Disasters often catalyse new regulatory initiatives by exposing the human costs of inadequate worker or public protection. The Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh in 2013, which killed 1134 garment workers, was no exception. Horrific scenes of carnage brought the “race to the bottom” into the living rooms of Western consumers and prompted a rapid reaction by the global […]
It is difficult to pick up a major business publication today without reading about how venture capital and venture capitalists develop unicorn ventures, privately held start-ups valued at over $1 billion. This publicity prompts entrepreneurs to ask how to get VC, rather than if they should even seek it, or when.
The reality is that very few get VC
Venture capitalists […]
In 1961, Daniel Ellsberg (who is perhaps best known for leaking the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret study of the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam war) considered a thought experiment involving two urns, each containing 100 balls. The first urn contained exactly 50 black balls and 50 red balls, while the second contained 100 black and red balls in […]
In recent years, the use of diversity networks in organisations has increased tremendously. Diversity networks, also referred to as ‘employee resource groups’ or ‘affinity networks’, are initiated to inform, support and advance employees with similar social identities. In many organisations, diversity networks are part of a larger diversity management agenda and an increasingly popular practice to promote equality, diversity […]
New roles are multiplying in organisations. Look around your own organisation and you can probably spot some of these new roles: Is there a data analytics manager? An inclusion manager? A sustainability manager? Organisations often struggle with how to best support new roles. New roles do not come with a blueprint, nor can they be copied from other organisations. […]
Entrepreneurs want to reduce uncertainty and shape environments to their advantage. To do so, they sometimes collaborate with government leaders to gain valuable information, resources, and favourable legislation.
Most prior research on this practice has treated government partners as monolithic entities, or focused only on elected officials who grant resources through policy efforts or contracts. But we were interested in […]
The Chinese economy has grown phenomenally over the past 40 years since it was opened to the outside world. In recent decades, the private sector in particular has been the engine of this growth, contributing to more than 60 per cent of China’s GDP (US$12,237.7 billion), extensive fixed-asset and outbound investment, 80 per cent of jobs, and 70 per […]
We know that time is important – after all, timing is everything! And time is money! If used skilfully, time and timing can be allies in strategising. But, surprisingly (or maybe not-so-surprisingly), getting time right is hard; it involves a complex balancing act. For example, if you push your strategy too much, you overwhelm your team, whereas if you do […]
We like to think that for our strategy work, we will have plenty of time and resources. Armed with both, out of the 10s or 100s of options we have on the table, we will pick the best one.
In this article, we will make the opposite argument. Not only do we not have much time or resources available to […]
In a previous post, we talked about how two major dimensions shape the type of strategy work we need to do: 1) the degree of people impact, i.e., how many people the task at hand affects and how much it affects them; and 2) the degree of uncertainty it faces and subsequently addresses.
With this post, we are going to […]
You are responsible for the success of your strategic initiatives. Your results will be measured and you will be judged. As long as we have success, we consider this to be perfectly fair. But let’s be honest: your results will depend to a large extent not only on what you do (or not do), but also on events and […]
Human resource management (HRM), both in practice and as taught in business schools, appears to display a gap between its soft person-focused rhetoric and the harsh realities of people management. While ‘good’ people management is likely to contribute to organisational performance, HRM has also been called out on occasion for promoting untested assumptions and fads, lacking a solid evidence […]
Strategy work is always hard, but particularly so when senior executives know less about emerging trends than the 19-year-old intern that just brought them coffee. Blockchain-based bank accounts, Artificial Intelligence lawyers, smart cities, collaborative robots, autonomous cars and online dating – wherever you look, pervasive digitalisation is turning businesses upside down. “I have been doing this for 50 years” […]
Scientific Management, Human Relations, and Strategy-and-Structure are well-known management models in the history of business, but we still understand little about why a given model succeeds in competition with other models. This lack of understanding is troublesome. Practitioners would benefit if they could assess more reliably the potential value of the various competing models they read about. Our analysis […]
With the impending exit of Great Britain from the European Union in 2019, German firms will likely assume an even greater position within the trading block. Given its reputation as the largest exporter in Europe, accounting for over a quarter of EU exports, Germany is a driving force for free trade and open borders. Firms such as Siemens and […]
In the quest for identifying barriers to firm growth, much attention has been paid to barriers that act at the level of the individual firm. But firms do not operate in a vacuum: business relationships are potentially central. We conducted an intervention in China to measure their importance.
A field experiment with 2,820 firms
In 2013 we invited tens of thousands […]
Only 5 per cent of major North American firms had a female CEO as of January 2018. (Catalyst)
Clearly women are underrepresented at the top level of corporations, but the reasons for this are less clear. In a recent article, we investigate two different paths to the scarcity of female CEOs:
Women are appointed as CEO less often; and/or
Women are […]
A puzzling feature of chief executive officer (CEO) compensation is “pay for luck”. Why are CEOs often rewarded when their firms perform well for reasons that are beyond their control? The dominant advice from academia is to do just the opposite: pay CEOs based on corporate outcomes they can substantially influence, which gives them incentives to make the good […]
In a recent Vox column, six antitrust consultants describe the European Commission’s case against Android, hailing it as a “milestone” of antitrust for the telecommunications industry (Caffarra et al., 2018). In fact, it is more of a millstone than a milestone.
The colloquial definition of “millstone” is a “heavy burden”, and of course the case is a burden for Google. But it is […]