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    COVID-19 can speed up the use of technology in supply-chain sustainability audits

COVID-19 can speed up the use of technology in supply-chain sustainability audits

The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted supply chains around the world.  The last several months have seen massive drops in industrial production, widespread export restrictions, and renewed discussions on the need to rethink supply chain business models. Travel restrictions, lockdowns, and facility closures have also prevented certification of supplier practices and products. Our research has studied how technology can be […]

Managing virtual teams requires devolving leadership

Moving entire offices to work from home has presented organisations with many and often unexpected challenges. Technology alone is not the solution; different approaches to leadership, communications and corporate policy are required to maintain productivity and staff wellbeing. For affected staff, balancing work with varied and escalating personal demands is a substantial ongoing dilemma.

My research to understand how members […]

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    COVID-19 makes inclusion a strategic imperative for companies and investors

COVID-19 makes inclusion a strategic imperative for companies and investors

To quote Singapore’s senior minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam from his national address last month, “the future begins now”. That future will be dramatically different not only for governments and individuals but also for big business and big finance. A silver lining to the devastation of COVID-19 could be the onset of a new era for both stakeholder capitalism and sustainable investing.

The future […]

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    UK economic problems: diagnosing is easier than coming up with solutions

UK economic problems: diagnosing is easier than coming up with solutions

With Boris Johnson’s launch of his “New Deal” and Michael Gove’s speech on “the privilege of public service”, the government has made clear its intention to press ahead with the domestic agenda of “levelling-up” and reform of government on which it was elected. There was little surprise in either announcement, with all of the elements to be found previously […]

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    Financial crises and right-wing populism: how do politics and finance shape each other?

Financial crises and right-wing populism: how do politics and finance shape each other?

The current health crisis, with its long-term repercussions on the political structure of countries, offers new avenues for researchers to understand how political systems interact with financial actors. The topic was recently discussed in the first London Political Finance (POLFIN) workshop, which reached an international audience of more than 200 scholars interested in the topics at the intersection of […]

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    Women are facing unprecedented challenges in the COVID-19 workplace

Women are facing unprecedented challenges in the COVID-19 workplace

COVID-19 has upended the world of work, but societal disparities have not changed. In fact, the pandemic has amplified gender, race, ethnic and socioeconomic inequities. East Asian communities are documenting a rise in racism, women are facing a disproportionate loss of jobs, and domestic abuse is on the rise. The pandemic is unevenly affecting people and nowhere is this […]

Do structural reforms yield growth?

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” This quote is attributed to Mark Twain who, born in 1835, lived through the turn of the 20th century: an era of great transformation. Likewise, the turn of our decade promises to be an era of great change, most notably due to the way the coronavirus epidemic will reshape our economies and […]

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    COVID-19 is an opportunity to challenge problematic VC culture

COVID-19 is an opportunity to challenge problematic VC culture

In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Sequoia Capital, one of the largest and most influential venture capital (VC) firms in the world, issued a grim letter of warning. They warned their portfolio companies of deals falling through, with slowing sales and a tough fundraising environment. They encouraged reducing expenses, spending “wisely” and “raising productivity” by reducing headcount.

There […]

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    Managing while invisible: how the gig economy shapes us and our cities

Managing while invisible: how the gig economy shapes us and our cities

The gig economy is full of disruptive technological darlings. Uber revolutionised how we used taxis, AirBnB changed the hospitality market forever, while Deliveroo has a substantial impact on how cities develop and change and how we use our city space. Their impact, we argue, is a consequence of one of their most important inventions: how to look like they’re […]

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    Why do companies as diverse as oil producers and retailers enter moral markets?

Why do companies as diverse as oil producers and retailers enter moral markets?

