As eBay clearly demonstrates, consumers are sometimes irrational. The data show auctions with an opening bid of 99p get buyers so excited they usually end up bidding the price up more than when the starting bid is higher. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

As a DIY business school, there has never been anything like eBay - a place where animal spirits roam free and yet markets are tra(...)

Earlier this summer the New York Times carried a front-page story about a speech Barack Obama had given on US foreign policy with a headline referring to his “Cautious Reponse to World Crisis”.

Opinion: human’s ability to write comes with ability to err

Emailing when away, I reasoned, is inevitable, mildly useful, and fine so long as you use the drug in moderation, says Lucy Kellaway.

The further you are from work, the more its news disturbs you, writes Lucy Kellaway

Rather than dish out the bad news directly, the executive vice-president takes refuge behind a curious subjunctive: “We plan that this would result in an estimated reduction of 12,500 . . . employees.”

Microsoft executive Stephen Elop’s 1,100-word memo, which casually mentions massive job cuts, is a case study in how not to write(...)

With jobs, unlike with loo paper, there are many axes to grind. Photograph: Getty Images

People feel compelled to review everyday items but are more reticent regarding their work

When the contest is between the big firms it is especially pointless. Photograph: Getty Images

Opinion: employing a professional services firm is all about back-covering

Facebook chief Sheryl Sandberg. “Her ‘didn’t mean to upset you’ was patronising and, worse than that, a lie.” Photograph: EPA/Money Sharma

Opinion: women are more guilty than men of unnecessary apologising

The best work-avoidance technique of all is to be perfectly willing, but perfectly incompetent.

The equivalent of the avoiding washing-up technique at work is to be hopeless at small tasks

“A few years ago a psychological science journal published research that concluded there was nothing great about diverse teams per se. They were good if you wanted to do something creative or innovative. But if you wanted to slog on with business as usual then homogenous teams did the job better.” Photograph: Getty Images

Opinion: a wide cross-section brings with it the danger of groupthink

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