Monthly Archives: June 2018

Ten questions to help you turn strategy into reality

Sustainable growth depends on delivering the right strategies the right way. Yet this is something that organisations appear ill-equipped to do. Our work at the Brightline Initiative is examining what causes the gap between strategy and implementation and how it can be closed. Our research suggests that business leaders need to answer ten key questions for their strategies to more effectively […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Two corporate governance mechanisms: activism and hostile takeovers

Two corporate governance mechanisms: activism and hostile takeovers

Hostile takeovers have long been considered the quintessential disciplinary governance mechanism. A similarly confrontational strategy has lately come to prominence by way of activist hedge funds that buy into poorly run firms and use the threat of hostile tactics to pressure management into accepting specific proposals to improve shareholder value.

Our paper compares these two governance mechanisms within a unified framework where any outside investor […]

The fallacy of basic economic rights

One of the main questions dividing the left and the right is about how economic rights rank compared to other rights and public goals. That is, the question is about what can or cannot outweigh economic rights.

Basic vs prima facie rights

The left regularly argues that economic rights can be outweighed by legitimate state interests, like social justice, such that […]

Why endorsements may advantage MBA applicants

The graduate school application process can be daunting and highly competitive, particularly in the case of Masters of Business Administration (MBA) programmes. The process starts when candidates submit an application that typically includes their resume, cover letter, essays, transcripts, and standardised test scores. Akin to screening and hiring assessments in many of today’s corporations, applications are then evaluated by […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Brexit and Beyond: Rethinking the Futures of Europe – Book Review

Brexit and Beyond: Rethinking the Futures of Europe – Book Review

Brexit and Beyond: Rethinking the Futures of Europe. Benjamin Martill and Uta Staiger (eds). UCL Press. 2018.

Find this book: 

With a deal on the post-Brexit transition period agreed in March, the UK and the European Union are getting closer towards building a framework for their new political, economic and security relationship. At the same time, both the process and consequences […]

June 10th, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|
  • Permalink Gallery

    Jobs cannot be created by fiat: efforts to do so will cause harm in the long run

Jobs cannot be created by fiat: efforts to do so will cause harm in the long run

What’s the difference between a developed country and a developing country? Filling station attendants.

Whereas most of the western world allows you to fill your tank, you will still find filling station attendants in some of the largest economies in the developing world, and nearly everywhere on the African continent. The primary defence is jobs; in Brazil, for example, a 2000 […]

June 9th, 2018|Economics|0 Comments|

Whether you like it or not, office politics is unavoidable

We meet many people in organisations who have an ingrained aversion to organisational politics. They see politics as divisive, sinister and illegitimate. They say: ‘Without politics, this organisation would function smoothly’. They are wary of the competition for jobs, status and power which often leads to dishonesty and manipulation. They fear that political skill is incompatible with personal authenticity […]

How the WPP board bungled Martin Sorrell’s departure

At first sight, Martin Sorrel’s departure from Wire and Plastic Products (WPP) — the company he founded and grew into an industry-changing and defining global force — underlines the importance and significance of independent-minded supervision of executive boards by non-executive directors. To many it appeared that the WPP board behaved impeccably when they appointed external legal advisors to investigate […]

Why the co-working industry must take creativity seriously

The rapid, ongoing growth of the co-working industry reflects a broader transformation: over the past decade or so, work has not merely become increasingly flexible and entrepreneurial – it has also been reinvented as a commodity. Sold to people desiring autonomy, comfort and a cure to entrepreneurial loneliness (among other things), co-working providers are refashioning work as a consumer experience requiring […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    (Mis)leading ethics: towards a bearable lightness of being  

(Mis)leading ethics: towards a bearable lightness of being  

Leadership ethics are a sacred phenomenon. We are here to preach heresy. But not too much! For who would listen? Our argument in a recent paper is that there is a romanticism that underlies established leadership ethics that is as destructive as it is seductive, as responsible for unnecessary dissonance as it is for building resonance.

A degree of utopianism […]

June 6th, 2018|Leadership|0 Comments|

The voice of the silent majority behind bitcoin’s rise

How much is a bitcoin worth? This question is difficult to answer because bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies in general, are notoriously volatile. Users face significant market risk because of the fluctuation in the exchange rate between bitcoin and other currencies. For all the hypes about how cryptocurrency is shaping the future of fintech, it is crucial to understand the factors behind its […]

Migrants are key to productivity gains for countries

For decades, the focus of the economic literature when studying migration was, for the most part, on the impact it has on labour-related outcomes such as wages and unemployment, among others. But these studies have been able to tell us one side of the story. As is the case with other flows, such as trade and investment, there are […]

June 5th, 2018|Economics|1 Comment|
  • Permalink Gallery

    The ‘onlooker effect’: how bystanders influence our use of digital technologies

The ‘onlooker effect’: how bystanders influence our use of digital technologies

The use of mobile devices has permeated our daily lives and has in various ways influenced the way we interact with each other. For instance, even during an animated conversation with a loved one we allow ourselves to be disturbed by intruding push messages on our phone. In work meetings we often switch between screens on our laptop to […]

Structural labour market reforms in Europe: timing matters

The German government implemented large-scale structural labour market reforms in the years 2003 to 2005 to fight high and upward trending unemployment rates (see Figure 1). The reforms aimed at increasing labour market flexibility, improving the matching of unemployed workers and job vacancies, and decreasing unemployment benefits and their duration. Ever since, the unemployment rate in Germany has almost […]

June 4th, 2018|Economics|0 Comments|

Creating a typology for the types of femininity in STEM

Attracting and keeping women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is a common problem. It needs to be tackled at the individual, organisational and systemic level. Our work on ‘Femininities in STEM’ focuses at the individual level. Two axes, one relating to career commitment and the other to non-work relational commitment are used to create a typology.

Based on […]

June 4th, 2018|Gender|1 Comment|
  • Permalink Gallery

    The Case Against Education: Why the Education System is a Waste of Time and Money – Book Review

The Case Against Education: Why the Education System is a Waste of Time and Money – Book Review

The Case Against Education: Why the Education System is a Waste of Time and Money. Bryan Caplan. Princeton University Press. 2018.

Find this book: 

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve spent a lot of time in classrooms. Ask yourself: how much of it was really worthwhile, and not just a necessary requirement for getting a useful bit of paper? […]

June 3rd, 2018|Book Review|0 Comments|
  • Permalink Gallery

    Are high inflation and low growth the effects of Brexit or just a coincidence?

Are high inflation and low growth the effects of Brexit or just a coincidence?

Ben Bernanke, former president of the US Federal Reserve, recounts an interesting exchange with a US senator on September 24 2008, just after he failure of the Lehman Brothers investment bank (in his book, The Courage to Act). The senator “had spoken to small-town bankers, auto dealers and others in his district with knowledge of the ‘real’ US economy. […]

June 2nd, 2018|Economics|0 Comments|
  • Permalink Gallery

    Being the boss is not always good: power taints how we interact with others

Being the boss is not always good: power taints how we interact with others

Lord Acton’s quote that “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” probably conforms to most of our experiences with powerful people. People who feel powerful tend to be self-focused, less empathetic, a little more rude or pushy, and just generally difficult to deal with. While most people generally understand that power makes others more difficult to deal with, one […]