Monthly Archives: January 2020

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    Under pressure from consumers and employees, firms now compete for the most fragile commodity: goodwill

Under pressure from consumers and employees, firms now compete for the most fragile commodity: goodwill

The history of business is the history of human beings trading with each other; discovering efficiencies of scale and comparative advantage, creating surplus, investing capital, and building infrastructure. In its purest form, capitalism is a sort of social and cultural glue. It’s about markets and money, trade and competition, risk and reward. It’s about the allocation of resources to […]

Fuelling procompetitive growth with foreign credit

The debate about the desirability of international financial flows is at the centre of the discussion of researchers and policy makers. This article focuses on one key aspect of capital controls: their impact on firms’ access to capital markets and their consequences for competition and aggregate productivity growth. Indeed, cross-country studies report that the deregulation of international capital flows […]

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    How free trade changes domestic firms’ ability to innovate

How free trade changes domestic firms’ ability to innovate

International trade as a percentage of global GDP more than doubled in the 35 years from 1973 to 2008; but trade activity has slowed since the onset of the Great Recession. Although economists have long argued that trade is welfare-enhancing, there is increasing scepticism of trade and globalisation among policymakers and the general public. In a recent paper, we […]

Why word of mouth works better for niche products and ideas

Imagine you learn about a concert through social media. You saw a friend post that she is excitedly planning to attend. How do you decide whether you want to go? Does it matter whether the concert is a popular artist performing in a major arena or an indie band performing in a neighbourhood venue? The analysis in my paper […]

January 28th, 2020|Management, Marketing|0 Comments|
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    Business automation in investment banking: fast forward…. or not?  

Business automation in investment banking: fast forward…. or not?  

By 2020 service automation, based on robotic process automation (RPA), cognitive automation (CA) and artificial intelligence (AI) has reached an intriguing and confusing moment in its evolution across sectors. As the hype all too readily highlights, the potential is massive. But developments are surprisingly slow. Market revenues for these technologies are increasing exponentially, but, standing at around $US6 billion […]

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    As liberal Britain leaves, will the EU become more protectionist?

As liberal Britain leaves, will the EU become more protectionist?

The Conservative majority following the December 2019 UK General Election means that negotiations between the UK and EU will from February move from the ‘divorce’ talks to discussing the future economic partnership. The content of this new economic partnership will be of vital importance not just for EU-UK relations, but also for the UK’s and the EU’s own future […]

Make work fun again

In the summer of 2015, in a crowded beer garden in Barcelona, we talked about work – the work we were doing then. It was a rather sad conversation, because the bottom line was that our jobs were uninspiring at best. Work was making us anything but happy.

We weren’t frustrated with the work itself. It was interesting, challenging, and […]

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    National electronic health records implementation: a tale with a happy ending?

National electronic health records implementation: a tale with a happy ending?

Aiming to improve healthcare efficiency and quality, countries around the globe, including Singapore, the UK, Japan and the US, are implementing nationwide electronic health records (EHRs). Recent studies suggest that when EHRs are shared across different healthcare providers they can facilitate better care and with the use of aggregated data analytics improve healthcare management and research. However, their implementations […]

Avoiding strategic surprises: beware of the lurkers!

Usually, we talk about two types of surprises in strategic projects: those that hit you like a flash out of a blue sky, and those that creep up on you, nudging you off track, bit by bit. Either type requires a specific approach to manage – efficient contingency plans and crisis response for the former, improved monitoring and detection […]

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    The behavioural approach to gender equality: changing how we think about workplace culture

The behavioural approach to gender equality: changing how we think about workplace culture

Over the last decade, our approach to gender inequality in the UK workplace has remained relatively static. We’ve pitched the business case for change, tried to transform mindsets with diversity and unconscious bias training, and done our best to influence the leadership pipeline with development and mentoring programmes.

