Monthly Archives: February 2016

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    The Brexit question will increase financial market volatility

The Brexit question will increase financial market volatility

In late February, UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the referendum on the country’s continued membership of the European Union (EU) would be held on 23 June. Over the following weekend, a number of leading Conservative MPs announced their support for the campaign to leave the EU – ‘Brexit’. The pound sterling declined as trading opened on the […]

Superbosses feel completely unthreatened

Despite claiming to be interested in hiring the best people, most managers aren’t actually comfortable with the very best. They don’t feel at ease directing employees who understand the task at hand and what it requires better than they do. They worry that employees who are too gifted will make contributions that outshine theirs. They have no idea what […]

The Crises of Microcredit – Book Review

The Crises of Microcredit. Isabelle Guérin, Marc Labie and Jean-Michel Servet (eds). Zed Books. 2015.

I remember attending a talk by Muhammad Yunus shortly after he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his work on microcredit with Grameen Bank. It was at the University of Virginia, and the organisers had chosen to host him in a cavernous sports […]

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    History offers important lessons regarding income tax policy

History offers important lessons regarding income tax policy

The rise of austerity following the Great Recession of 2008 brought back attention to the state’s capacity to balance its budget. This time, however, the debate did not focus on spending only, but on the ability of the state to generate enough revenue through taxation. This was most prominent in the European periphery, where spending cuts were supposed to […]

What makes consumers switch mobile phone tariffs?

Over 70 million customers have selected one of the seven million mobile tariff plans available in the UK today. It is highly likely that some are not in the best contract for them and would be better off switching to a more appropriate tariff. But with such a large number of contracts available, people face confusion and might avoid switching altogether, harming both themselves and the competitive process among firms.

Understanding […]

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    Faced with excess capacity, innovative firms retain staff, train and even hire

Faced with excess capacity, innovative firms retain staff, train and even hire

When firms experience unwanted drops in capacity utilisation, one of the many challenges they are confronted with is how they should respond in terms of their employees. This happened to firms across a wide range of industries in the wake of the financial crisis in 2008-09, and it is happening to firms in the oil and gas sector – […]

Black women often suffer microaggressions at work

While people of colour have made significant gains in the workplace since US legislation made discrimination and segregation illegal, they continue to be underrepresented at executive levels in corporate America. This trend is particularly pervasive for black women who are fairly well represented at entry and middle-level management but make up only 1.2 percent of executive level officers of […]

Firms write contracts to exploit consumer overconfidence

Overconfidence is a common error that can lead people to make poor choices because they misforecast future product usage and overestimate their abilities to navigate contract terms. The value of a gym membership depends on how often you think you will go to the gym, and the value of a mobile phone contract depends on how much data you […]

A startup wants to disrupt the healthcare technology sector

Diagnostic lab testing is a multi-billion dollar business, and is not without shortcomings. Blood tests are costly, available at inconvenient locations and involve painful needles that draw more blood than is warranted. Elizabeth Holmes, the 32-year-old founder of Theranos, aims to make blood testing a consumer-driven experience that is painless and price efficient. Having traveled the country and delivered […]

Egg freezing has little to do with inflexible workplaces

As June Carbone and Naomi Cahn have put it, ambitious women currently engage ‘in what amounts to a reproductive game of chicken’. Delaying childbearing has many advantages, giving a woman time to both establish themselves in her career and secure a stable and comfortable home life, but at the same time, it increases the risk that she will not […]

What will the bank of the future look like?

Lionel Barber, the editor of the FT, summed it up at Davos: “Nobody wants to be in banking, everyone wants to be in fintech”. Fintech – or financial technology – has reached the mainstream, but what does this mean for the banks?

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is taking hold in banking. The rise of fintech came about over the last […]

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    CEOs appear increasingly concerned with the business environment

CEOs appear increasingly concerned with the business environment

Each year, PwC’s Annual Global CEO Survey captures the issues at the top of the agenda for the world’s business community.

This year’s 19th Survey, presented to the World Economic Forum in Davos, certainly captured the mood of the uncertainties facing business: about half (49 percent) of the CEOs who responded to this year’s Survey believe that global economic growth […]

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    Countries with tight social norms innovate less in the international arena

Countries with tight social norms innovate less in the international arena

An increasingly common way to source creative ideas is to ask the crowd for help. Various companies have launched online platforms to source creative ideas from online communities. For example, PepsiCo has set up “Legion of the Bold”, a community website in which the brand asks fans for marketing and advertising ideas. In 2014, Procter & Gamble announced the […]

Unequal Britain at Work — Book Review

Unequal Britain at Work. Alan Felstead, Duncan Gallie and Francis Green (eds). Oxford University Press. 2015.

Often academic and popular discussions think about jobs only in terms of the pay they offer. This is especially the case when talking about inequality. Scholars have highlighted a link between high-wage jobs in finance and technology and the rapid rise in income inequality […]

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    How to run a university in an increasingly competitive landscape

How to run a university in an increasingly competitive landscape

It is a leitmotiv that public services must be efficient: they are expected to be ‘market oriented’, ‘entrepreneurial’, and ‘financially sustainable’. Universities are not an exception in this respect, since they are asked to perform, to be accountable to several stakeholders, and to stand out in international rankings and in national evaluation exercises to top up one’s credibility and […]

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    Open innovation is growing, but universities may be missing out on the action

Open innovation is growing, but universities may be missing out on the action

The concept of open innovation is one that is growing in acceptance, with a recent report revealing that nearly 80 percent of companies are regularly engaged with external partners in their innovation work. Despite this apparent willingness and high levels of R&D spending, a recent paper reveals that academics are seemingly missing out on the action, as they spend less […]

February 19th, 2016|Adi Gaskell, Impact|5 Comments|
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    You need to prepare for the tricky moment when someone resigns from your team

You need to prepare for the tricky moment when someone resigns from your team

If you’ve ever quit a job, you probably remember that awkward conversation when you told your manager you were leaving. How did your manager respond? And how did that response make you feel about the organisation you were leaving?

With our co-authors (Belinda Rae and Shruti R Sardeshmukh) we interviewed employees who had voluntarily left a fulltime job. We examined […]

As the richest get richer, everyone else gets less happy

Research suggests that as the wealth of the richest explodes, the rest of us are left stressed, worried, angry and with lower levels of life satisfaction.  The wealth of the richest is exploding. According to research by Oxfam, the richest 62 billionaires have the same amount of wealth as 3.6 billion people — the poorest half of the world’s […]

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    Some currency trading positions yield increased returns around Fed announcements

Some currency trading positions yield increased returns around Fed announcements

Announcements by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which occur regularly at pre-specified dates, are one of the most highly anticipated events by investors around the world. Through these announcements, the Federal Reserve communicates monetary policy in the form of setting the target federal funds rate which is the interest rate at which financial institutions lend to each other […]

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    The UK is missing a great opportunity to improve productivity: people data

The UK is missing a great opportunity to improve productivity: people data

It seems that we’re hearing only one message from politicians about UK productivity – George Osborne says Britain has to “raise its game” while Jeremy Corbyn looks to “cultivating a robust, productive economy”.

The OECD are not impressed, but we believe that there is another, faster way to address the problem, a way that harnesses the data that most companies […]