the kids' table.

Pat Pesci, director of the hotel and restaurant management program, said that holiday meals always seem to ramp up people's focus on dining etiquette and table manners.

"Typically, Americans don't sit down and dine together," Pesci said. "People just don't break bread anymore; they multitask. Then at this time of the year, you have all these holidays and the large family meals that go with them."

The holiday meal can bring a lot of stressors into one event: family members who don't see each other that often; different age groups; different opinions; uncommon and varied cuisine; and fancier tableware.

Pesci said it is important to ask your host if you can assist in any way, and also to ask, rather than assume, where you will be sitting.

It is standard to wait until everyone has food before you begin eating, Pesci said. When faced with uncertainty about which of your multiple utensils to use, start at the outside and move in toward the plate.

Another pitfall during holiday meals is the conversation.

"Holiday meals often last an hour or more," Pesci said. "And while you should eat slowly, it doesn't take that long to consume food. Because so often we eat in front of the television, many people aren't used to carrying on lengthy conversations while eating."

Remembering not to talk with your mouth full is one thing. Knowing what to talk about is quite another. Pesci said it is best to avoid topics that might make people uncomfortable, such as politics, religion, sex and controversy. Great conversation starters are more neutral, like sports, weather, professions, travel, movies and where people are from.

"It is important to get everyone involved," said Pesci. "We often miss out on talking and listening to people and finding out about them. Holiday meals are a great time for that."

When the meal is finished, it’s polite to place your napkin to the left of your plate and push your chair in when leaving the table.

Finally, one of the most important tips is to never correct someone's etiquette at the table.

"Correcting someone else's manners in a public setting is rude. That's one of the number one rules," Pesci said.

 

K-STATE BULLETIN BOARD CHANGES
On Dec. 9 the K-State Bulletin Board will stop running run on Cox channel 21 off campus and Wildcat Cable channel 10 on campus. The channels are being repurposed for other uses.

Options are being considered, including running the daily announcements on channel 8 to reach campus and off-campus audiences. However, this will change the content and format of the events schedule.

Keep an eye out for the plan for airing future announcements. Please contact Susan Jagerson in the Division of Communications and Marketing if you have any questions.

 

CIRQUE DREAMS ILLUMINATION FINAL MCCAIN PERFORMANCE OF SEMESTER
The McCain Performance Series will end the semester with Cirque Dreams Illumination at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8, in McCain Auditorium.

The show is appropriate for the entire family. It blends imagination, theatrical innovation and illuminating presentation into a story that turns a city of everyday people, workers and pedestrians into feats of disbelief.

Cirque Dreams Illumination features 27 world-class artists as they illuminate objects, balance on wires and leap structures. Performers redefine flight with entertaining variety, comedy and extraordinary occurrences that reinvent ordinary life.

Urban acrobatics, choreography and illusions are enhanced by special effects performed to an original score of jazz, salsa, ballroom, pop and trendy musical beats.

Tickets are on sale now at $17 for K-State students and $34 for the general public. Discounts for K-State faculty and staff, military, and children are also available. Tickets can be purchased at the McCain Auditorium box office, 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, or by calling 785-532-6428. More information is available online at http://www.k-state.edu/mccain.

The performance will be preceded by Cirque McCain, a free children's event from 6-7 p.m. at the K-State Student Union. Activities will include crafts, games, refreshments and circus-themed entertainment.

 

CREATIVE WRITING STUDENTS TO SHARE LITERARY RESPONSES TO SPECIAL ART EXHIBIT
Creative writing students will share their literary responses to the "Material Evidence" exhibition now on display at the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art. The presentation starts at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at the museum.

The readings are distinctive because they will not be read in a lecture setting. Instead, students will stand by their chosen art pieces and deliver their responses in poem, short fiction or lyric essay form. This will help listeners understand the sound of the readers' language in relation to the texture and color of the artwork.

"This is an especially exciting opportunity for creative writing students because the whole premise of the show highlights the importance of a viewer's bodily perception of each piece," said Elizabeth Dodd, university distinguished professor of English and director of the creative writing program. "The media in the show include LED panels, old records, sewing pins -- not just the familiar media of paint and canvas or photograph and paper."

The creative writing presentations are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Martha Scott, Beach Museum of Art, at 785-532-7718, or drop by the museum on the southeast corner of the K-State campus at 14th Street and Anderson Avenue. Free visitor parking is available next to the building. Normal museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. The museum is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.