LSE alumni

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    Unpicking complex incentive mechanisms that reward top managers handsomely

Unpicking complex incentive mechanisms that reward top managers handsomely

One distinct feature of the rise in income inequality over recent decades is the surging incomes of the working rich, particularly the pay of a class of top managers. A popular view stresses the role of performance-related pay in generating this feature. According to this view, the pay of many top managers is high-powered (i.e., with incentives tied to firm […]

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    How Lübeck faded, while Hamburg survived trade disruption from the Dutch

How Lübeck faded, while Hamburg survived trade disruption from the Dutch

The cities of Hamburg and Lübeck have an interwoven and eventful history. Whereas Lübeck offers an example of how dominant cities may become unattractive and decline when they end up serving the interests of a privileged few and refuse to change, Hamburg serves as a tale of how cities can reinvent themselves by changing with the times. The cities, in the […]

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    Business of war: contractors acted as the hidden wiring of the British army in the 1700s

Business of war: contractors acted as the hidden wiring of the British army in the 1700s

Today we are accustomed to hearing of defence contractors playing a vital non-combatant role in warfare. While residual suspicions of fraud and corruption are often raised in areas where public service sits uneasily alongside private business interests, we now like to think that stricter regulation ensures greater transparency, accountability, and economy. It was not always thus. In the eighteenth […]

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    FTSE100 gender balance: Why ‘best practices’ may be counter-productive

FTSE100 gender balance: Why ‘best practices’ may be counter-productive

The 2017 Hampton-Alexander Review was released this month, charged with improving gender balance in the leadership of companies represented in the FTSE index. It celebrates that female representation in the boardrooms of the FTSE100 has risen from 12.5 per cent in 2011 to 27.7 per cent today, but it also laments stalling progress and issues a rallying cry for […]

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    Naming a firm after its owner is risky, but can pay off handsomely

Naming a firm after its owner is risky, but can pay off handsomely

There’s one choice every business, large and small, must make: what to name itself. It appears that more talented and confident entrepreneurs are more likely to name their firms after themselves, self-selecting into a group taking a risky approach, but one that can pay off handsomely.

We found entrepreneurs who name their firms after themselves are sending a powerful signal […]

Apps like Tinder commodify the intangible

“One of the most basic processes in higher brains is the ability to carry out perceptual categorization – to ‘make sense’ of the world,” stated neuroscientist Gerald Edelman, in his neuroscientific analysis of consciousness. So what happens when the world becomes too noisy to make sense of?

As part of a small-scale MSc research project, I investigated young adults’ conceptualisations […]

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    Could the EU’s new data regulation be the catalyst for a more ethical social media?

Could the EU’s new data regulation be the catalyst for a more ethical social media?

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect May, 2018. Every firm, irrespective of its physical location, interacting with EU citizens, will need to make changes to oversight, systems and processes to comply with the new rules.

Little known and even less discussed, the GDPR is the most important change in how we are store and process […]

How to reduce burnout in the workplace

A striking work-related problem which continues to stimulate the interest of academics and practitioners alike is the rise in burnout among the working population. Burnout refers to a situation in which employees are emotionally exhausted (drained and lacking energy,) and depersonalised, that is, they have developed a cynical attitude towards their job and the people associated with it — […]

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    Purpose and trust are valuable antidotes to relationship conflict at work

Purpose and trust are valuable antidotes to relationship conflict at work

How do we improve performance? Do we cut costs and focus on efficiency? Invest in sales, technology or marketing? Should we develop our existing product suite or start from scratch on something new? Do we grow local market share or explore uncharted territories?

We need to prioritise our outcomes and allocate our resources as a leadership team. This is task […]

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    Companies should promote online knowledge exchange among employees

Companies should promote online knowledge exchange among employees

It’s 10a.m in London, and while sipping on your morning coffee, you’ve connected with the team in Hamburg, put queries to colleagues in the Middle East, and checked in with Hong Kong. In just a few hours, your inbox will be brimming with “howdy’s” from the other side of the Atlantic as the New York office wakes up.

