Management

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    Putting servant leadership to the test and doing away with scepticism

Putting servant leadership to the test and doing away with scepticism

It is not uncommon today, in both non-profit and for-profit organisations, for servant leadership to be used as a term to speak well of current leaders or to describe what is expected of future leaders. After all, if an organisation values their employees or demonstrates concern for its customers or community, isn’t this servant leadership? It may well be, […]

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    Like second-hand smoke, racial discrimination at work can affect bystanders

Like second-hand smoke, racial discrimination at work can affect bystanders

The toxic effects of racism can extend well beyond the target. Our research reveals that, like second-hand smoke, the negative effects of racial discrimination at work can affect third-party bystanders. This is called ambient racial discrimination, and it includes a range of workplace experiences, such as directly witnessing racial discrimination aimed at others, hearing about racist incidents, seeing graffiti or […]

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    Strong consumer data protection can be a disruptive innovation

Strong consumer data protection can be a disruptive innovation

Something regarding big data has recently changed in Brussels which business should take note of. This usually prefaces news of ramping up EU data protection rules, such as the recent Data Protection Regulation, which are not universally welcomed in business circles. In particular, companies coming from the more permissive environment of the US are faced with a sea change […]

How a beer found success with an authentic use of history

Countless times top managers newly appointed to a company immediately announce a better future for their stakeholders, one they declare with conviction will be notably different from the past. Many want to distance themselves from what came before, which they were not part of and in any case cannot change. So they direct attention forward by promising: “We can […]

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    Employees v. entrepreneurs: Have the two categories become irrelevant?

Employees v. entrepreneurs: Have the two categories become irrelevant?

Most debates about work today focus on the joint evolution of entrepreneurs versus employees. Some academics believe we are moving towards an entrepreneurial society. Others focus on the increasing precariousness of work, but clearly qualify the thesis of a move towards an entrepreneurial society. In the context of this short reflexion, we simply want to question the categories themselves.

Entrepreneurs […]

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    Why e-readers succeeded as a disruptive innovation in the US, but not in Japan

Why e-readers succeeded as a disruptive innovation in the US, but not in Japan

The concept of disruptive innovation has captured the attention of executives around the world. As explained by Clayton Christensen, a disruptive innovation is initially seen as unattractive by mainstream customers and by the leading firms who serve those customers. Eventually, however, those firms lose their leadership positions to new entrants who are willing to develop and improve the innovation […]

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    If Trump’s ‘America First’ takes hold, expect disruptive innovation

If Trump’s ‘America First’ takes hold, expect disruptive innovation

Policymaking often creates unintended consequences. But can disruptive innovation actually be spurred by President Donald Trump’s version of protectionism? Using the language of disruptive innovation, we observe that the long-term negative consequences of isolationism are actually an acceleration of US companies losing their own industries. Perhaps not even protectionism is what it used to be.

When it comes to economic […]

How to reap the benefits of flexible work time

Flexible working time arrangements are becoming increasingly popular around the globe – but do they really work? In Europe, up to 40 per cent of employees may schedule their working hours at their discretion. This ‘flextime’ is thought to help meet ever-increasing job demands and strike a balance between work and life. Yet, researchers know surprisingly little about the […]

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    Companies that do better by their customers also do better in the stock market

Companies that do better by their customers also do better in the stock market

A debate about whether firms with superior customer satisfaction also earn better-than-average stock returns has been persistent in the academic business and marketing literature (Fornell, Mithas, Morgeson, and Krishnan 2006). Proponents of the customer satisfaction-stock market relationship make a simple, intuitive argument that is highly relevant to both consumers and investors: Companies that do better by their customers also […]

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    There’s no innovation without anger (think Lars von Trier and Steve Jobs)

There’s no innovation without anger (think Lars von Trier and Steve Jobs)

Despite having different professions, the entrepreneur Steve Jobs and the film director Lars von Trier have one thing in common: they are both notorious for their outbursts of anger or irritation and for bringing about shifts in mood between disturbance and enthusiasm. Far from being a coincidence, this appears to be a result of their extraordinarily creative and innovative […]

How beneficial are benefit corporations?

