Monthly Archives: April 2019

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    The rising importance of software and information technology as drivers of R&D and innovation

The rising importance of software and information technology as drivers of R&D and innovation

The globalisation of research and development (R&D) has long lagged far behind the globalisation of production, but since the late 1990s, the distribution of US multinational R&D investment across countries and industries has undergone a dramatic shift towards unlikely R&D destinations like China, India, and Israel. Today’s leading US multinationals have developed a global innovation system that increasingly relies […]

April 30th, 2019|Economics|0 Comments|
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    Despite their perceived competitive advantages, all Western digital firms have failed in China

Despite their perceived competitive advantages, all Western digital firms have failed in China

On 18 April 2019, Amazon announced that, “We are notifying sellers we will no longer operate a marketplace on Amazon.cn [Amazon’s Chinese Site] and we will no longer be providing seller service on Amazon.cn effective July 18”. By closing its online store in China that allows the country’s consumers to buy from Chinese merchants, after being comprehensively defeated by domestic […]

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    Before the Neoliberal Turn: The Rise of Energy Finance and the Limits to US Foreign Economic Policy – Book Review

Before the Neoliberal Turn: The Rise of Energy Finance and the Limits to US Foreign Economic Policy – Book Review

Before the Neoliberal Turn: The Rise of Energy Finance and the Limits to US Foreign Economic Policy. Simone Selva. Palgrave. 2018.

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‘If we abandon Saudi [Arabia] it would be a terrible mistake,’ said US President Donald Trump, making a reference to the Kingdom’s influence over oil prices while explaining the US government’s position regarding the murder of […]

April 28th, 2019|Book Review|0 Comments|

Why Brexit if the UK gets its own way in the EU?

The Brexit negotiations have been a prolonged and hopeless effort to achieve a privileged status for the UK as a non-member state – outside the EU, but half-inside. That has been a fantasy from the very beginning. It is politically and legally impossible.

As a member state, we are not part of the Schengen Agreement which allows border-free movement of […]

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    Surprise: leveraging the unexpected in strategy implementation

Surprise: leveraging the unexpected in strategy implementation

The favourite saying of one of the executives we work with is: “The opposite of well done is well planned.” While we do not fully agree, he has a point: We love to emphasise the importance of details in strategy planning. This leads to a false confidence that all we need to do is “push the button” and lean […]

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    European integration and TARGET2 imbalances: fixing the design flaw

European integration and TARGET2 imbalances: fixing the design flaw

Starting at the second half of the 20th century, the economic and political integration of Europe is the largest and longest integration project in human history. It is still a work in process. The integration at this scale undoubtedly comes with profound difficulties and it would be fair to be sympathetic with architects and builders of this project. The difficulties […]

April 25th, 2019|Finance|0 Comments|
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    Building our online personas: do we reinvent ourselves? Or stick with what we know?

Building our online personas: do we reinvent ourselves? Or stick with what we know?

More than 20 years ago, in a now-classic manifesto, Tom Peters announced to the world that branding was no longer the domain of companies alone: regular people must also become marketers for their own “brands” — “the brand called You” — and actively ensure that the world perceives them as they wish to be perceived. That once-novel idea has […]

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    Change leaders can either create solutions or help people find their own

Change leaders can either create solutions or help people find their own

“Truth loves its limits, for here it meets the beautiful”, Rabindranath Tagore

Too much wasted effort in change ends up in busy action — launching lots of initiatives that create more work and never seem to stick — or fail to crack the nut of changing behaviour. It all feels (very) heavy. To assuage this situation, research and development in the […]

April 22nd, 2019|Leadership|0 Comments|

Shaping Cities in an Urban Age – Book Review

Shaping Cities in an Urban Age. Ricky Burdett and Philipp Rode (eds). Phaidon Press. 2018.

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We are living in a truly urban world. The opening line of Shaping Cities in an Urban Age shows no doubt in stating that ‘urbanisation is one of the mega trends of the twenty-first century’ (8). Edited by Ricky Burdett and Philipp […]

April 21st, 2019|Book Review|0 Comments|

Preventing online harm

A new Online Harms White Paper, published jointly by the UK government’s Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport and the Home Office, calls for a new system of regulation for tech companies with the goal of preventing online harm. In brief, the paper (which outlines government proposals for consultation in advance of passing new legislation) calls for an independent […]

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    Our digital malaise: distraction is costing us more than we think

Our digital malaise: distraction is costing us more than we think

Many of us are doing real work six or even five hours each day, while spending eight-plus hours “at work”, without realising the loss of time spent with family, on hobbies, exercise or energising side projects.

