LEWISBURG, Pa. — The following are Bucknell University story ideas that may be of interest in December.
ENDORSING THE FOUR-DAY WORKWEEK — In August, Microsoft Japan experimented with having employees only come in four days a week without taking a pay cut. The company found that productivity increased by 40%, with a 23% decrease in electricity costs and a 58% decrease in printing paper use. Eddy Ng, the James and Elizabeth Freeman Professor of Management at Bucknell, is hoping other companies took note. Ng sees the four-day workweek as a winning solution for both employers and employees because it forces workplaces to eliminate time-wasting practices, encourages workers to treat their time more wisely, and eliminates overhead costs. “Employees aren’t necessarily working any less — they’re just working more efficiently over four days,” he said. “This allows the company to save money because they don’t have people coming in on that fifth day so they don’t need to pay overhead, like electricity.” CONTACT: Ng, 570-577-3421, email@example.com
AMERICAN EVANGELICALS IN THE AGE OF TRUMP — When the calendar turns to 2020, it’s officially a presidential election year. In 2016, President Trump received 81 percent of the votes cast by white evangelicals, and Bucknell religious studies professor Brantley W. Gasaway examines the current evangelical political picture in his article, “Making Evangelicals Great Again? American Evangelicals in the Age of Trump,” published in the October edition of the Evangelical Review of Theology. His article analyzes the ways in which American evangelicals have responded to the presidential campaign and presidential administration of Donald Trump, with a particular focus on the often overlooked faction of politically progressive evangelicals. “Not surprisingly, progressive evangelicals vociferously opposed Trump’s candidacy and tried to dissuade other evangelicals from voting from him,” Gasaway wrote. “In the wake of his election, leaders of the evangelical left mobilized to protect the people and policies that seemed most threatened by the new administration.” His article highlights how a small but vocal number of more moderate and conservative evangelical leaders have taken various political positions that align with the goals of progressive evangelicals. “However, the persistence of conflicting approaches to abortion and same-sex marriage, as well as their participation in different religious networks, diminishes the likelihood of such a partnership,” he wrote. CONTACT: Gasaway, 570-577-3180, firstname.lastname@example.org
NO SHORT-CHANGED HOLIDAY SHOPPING SEASON — While there are six fewer shopping days between Black Friday and Christmas this year, Bucknell Freeman College of Management professor Jimmy Chen doesn’t see the shortened shopping season having a negative impact on businesses for a number of reasons. Nonetheless, he says retailers may counter any negative effects due to the shortened shopping days by facilitating the shopping processes for the customers as much as possible. “Specifically, retailers should provide multiple channels for placing the orders (easy-to-use website or mobile site, and well-staffed offline stores); diversify ways of fulfilling the orders (buy online and pick up countermeasures, curbside pickup, home-delivery); and easy ways to return the products (in-store, mail, or carrier pickup),” he said. CONTACT: Chen, 570-577-1678, email@example.com
CONTACT: Mike Ferlazzo, 570-577-3212, 570-238-6266 (c), firstname.lastname@example.org