In 2017, I wrote about the urgent need to change tack. The UK’s Hampton […]

January 21st, 2020|Gender, LSE alumni|0 Comments|
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    When online sellers use different prices for different consumers

When online sellers use different prices for different consumers

Do you shop online? If so, sellers are likely to know a lot about you: purchase histories, browsing histories, where you live, which operating system you use, and so on. Consumers and policymakers are concerned that online sellers may use data of consumers to learn about how much they are willing to pay, and then charge different prices to […]

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    The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company – Book Review

The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company – Book Review

The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company. William Dalrymple. Bloomsbury. 2019.

The rapid collapse of the mighty and opulent Mughal Empire in the early eighteenth century stands as almost an enigma of history, but perhaps what was even more improbable was its complete replacement not by a rival state, but by a European trading company a […]

January 19th, 2020|Book Review|0 Comments|
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    The gig economy is taking a toll on UK workers’ mental health

The gig economy is taking a toll on UK workers’ mental health

The potential psychological effects of atypical and precarious employment arrangements are attracting increasing attention among academic and policy researchers. The UK economy is approaching ‘full employment’ and the jobless rate has dropped below pre-recession levels. Yet, for many workers these employment levels have not meant high quality jobs. More employees now find themselves underemployed than before the recession and […]

January 18th, 2020|Labour|0 Comments|
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    Public investment in defence research can increase business innovation

Public investment in defence research can increase business innovation

Government funding for innovation related to military uses represents a key channel through which governments all over the world shape innovation. In the US, for example, annual government defence-related research and development (R&D) expenditures were $78 billion in 2016, over 57% of all government-funded R&D (Congressional Research Service, 2018). While defence-related R&D is motivated by goals that are not […]

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    As firms collect their data, employees learn to game the system

As firms collect their data, employees learn to game the system

Organisations are increasingly turning to ‘people analytics’ – using vast amounts of data about their employees – to gain insights into their workforce and introduce evidence-based decision-making. Companies hope to use measures such as clicks, views, interactions and many other online operations to accurately capture employee performance on top, or even instead of, traditional performance evaluation systems that are […]

Signalling sincerity in stakeholder capitalism

Milton Friedman versus Klaus Schwab – it was a battle between two world views. In 1970, Friedman wrote his seminal essay on the role of the firm effectively arguing that the “business of business is business” and that wider stakeholder considerations can be value-destructive. In 1973, Klaus Schwab’s Davos Manifesto argued that management must also serve employees and society, […]

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    Time off social media may leave you less informed but happier

Time off social media may leave you less informed but happier

Within the span of a decade, social media has woven its way deep into our lives. Many use it extensively – the average user spends more than two hours a day on social media – to connect and communicate with each other, to get information, and to entertain themselves. There may be no technology since television that has so […]

How our attachment style affects our job search behaviour 

In today’s labour market in the Netherlands people experience more job security than ever before. It is however hard to get a permanent contract, and people have to apply more often during their career. For many people, applying for a new job is a difficult process. It is a dynamic and complex situation that requires exploring new environments, learning […]

January 13th, 2020|Career & Success|0 Comments|
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    Mean Girl: Ayn Rand and the Culture of Greed – Book Review

Mean Girl: Ayn Rand and the Culture of Greed – Book Review

Mean Girl: Ayn Rand and the Culture of Greed. Lisa Duggan. University of California Press. 2019.

In 1905, Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum was born into a middle-class Jewish family in St. Petersburg, Russia. While Rosenbaum lived a relatively comfortable life financially until her teens, it is important to acknowledge that she grew up in what Anne C. Heller has described as […]

January 12th, 2020|Book Review|2 Comments|

Christine Lagarde has her work cut out for her

Christine Lagarde’s reign at the European Central Bank (ECB) has heralded a shift not in the monetary policy field, but mainly in terms of communication, at least judging from her first press conference in December. She is not Mario Draghi or Jean-Claude Trichet, her predecessors, and she wants to affirm her own different style as President. “Each and every […]