Instead of getting a full-day’s work accomplished, we’re losing productive time to interruptions from co-workers, needless meetings, and especially our perpetually pinging phones. The […]

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    The economics of attractiveness: teenagers with acne do better in school and later in the labour market

The economics of attractiveness: teenagers with acne do better in school and later in the labour market

Acne has been the scourge of teenage boys and girls for as long as there have been teenagers. Indeed, acne is the eighth most common disease among humans, affecting nearly 650 million people worldwide. But might acne have a silver lining?

Economists are increasingly interested in the economic returns to physical attractiveness, an interest largely ignited by Hamermesh and Biddle […]

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    Solar geoengineering: what if countries could move the earth’s thermostat?

Solar geoengineering: what if countries could move the earth’s thermostat?

Solar geoengineering (also known as solar radiation management) is a technology in its infancy – and it is controversial. It has the potential to reverse or mitigate some of the global warming caused by greenhouse gases by either releasing cooling particles (for instance sulphur) into the stratosphere, or by modifying clouds over the oceans so that they reflect more […]

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    The cost of discrimination against senior Jewish managers in Nazi Germany

The cost of discrimination against senior Jewish managers in Nazi Germany

Talented individuals are often excluded from leadership positions if they belong to a group that faces discrimination. Such discrimination is, of course, extremely hurtful and unfair to the individuals. But is it also costly in a more general sense?

In particular, do corporations 
become less profitable when they adopt discriminatory attitudes and exclude highly qualified individuals from leadership roles? How […]

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    China’s shipbuilding industry: measuring the effect of industrial policy

China’s shipbuilding industry: measuring the effect of industrial policy

Industrial policies, broadly defined as policies that shape a country’s or region’s industry structure by either promoting or limiting certain industries or sectors, have been widely used in developed and developing countries. Historic examples include the U.S. and Europe after World War II, Japan in the 1950s and 1960s, South Korea and Taiwan in the 1960s and 1970s. Today, […]

April 15th, 2019|Economics|0 Comments|
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    The Populist Temptation: Economic Grievance and Political Reaction in the Modern Era – Book Review

The Populist Temptation: Economic Grievance and Political Reaction in the Modern Era – Book Review

The Populist Temptation: Economic Grievance and Political Reaction in the Modern Era. Barry Eichengreen. Oxford University Press. 2018.

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Any project grounded in an analogy of times past with the present will likely be a good guide for the future, or perhaps it will rather be valued as the latest testimony to the historical ignorance of the current […]

April 14th, 2019|Book Review|0 Comments|

‘Global Britain’: scripting the EU as an enemy

Like all things Brexit, Theresa May’s intention of building “Global Britain” outside the European Union has been controversial from the outset. Government ministers have expended a good deal of political capital championing “why Global Britain matters”, framing it as an exercise in creating an “outward-looking” country confidently meeting global challenges. For its advocates, Global Britain is about connecting with […]

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    Five policies to deal with the loss of jobs to automation (UBI is not one of them)

Five policies to deal with the loss of jobs to automation (UBI is not one of them)

The potential threat of technological unemployment is one of the most hotly debated economic issues of our times: in boardrooms and trade union offices but also increasingly amongst policy-makers. The catch-all term ‘digital’ may have been added to numerous political concepts in recent years but beyond such branding there has been very little debate of substance about what a […]

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    In a world of mobility for firms and skilled labour, workers who can’t move pick up the tax bill

In a world of mobility for firms and skilled labour, workers who can’t move pick up the tax bill

For a long time, economists have known that rising globalisation can bring substantial aggregate gains, but also produce winners and losers. The source of this growing inequality may be heterogeneous effects on employment, wages, and prices. Trade barriers have been shrinking since the end of World War II, reaching its lowest levels in the years since the fall of […]

April 11th, 2019|Economics|0 Comments|

Do we even know what ‘follower’ means?

Ninety years have elapsed since Mary Parker Follett (1927) applied the term ‘follower’. The amount of literature based on the notions of follower and followership has increased enormously over the years. In an American leadership journal I found 1105 articles published on followers and followership, and in a European journal 439.

In a newly published article, I have argued that […]

April 10th, 2019|Leadership|2 Comments|