Benefit corporations are a new, fast-growing legal form of for-profit incorporation. They are under no legal obligation to maximise shareholder value. Instead, they are legally bound to pursue social benefit. At present, Benefit corporations (or some variant thereof) exist in the UK, Italy, and 31 of the 50 states in the US. Legislation is advancing in Australia, Argentina, Chile, Colombia […]

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    When board interlock fell apart, so did political moderation in the boardroom

When board interlock fell apart, so did political moderation in the boardroom

Throughout the twentieth century, business elites in the United States were bound together by a dense interlock network — a network of directors connected by serving on the same corporate boards, and of boards connected by shared directors. A few dozen directors served on five or more boards, and this inner circle kept the informational pathways among corporations short. […]

Reducing the effects of insomnia on the workplace

Researchers and media outlets have expressed growing concern about the widespread harmful effects of insomnia on health. More recently, this research has examined how these effects spill over into the workplace as well. The Rand Company estimates that the economic impact of insomnia costs the United States $411 billion a year. A growing body of research indicates that poor […]

Is religious diversity good for team performance?

Team religious diversity, the degree to which working team members differ in their religious beliefs, is a relevant factor that affects healthcare teams’ outcomes. Because of globalisation and rising labour market mobility, an increasing degree of religious diversity characterises the workforce of many organisations and the composition of work groups.

There are at least three layers through which religion can […]

Is the customer king?

We love customers. Popular authors and consultants encourage organisations to satisfy them (Cockerell 2013), delight them (Curtin 2013), and even hug them (Mitchell 2003; though we predict mixed success from following this advice, based on a myriad of background factors). Overall, companies accept these recommendations wholeheartedly. We want loyal customers; we want “raving fans” (Blanchard 1993).

And yet, this singular […]

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    The hidden cost of downsizing: demotivating the remaining employees

The hidden cost of downsizing: demotivating the remaining employees

Firms that lay off staff can see a significant reduction in the performance of their remaining workers, according to our experimental study. Our research suggests that firms that decide to ‘downsize’ their workforce should be wary of how the layoff decision is perceived by the remaining (“surviving”) workers. If the surviving staff interpret the decision as a way to boost […]

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    How leaders can enable employees to voice more and quit less

How leaders can enable employees to voice more and quit less

Interested in hearing genuine suggestions from subordinates? Want to reduce their turnover? Actually you can achieve both together by learning to become an ethical leader. In a recent study, my co-authors and I studied whether supervisory ethical leadership can engage employees more on their jobs, and in turn, influence the likelihood that they will speak up more and stay […]

Workers are happier with less hierarchy

Workers’ satisfaction with their job is, on average, higher in a flatter organisation than in a hierarchical organisation. That is the consensus finding of a survey of leading researchers on wellbeing from around the world on the impact of different organisational structures on workers’ wellbeing.

Hierarchical versus flat organisations

In the second round of the World Wellbeing Panel monthly survey, 31 […]

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    Does a firm hiring an experienced manager improve its performance?

Does a firm hiring an experienced manager improve its performance?

The enormous variation in firm performance has become a focus of empirical and theoretical interest throughout the social sciences, including economics. The topic is both complex and fascinating. Firms are such multifaceted organisations — whether small regional players or large multinationals — where technological, social, institutional, historical, and human factors all interact. Within such a complex world, a recent […]

How salespeople can stimulate the global economy

Currently valued at US$20.4 trillion, ‘no decision’ opportunities are languishing in pipelines all over the world; a global ‘gold reserve’ of seismic proportion waiting to be unlocked by sales people. This is one conclusion from our latest research The Sales Persons Secret Code, which suggests more than 27 per cent of opportunities forecast and pursued by salespeople result in […]