Monthly Archives: December 2015

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    Market forces and competition are not necessarily detrimental to sustainability

Market forces and competition are not necessarily detrimental to sustainability

The consumption of sustainable foods and drinks is becoming common in certain categories. This provides us with an opportunity to study markets that have transformed from merely “unsustainable” to “sustainable” consumption. As approximately three fourths of the coffee consumed in the Netherlands is being produced in a sustainable way, the Dutch coffee market is a market from which we […]

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    India plays catch-up with China to enhance its involvement in Africa

India plays catch-up with China to enhance its involvement in Africa

A month ago, the third India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) in Delhi elevated India’s relations with the continent to an unusually prominent position between 26-29 October.  Now, once again, China overshadowed India’s relations with Africa with the 6th Forum on China Africa Cooperation in Johannesburg in early December.

The series of Africa events organised by the government of India culminating in […]

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    The less economic freedom a state has, the more political connections local firms need

The less economic freedom a state has, the more political connections local firms need

The linkages between firm performance, the economic environment and influential political connections have long been of interest across the spectrum of business and politics. These links can be particularly important for banks and other firms in heavily regulated industries where a simple change in law or regulatory policy can result in significant costs, open new profitable opportunities, or otherwise […]

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    Business involvement in climate negotiations has come a long way

Business involvement in climate negotiations has come a long way

As the Paris climate summit is nearing its end, an impressive array of global business leaders from around the world have lent their support to a strong climate agreement. Why are the likes of Richard Branson, Ratan Tata and Paul Polman calling for international cooperation on climate change? How serious are their commitments, and what can be done to […]

How tour guides help museums execute their strategies

When most people think about organisational strategy, they think of something that is top-down: a plan that is designed and orchestrated by senior management, which points the organisation towards the future. It’s a valid way to think: most organisations do have senior people making strategic plans.

But top-down strategy is just one part of the puzzle. If we really want […]

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    How can the UK improve its lagging productivity — and still build the workforce?

How can the UK improve its lagging productivity — and still build the workforce?

LSE Business Review’s official launch event took place on 2 December. A panel of top UK economists discussed How can the UK improve its lagging productivity — and still build the workforce? 

Former Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable was the keynote speaker and touched on many insights from his book After the Storm: The World Economy and […]

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    A fun toy or a useful watch? How do people make purchasing decisions?

A fun toy or a useful watch? How do people make purchasing decisions?

‘Tis the season to shop and ‘tis the time to be torn apart by shopping dilemmas — which “it” items to buy and which ones to forgo?!

Imagine that David is browsing through his favourite retailer’s website and he is stopped dead on his (digital) tracks by scores of must-have items. To make his shopping task easier he decides to […]

How Nations Innovate – Book Review

How Nations Innovate: The Political Economy of Technological Innovation in Affluent Capitalist Economies. Jingjing Huo. Oxford University Press. 2015.

Innovation type depends on wider political economy: that is the conclusion of the neat new study How Nations Innovate: The Political Economy of Technological Innovation in Affluent Capitalist Economies by Jingjing Huo, which combines analysis of information management, job opportunities, inequality […]

Why cutting regulation is so hard for the EU

When the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, intervened in the debate about British membership in the EU, he stressed the dynamic benefits conferred by the single market on the British economy. Unfortunately, although the single market is a very large one, it is not dynamic. Other markets outside the EU — such as the US, India and China […]

Just how powerful is the Northern Powerhouse?

George Osborne first outlined the notion of a Northern Powerhouse to an audience at Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry on 23 June 2014. The initiative, which encompasses the North East, the North West, and Yorkshire and Humberside, aims to drive local growth through transport, science and innovation, and the devolution of authority. The Northern Powerhouse is generating media hype, […]

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    The end of the one-person-one-car economy raises a number of questions

The end of the one-person-one-car economy raises a number of questions

Before the ‘digital revolution’ things were relatively simple. A taxi equalled a car plus a driver. This driver could be self-employed or employed by a taxi company – or, possibly, a member of a cooperative. He or she paid taxes and social security contributions. Taxi-driving was an occupation, usually both full-time and long-term (except in those cases where it […]

How does knowledge flow in organisations?

Effective knowledge sharing is a fundamental source of organisational functioning. In modern organisations, in which people increasingly experience virtual interactions and ephemeral encounters with coworkers, the ability to share knowledge tends to be associated with important outcomes, including higher performance, productivity, and likelihood of expansion and survival.

However, there are difficulties associated with the transfer of knowledge among members, in […]

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    The UK’s productivity challenge takes different shapes across sectors

The UK’s productivity challenge takes different shapes across sectors

Productivity has been the hot topic in economic circles in the UK for a considerable period and the factors that have held back productivity since the crisis are fairly well rehearsed. The supply of labour has been growing strongly, fuelled by migration, benefit reform and increased labour market participation by older people and this has helped hold down labour […]

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    After the Storm: The World Economy and Britain’s Economic Future – Book Review

After the Storm: The World Economy and Britain’s Economic Future – Book Review

After the Storm: The World Economy and Britain’s Economic Future. Vince Cable. Atlantic Books. 2015.

This has been a self-congratulatory year for the British economy. On 1 January 2015, The Financial Times announced that Britain’s recovery is ‘secure’ and will ‘continue at a good pace’. There is reason for relief in Britain – unemployment is low and GDP isn’t shrinking: […]

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    Refining the climate science will be essential for firms’ ability to adapt to global warming

Refining the climate science will be essential for firms’ ability to adapt to global warming

“It’s nice for people to talk about two degrees….but we don’t even have the commitments that are going to keep us below four degrees of warming”. Bill Gates, in The Economist.

Even the most optimistic predictions of the outcome of the Conference of Parties in Paris (COP21) still agree that historical emissions have ‘locked in’ 1.5C of global mean temperature […]

What if we turned the skills-gap debate around?

One of the frequent criticisms levelled at universities in both the US and UK is that they do not provide students with the skills they need in the workplace. Often borrowing from human capital theory, first elaborated by the late Chicago School economist Gary Becker in the 1960s, critics argue that high aggregate unemployment rates, particularly of recent college […]

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    How can firms motivate users to innovate on their platforms?

How can firms motivate users to innovate on their platforms?

Recent management wisdom has advocated a shift from dedicated R&D within firms to more open forms of innovation where external knowledge is solicited for innovation. Among the external knowledge sources for innovation, users or consumers are often cited as important sources. Why is this so? As firms may incur significant costs in innovation and suffer from innovation blocks, involving […]