Management

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    Charting a course for investment management in the 4th industrial revolution

Charting a course for investment management in the 4th industrial revolution

The problem with the future is that it is not here yet. Virtually every aspect of our lives is in a state of flux. While change may have always been a constant, several factors come together to make this an industrial revolution of a fundamental kind. Every profession is having to grapple with existential questions as well as questions […]

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    What power does to you – the psychological consequences of power

What power does to you – the psychological consequences of power

We often blame the behaviours of those who have power and abuse it on the individual and his or her personality. That is, we make what psychologists call a dispositional attribution. But there is more to individual and personality differences when it comes to understanding the behaviour of those in power. In fact, what is often occulted are the […]

Facebook’s light approach to corporate governance

Amongst the regular challenges of modern governance are the corporate scandals. These have affected almost every business sector, most recently of course the so-called disruptive Big Tech companies. It seems none of these social media technology companies are exempt from scandal. Google have been accused of abusing the dominance of its Android smart phone operating system and Apple were […]

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    Mismanaged souls: why does employee engagement remain stubbornly low?

Mismanaged souls: why does employee engagement remain stubbornly low?

You would have to have been in solitary confinement in a particularly remote location during recent years not to be aware of the tidal-wave of interest there has been in employee engagement. High levels of engagement have been associated with a host of important benefits to both employers in terms of raised performance and productivity, and for employees in […]

Digital China is coming to Europe

Often unnoticed by business leaders in Europe, Chinese technology companies are on the move. Hardly a week goes by without news that Alibaba has acquired a company in Southeast Asia, Tencent has invested in an Israeli startup or that Baidu is entering a new industry. Western onlookers may think that this is unlikely to have a direct impact on […]

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    Rest and constructive thinking feed entrepreneurs’ creativity

Rest and constructive thinking feed entrepreneurs’ creativity

Creativity – the generation of new and useful ideas – is seen as essential for entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs need to be creative day in and out to navigate the uncertainties, constraints and challenges that starting, growing and managing a business involves. Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop, once said: “Nobody talks about entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what it […]

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    A decision-maker’s dilemma: search for the best option or settle for ‘good enough’?

A decision-maker’s dilemma: search for the best option or settle for ‘good enough’?

In a rapidly evolving digital world the temptation to ‘keep searching for the best’ option juxtaposed to the pressure of business to ‘choose as fast as possible’ routinely presents us with the dilemma: Is searching for the best option – being a “maximiser” – actually leading us to better outcomes compared to settling on the first good enough option […]

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    A managerial orthodoxy dominates organisational life since the Thatcher/Reagan era

A managerial orthodoxy dominates organisational life since the Thatcher/Reagan era

As organisation consultants, we have met many people, in many different fields, who are bewildered and oppressed by the apparent insanity of much of what goes on in large organisations. There are seemingly endless reorganisations and restructurings. Leaders seem to feel bound to disturb people and organisations. People are sometimes not sure what unit they are part of, or […]

Why flying is safer than ever and what we can learn from it

When it was reported that there had been no deaths from commercial passenger jet accidents in 2017, President Trump was quick to claim credit on Twitter: “Since taking office I have been very strict on Commercial Aviation. Good news – it was just reported that there were Zero deaths in 2017, the best and safest year on record!”

But the […]

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    Nilofer Merchant: Ideas can now spread and scale through networks, rather than hierarchies

Nilofer Merchant: Ideas can now spread and scale through networks, rather than hierarchies

As a former executive at Apple and Autodesk, and consultant for a number of other Silicon Valley companies, Nilofer Merchant has a pretty good idea of how to move things forward in the business world. One key ingredient, if you ask her, is collaboration. How to get people to collaborate, and companies to value collective work more than hierarchy, […]

Is race a taboo topic in the workplace?

Helen feels uncomfortable chatting to Sasha, her work colleague, beyond exchanging pleasantries.  She is concerned that she might say the wrong thing and cause offence to Sasha, who is black, and so she avoids spending time with her even though she likes her. Sasha is aware that Helen is awkward around her, but she’s unsure why, and she also […]

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    How psychological effects impact cognitive performance in competitive environments

How psychological effects impact cognitive performance in competitive environments

Understanding cognition is important. Several studies establish that cognitive ability is a strong predictor of occupational attainment, wages, and a range of social behaviours in adults. It is also important for predicting the schooling performance of children, adolescents and university students. Further, numerous settings represent competitive situations that involve cognitive performance, ranging from test taking and student competition in […]

Fast and fair: delivering customer service on social media

Last April, a bloodied passenger, Dr. David Dao, was dragged from his seat and off the plane of United Express Flight 3411 after refusing to relinquish his seat for United Airlines employees. The next day, United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz tried to justify the removal of Dr. Dao in a public statement. He also sent an email to the […]

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    What do business executives think about distributive justice?

What do business executives think about distributive justice?

This is the story of two cups of coffee, or at least that is where the story begins. The first, between me, Sandy Pepper, a Professor of Practice in the Department of Management at LSE, and Dr Susanne Burri of the Department of Philosophy, Logic & Scientific Discovery, took place in March 2016 in the Lundenwic coffee shop on […]

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    When firms break promises, employees may ‘pay it forward’ to colleagues and clients

When firms break promises, employees may ‘pay it forward’ to colleagues and clients

When organisations break their promises to their employees, who suffers the consequences and why? Intuition, and indeed research, tells us that those who are harmed seek to redress the balance by harming their perpetrator, with this being either one’s organisation or one’s boss, for example. However, in a three-study design within the medical field, our research finds this to […]

Beyond the ‘Scrum’: the value of individual work

Imagine walking into an open plan office. In the middle of the room there is an animated meeting of six or seven people. They are clearly working on a project together. Ideas are being energetically shared, a steady stream of suggestions being offered, keyboards are enthusiastically tapped, notes made. There is a buzz of achievement, of a team at […]

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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 […]

Discrimination at work: a self-fulfilling prophecy?

When we think of discrimination we often think of barriers that minorities face in the hiring process or impediments to receiving equal pay for equal work. We may typically think that this stems from antipathy towards minorities, or what we economists call “taste-based” discrimination. But it may also derive from priors that people have about the average productivity of […]

What Greek mythology teaches us about love in organisations

In a letter written in 1856, the Russian writer Lev Tolstoy wrote, “One can live magnificently in this world if one knows how to work and how to love.” Love is crucial in everyday people’s life, work and business experiences. However, our common understanding of organisational life tends to treat work and love largely as non-overlapping fields, fuelling the […]

Taking #MeToo into global supply chains

Sexual harassment in the workplace is not a new phenomenon. There have been some well publicised episodes before – Clarence Thomas, Justice in the American Supreme Court, and more recently, Dov Charney, founder of American Apparel retail stores come to mind. But they appeared to be just that: isolated episodes. The flood of allegations unleashed by the #MeToo movement […]