What do Tesla and British Petroleum have in common? And how are Walmart and Patagonia similar? On most dimensions, these pairs of firms have little in common with one another—Tesla is widely recognised as a pioneering sustainability company, while BP has long been a target of environmental activism. Yet both companies have had a strong presence in the solar […]

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    Deglobalisation post COVID-19 could spell trouble for the European Monetary Union

Deglobalisation post COVID-19 could spell trouble for the European Monetary Union

The COVID-19 crisis led to severe restrictions in mobility across borders, concerning both individuals and goods. Borders were closed, international travel made almost impossible, and final and intermediate goods were unable to get from one country to another. Massive disruptions of global value chains were caused by inputs not being manufactured due to lockdowns or not being delivered.

While the […]

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    Moving from cheap talk to action: the case of diversity and inclusion

Moving from cheap talk to action: the case of diversity and inclusion

It is easy to talk about caring about diversity and inclusion. In fact, it would be hard to find a professional worker these days who would declare that they did not in public. It is also far too easy to write policies that are not enforced and make promises for change that go unfulfilled. This makes it all the […]

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    Spreading out: COVID-19 and the changing geography of consumption

Spreading out: COVID-19 and the changing geography of consumption

An important message throughout the COVID-19 crisis has been to “stay home”. Our analysis based on debit card purchase data until 15 June shows that this has a profound impact on where consumers spend their money. Cities have been hit hard, while in peripheral commuting zones, consumption expenditures have been even higher than in 2019. An interesting side-effect of staying […]

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    Twenty-six per cent of EU+UK workers risk losing their jobs in the COVID-19 crisis

Twenty-six per cent of EU+UK workers risk losing their jobs in the COVID-19 crisis

Many businesses across the world have already laid off their workers, furloughed them, or shortened their work hours. Governments have used a variety of job retention programs, most fashioned after the German Kurzarbeit program of the previous Eurozone crisis. These require massive budget allocations and are hardly sustainable over a longer period of time. Differentiated policies to deal with […]

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    Manufacturing matters for the UK economy — more than people commonly think

Manufacturing matters for the UK economy — more than people commonly think

The UK is largely seen as a ‘service-based’ economy, which means that services – such as financial, legal, research & development (R&D), real estate and so on – account for the bulk of economic output and employment. Manufacturing, on the other hand, only formally accounts for around 10% of the economy and 9% of employment.

However, manufacturing’s importance for the […]

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    ‘Never let a crisis go to waste’: entrepreneurship in the age of coronavirus

‘Never let a crisis go to waste’: entrepreneurship in the age of coronavirus

“Never let a crisis go to waste!”, People may say this when facing some sort of significant challenge, and trying to turn it to their advantage. As COVID-19 has become a global crisis, it presents enormous opportunities to some people. In fact, this crisis is no idle time for many entrepreneurs. They are among the first to offer and […]

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    Recessions give businesses time to improve — if governments let them

Recessions give businesses time to improve — if governments let them

The Covid-19 lockdowns brought a huge drop in demand for goods and services and unprecedented levels of excess productive capacity – idle factories, machines, and workers. Excess capacity is normally harmful, but there can be a silver lining. When machines and workers are idle, their time can be put to alternative uses. In a healthy economy, time spent on […]

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    Less red tape, more local entrepreneurship and foreign direct investment: the path to recovery

Less red tape, more local entrepreneurship and foreign direct investment: the path to recovery

Fiscal crises such as the one spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic motivate regulatory reform, which in turn can speed up the economic recovery. Past evidence suggests that this acceleration takes place through two main channels: new local entrepreneurship and increased foreign direct investment (FDI).

Entrepreneurship is critical for the continued dynamism of the modern economy, as forcefully argued by Austrian […]

COVID-19 and the changing employee experience

While remote working has been available to many employees for many years, the COVID-19 pandemic has clearly accelerated its scalability beyond what could have been imagined. From our research in Australia, most organisations had only a specialised few or no employees working from home before the pandemic. Over the last two months, however, these organisations have had to make […]

Why are CEOs commenting on racial injustice?

In the last few weeks, CEOs of large American companies have publicly condemned the death of George Floyd while in the custody of the Minneapolis police. In the last few years, CEOs have been increasingly speaking on social issues, which are not directly related to their core business interests. Why are CEOs speaking on social issues, and what are […]