The Week: Most Recent Business Posts recent posts.en-usThu, 18 Dec 2014 06:10:00 -0500http://theweek.com Recent Business Posts from THE WEEKThu, 18 Dec 2014 06:10:00 -0500Hey, bosses: Stop giving bonuses to your employees<img src="" /></P><p>Alfie Kohn's <em>Punished by Rewards</em> might be the most important book you've never heard of.</p><p>The book's argument is as simple as it is provocative: Rewards, under any form ("Do this and you'll get that"), destroy motivation and defeat their goal of getting people to do whatever it is they're supposed to do. Kohn goes over enormously voluminous evidence from social psychology that seems very strongly to suggest that "Do this and you'll get that" doesn't work.<br /><br />The reason is very simple. There are two kinds of motivation: extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation means you are...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/pascal-emmanuel-gobry" ><span class="byline">Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry</span></a>Thu, 18 Dec 2014 06:10:00 -0500Supermarkets may be missing a huge opportunity<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>You may not think about it as you stroll through your local supermarket's aisles, but the shelves stocked with food and the displays promoting specials are a constant battleground for stores trying to get you to buy more and for marketers trying to get you to pick their product.</p><p>As that battle goes on, a new report suggests that big chain grocers are missing a big opportunity by not stocking more ethnic foods.</p><p>Although major supermarkets have improved their ethnic food selection as demand has increased, 63 percent of ethnic shoppers in the U.S. still complain they can't find enough ethnic food...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Marine ColeTue, 16 Dec 2014 08:55:00 -0500Domestic spending again takes back seat to defense<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>With Congress focused on beefing up defense in the face of mounting threats from ISIS and other terrorists groups, domestic programs that have barely kept pace with inflation are taking a back seat again.</p><p>Senate and House negotiators reached agreement Tuesday evening on a $1.1 trillion mega spending bill that will keep most of the federal government fully funded and operating for the remainder of the fiscal year.</p><p>Given the way lawmakers have carved up the available pot of funds, about 60 percent will go to the Pentagon and State Department for military operations and foreign assistance and...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Eric PianinMon, 15 Dec 2014 12:58:00 -0500How to save money: 9 great personal finance tips<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"> </p><p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong> Sprint's half-off bills<br /></strong></span><span class="s2">Sprint has "kicked the wireless industry's price war up a notch," said Ryan Knutson at </span><span class="s3"><em>The Wall Street Journal</em></span><span class="s2">. The carrier said last week it will let AT&amp;T and Verizon subscribers pay half what they currently pay "in perpetuity if they switch from those carriers." The half-off Sprint plans "would offer unlimited text and talk and however much data the subscribers were buying" from the rival telecoms. While there's plenty of fine print &mdash; customers must turn in their old phones and buy new ones, for example &mdash; the move signals how desperate the country's...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 15 Dec 2014 06:42:00 -0500This is what it's like to be a hotel concierge<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>No figure in the hospitality industry mystifies me more than the hotel concierge.<span id="more-7674"></span> They have to know everything and anything, do anything and everything, and keep perfectly pleasant and positive even when requests are totally absurd.</p><p>I connected with Wonder Woman concierge Isabelle Hogan, head concierge at The Mark Hotel, a five-star dig on Manhattan's Upper East Side, to learn a little bit more about what she and other concierges do exactly and how they do it.</p><p>(<strong>More from <em>Map Happy</em>:</strong> Most hotels will accept your packages)</p><p>Her background: She's been making helicopters and perfect amenities appear...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Karina Martinez-CarterSun, 14 Dec 2014 11:00:00 -05005 things job applicants obsess over -- that hiring managers don't<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>It doesn't matter how much work experience you have, or how many interviews you've knocked out of the park &mdash; job hunting is bound to make even the most confident candidates feel insecure.</p><p>And since so many factors are out of your control &mdash; like whether you'll hear back about that perfect fit opportunity &mdash; it's no wonder many people find themselves attempting to regain a little power by obsessing over what they <em>can</em> control.</p><p>But the truth is, not all job-search details are make-or-break.</p><p>To help you discern what's worth your worry &mdash; and what's definitely not &mdash; we...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Maureen DempseyFri, 12 Dec 2014 08:44:00 -0500How tourists cripple local economies by overpaying<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>I always feel uncomfortable about how much I tip in impoverished countries. Should it be more, just because? That person was nice and attentive&hellip;<span id="more-7252"></span></p><p>Tourists can sometimes be put in a weird position when it comes to tipping and even just paying for goods or services abroad, especially when their spending power eclipses the local economy. I've found I most often wrestle with all sorts of mixed emotions and confusion related to payment and tipping when I'm visiting developing countries.</p><p>(<strong>More from <em>Map Happy</em>:</strong> Avoid taxi scams like a pro)</p><p>Halfway through my trip in India, the strap on my only...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Karina Martinez-CarterThu, 11 Dec 2014 14:34:00 -05004 things I got wrong about the Great Recession<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>It's the time of year when analysts and pundits begin "marking their beliefs to market" &mdash; telling us what they got right or wrong in the previous year. In that spirit, here are some of the things I got wrong about the Great Recession:</p><p><strong>It's hard to change the inflation rate in a deep recession:</strong> Prior to the Great Recession, I thought central banks could create inflation pretty much at will, even in a deep recession. All that was needed was to crank up the printing press, get the money into the hands of people who will spend it, and the extra demand will drive up the prices of goods and...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Mark ThomaThu, 11 Dec 2014 08:57:00 -0500How to turn a 65-million-year-old sandstone cliff into a hotel<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Any old billion-dollar conglomerate can build a regular hotel, with boring hallways leading to cookie-cutter rooms, flat walls, and unified basic amenities. But it takes a dab of genius to repurpose an entirely different structure, one intended to serve a distinct non-hospitality-related purpose, into a hotel. Here are eight examples of such ingenuity.</p><p class="p2"><strong>1. Abbey Road Farm; Carleton, Oregon</strong></p><p class="p1">Original purpose: Grain silos</p><p ><br /><br />(<em>Abbey Road Farm Bed &amp; Breakfast/</em>)</p><p class="p1">When John and Judi Stuart bought the 82-acre horse farm on which their B&amp;B now sits, it came with grain silos. But since...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/therese-oneill" ><span class="byline">Therese Oneill</span></a>Thu, 11 Dec 2014 08:25:00 -050016 retailers that offer free shipping in time for Christmas<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>In an ideal world you would have hatched out your holiday gift list for every member of the family by Thanksgiving and crossed off every item before the tryptophan kicked in.</p><p>But in reality, you've barely had time to tackle your holiday to-do list between the parties, the travel, and the general end-of-year chaos. Before you know it Christmas will be around the corner.</p><p>Then, the panic sets in: You need presents, and you needed them yesterday. The good news is that you can turn to the good ol' internet to find presents for even the pickiest of family members. The bad news? You'll probably have...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Emma MillerWed, 10 Dec 2014 16:29:00 -0500