Connecting with […]

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    The UK should emulate a US programme that made women’s participation in sport explode

The UK should emulate a US programme that made women’s participation in sport explode

Few in the UK would know the term ‘Title IX’ and yet it is one of the most important pieces of anti-discrimination legislation in United States. Passed in 1972, it mandated that no person, regardless of sex, can be denied access to any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. Specifically, it dictated that every dollar allocated for […]

The growing inequality between firms

Some firms pay well while others don’t; and some are highly productive while many aren’t. Our latest research report analyses firm-level data on the increasing dispersion of wages and productivity in both the manufacturing and services sectors in 16 OECD countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand and […]

Seven signs of over-hyped Fintech

In 2015 Dan Davies wrote an excellent guide to Fintech business models (the “Fin”) that provided a very effective tool for looking beyond the hype. The other side of Fintech that the non-technologist (and even many experienced IT professionals) have trouble with is the actual “Tech”.  A great many people in finance have now reached the point where they […]

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    ‘WealthTech’: The challenges facing the wealth management industry

‘WealthTech’: The challenges facing the wealth management industry

Technology is changing society more than ever before. The way we shop, socialise and communicate have all changed radically over our lifetimes. The financial services industry is in many ways behind the curve, with many product lines unchanged in decades. We are likely to enter an online and digital age and many firms are yet to adapt to the […]

Performance needs purpose

We’ve all met the eye-rollers. The leaders who say ‘business-is-business’ and ‘people work to get paid’. The ones who leave ‘pastoral care’ to the HR team down the hallway. Because there’s work to do and money to be made…

When it comes to engagement and motivation, they’ve got a frustratingly clear view: they’re firmly in the driver’s seat with performance-related […]

Cindy Cohn: ‘They have our lives in their hands’

The US non-profit Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) champions user privacy, free expression and innovation, which they see as civil liberties. The EFF fights cases in court, publishes papers and develops privacy technology. An LSE and University of Michigan alumna, Executive Director Cindy Cohn was named one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America in 2013, and has received a number […]

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    Brexit: blame it on the loss of industrial jobs, not on globalisation

Brexit: blame it on the loss of industrial jobs, not on globalisation

‘Brexit is a rejection of globalisation’ (Larry Elliott, Guardian, 26th June 2016).
Larry Elliott’s claim about the causes of Brexit is stark, but one echoed, if usually in slightly more qualified fashion, by many other commentators. For example, in her Sylvia Ostry lecture in September 2016, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF, put forward similar ideas, with the theme […]

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    Strengthening private capital markets: less of the same is more

Strengthening private capital markets: less of the same is more

The financial market landscape has changed dramatically since the global financial crisis nine years ago. A key feature of today is the dominance of central banks in financial markets, especially in Europe. However, central bank activism has crowded out long-term investors (insurance companies, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds).

Not only do long-term investors hold assets worth about USD 70 trillion […]

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    Anthropologists in the Stock Exchange: A Financial History of Victorian Science – Book Review

Anthropologists in the Stock Exchange: A Financial History of Victorian Science – Book Review

Anthropologists in the Stock Exchange: A Financial History of Victorian Science. Marc Flandreau. University of Chicago Press. 2016.

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The focus of Marc Flandreau’s Anthropologists in the Stock Exchange: A Financial History of Victorian Science is to unearth and explore the links between the development of early circles of anthropologists and the use of science in British imperial formal […]

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    Multinationals in China: How ‘local’ should management go?

Multinationals in China: How ‘local’ should management go?

Any multinational seeking to build a strong base in China will inevitably confront the question of how ‘local’ an approach to adopt, particularly when it comes to management. Foreign firms active in Asia’s biggest market have pursued a wide variety of strategies, from flying in supervisors from head office for a transition period to train up local staff, to […]