Harvard Business School Working Knowledge

rTSR: When Do Relative Performance Metrics Capture Relative Performance?

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 00:00
Managers are increasingly evaluated based on relative performance metrics, particularly relative total shareholder returns (rTSR). A significant portion of firms make relatively poor choices in the design and selection of rTSR, a result of weak governance and an overreliance on compensation consultants.by Paul Ma, Jee-Eun Shin, and Charles C. Y. Wang9227Charles C.Y. Wang651677Working Paper Summaries

If the Key to Business Success Is Focus, Why Does Amazon Work?

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 00:00
Re: Sunil Gupta9225Sunil Gupta261323Cold Call Podcast

Activist CEOs Are Rising Up—and Their Customers Are Listening

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 00:00
Are product sales affected by the CEO's stance on political and social issues? Michael Toffel and Aaron Chatterji study how consumers react to vocal chief executives.by Michael Blanding9129Michael W. Toffel386263Research & Ideas

The Unconventional Capitalism That Shapes Business History

Wed, 05/15/2019 - 00:00
Geoffrey G. Jones reports out on a business hiastory research conference studying the many shades of capitalism around the world and through time.by Geoffrey G. Jones9222Geoffrey G. Jones24276Tarun Khanna6491Sudev J. Sheth1050517Research Event

'Ethics Bots' and Other Ways to Move Your Code of Business Conduct beyond Puffery

Wed, 05/15/2019 - 00:00
Digital technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics allow companies to create more effective codes of business conduct, says Eugene Soltes. But technology isn't the only solution.by Michael Blanding9216Eugene F. Soltes541710Research & Ideas

Do Experts Listen to Other Experts? Field Experimental Evidence from Scientific Peer Review

Tue, 05/14/2019 - 00:00
Influence is a fundamental aspect of collective decisions. It is thus crucial to consider not only the composition of evaluation panels but also their deliberation process. This study illuminates drivers of influence among an elite population of experts and contributes to our understanding of resource allocation in science and other expert domains.by Misha Teplitskiy, Hardeep Ranu, Gary Gray, Michael Menietti, Eva Guinan, and Karim R. Lakhani9221Karim R. Lakhani240491Working Paper Summaries

The Changing Landscape of Auditor Litigation and Its Implications for Audit Quality

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 00:00
Data from 1996 to 2016 shows that shareholder litigation against auditors has declined in recent years. Empirical evidence shows that Rule 10b-5, the Securities Act statute used for class action lawsuits, has lost its bite for use against auditors. This decline is driven, at least in part, by the Supreme Court’s narrowing of liability standards. These findings suggest weakened shareholder protection with profound implications for investors.by Colleen Honigsberg, Shivaram Rajgopal, and Suraj Srinivasan9220Suraj Srinivasan10700Working Paper Summaries

The Unexpected Way Whistleblowers Reduce Government Fraud

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 00:00
Even unfounded allegations by whistleblowers can force government contractors to renegotiate their terms, say Jonas Heese and Gerardo Perez Cavazos.by Kristen Senz9218Jonas Heese740159Gerardo Perez Cavazos775813Research & Ideas

Consumer Inertia and Market Power

Fri, 05/10/2019 - 00:00
Consumers are often more likely to buy a product if they have purchased it previously. This paper provides a means to estimate the magnitude of this phenomenon of consumer inertia.by Alexander MacKay and Marc Remer9219Working Paper Summaries

Bank Boards: What Has Changed Since the Financial Crisis?

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 00:00
Since the 2008 financial crisis, bank boards have not improved their cultural or gender diversity compared to other companies nor are they better qualified than before the crisis. Outside directorships of bank directors and the extent of CEOs also being Chairman also remains the same. However, there is some evidence of better risk oversight both from managers and the board.by Shiva Rajgopal, Suraj Srinivasan, and Forester Wong9215Suraj Srinivasan10700Working Paper Summaries

Managers: Are You Prepared to Handle Religion in the Workplace?

Tue, 05/07/2019 - 00:00
Re: Derek C. M. van Bever9214Derek C. M. van Bever672704Cold Call Podcast

Consumers Blame Business for Global Health Problems. Can Business Become the Solution?

Mon, 05/06/2019 - 00:00
3QUESTIONS Millions of people have been harmed by cigarettes, defective merchandise, pollution, addiction and other business by-products. Pioneering companies are exploring healthier ways to operate, say Amy C. Edmondson and Dr. Howard K. Koh.by Danielle Kost9213Amy C. Edmondson6451Research & Ideas

How To Ask Better Questions

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 00:00
To make the best decisions, managers must ask the right questions. This collection of past studies by Harvard Business School researchers will help you gather the critical information you need to prepare for decisions.by Kristen Senz9212Sharpening Your Skills

What Should the Leadership of YouTube Do?

Wed, 05/01/2019 - 00:00
CEO Susan Wojcicki and YouTube leadership must decide how to balance growth goals with criticism for posting controversial—but popular—videos. What should YouTube do? asks James Heskett.by James Heskett9210James L. Heskett6842What Do You Think?

Rehabilitating Corporate Purpose

Wed, 05/01/2019 - 00:00
Malcolm S. Salter rebuts shareholder value maximization as a de facto expression of the institutional purpose guiding many managers’ decision and proposes an alternative.by Malcolm S. Salter9211Malcolm S. Salter6545Working Paper Summaries

New Research and Ideas, April 30, 2019

Tue, 04/30/2019 - 00:00
Why did people vote for Trump again? ... A peek at Nike's digital strategy ... How the financial crisis caught us by surprise.Dina Gerdeman9209First Look

Is the Digital Age Making Us Petty?

Mon, 04/29/2019 - 00:00
Mobile payment apps help us keep track of shared costs but may also frustrate personal relationships. Research into perceived pettiness by Tami Kim, Ting Zhang, and Michael I. Norton.by Kristen Senz9207Michael I. Norton326229Ting Zhang567321Research & Ideas

Incubators Take Notice: Your Entrepreneurs Are Networking with the Wrong People

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 00:00
Startup incubators used by cities and companies to jump-start innovation have a problem to overcome. Attendees tend to network with people they already know, says research by Rembrand M. Koning.by Danielle Kost9208Rembrand M. Koning876389Research & Ideas

The 'Amazon Effect' Is Changing Online Price Competition—and the Fed Needs to Pay Attention

Wed, 04/24/2019 - 00:00
Amazon's power in the retail sector puts price pressure on what competitors charge, with implications for how federal regulators govern inflation, says Alberto F. Cavallo.by Roberta Holland9206Alberto F. Cavallo394129Research & Ideas

New Research and Ideas, April 23, 2019

Tue, 04/23/2019 - 00:00
Tips for becoming a new manager ... A look at the financial gatekeeping role ... Finding a moral corporate compass.Dina Gerdeman9204First Look

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