Harvard Business School Working Knowledge

Are Super Stretch Goals Only for the Very Young?

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 00:00
Forget about management by objectives. Today's flashy performance motivators are 'super stretch goals,' and they have Silicon Valley buzzing. But can their audacious targets be managed properly? asks James Heskett.by James Heskett9263James L. Heskett6842What Do You Think?

The Comprehensive Effects of Sales Force Management: A Dynamic Structural Analysis of Selection, Compensation, and Training

Sun, 06/30/2019 - 00:00
When sales forces are well managed, firms can induce greater performance from them. For this study, the authors collaborated with a major multinational firm to develop and estimate a dynamic structural model of sales employee responses to various management instruments like compensation, training, and recruiting/termination policies.by Doug J. Chung, Byungyeon Kim, and Byoung G. Park9259Doug J. Chung643341Byungyeon Kim883202Working Paper Summaries

Infrastructure and Finance: Evidence from India's GQ Highway Network

Sat, 06/29/2019 - 00:00
In India, the Golden Quadrilateral highway network connects four major cities. This study of the relationship between the infrastructure project and development of the local financial sector finds that, in districts along and near the GQ, initial levels of financial development shaped how, and where, infrastructure investment could jumpstart real economic activity.by Abhiman Das, Ejaz Ghani, Arti Grover, William R. Kerr, and Ramana Nanda9261Ramana Nanda294193William R. Kerr337265Working Paper Summaries

The Effect of Payment Choices on Online Retail: Evidence from the 2016 Indian Demonetization

Thu, 06/27/2019 - 00:00
Online sellers in many emerging markets are in the early stages of a shift from cash-based payments to digital payments. Findings from this study of a leading Indian online retailer show that firms may enjoy gains from consumer demand on top of operational gains resulting from payment digitization.by Chaithanya Bandi, Toni Moreno, Donald Ngwe, and Zhiji Xu9260Antonio Moreno1029325Donald K. Ngwe737517Working Paper Summaries

Rituals Strengthen Couples. Here’s Why They’re Good For Business, Too

Thu, 06/27/2019 - 00:00
Couples with deliberate rituals feel more satisfied with their relationships, says research by Michael I. Norton and Ximena Garcia-Rada. Can businesses benefit?by Dina Gerdeman9256Michael I. Norton326229Ximena Garcia-Rada776128Research & Ideas

Why the US-China Tariff Standoff Hurts American Companies More

Wed, 06/26/2019 - 00:00
US exporters have been slashing the prices of goods they sell to China to offset higher trade costs, but Chinese exporters are passing those costs to American companies, research by Alberto F. Cavallo says.by Danielle Kost9255Alberto F. Cavallo394129Research & Ideas

In the Platform Economy, Uplift Searches for Better Matches in the Cloud

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 00:00
Stephane Kasriel, the CEO of Upwork, the leading platform for freelance labor, considers different pricing solutions and ways to improve the matching process as part of a business model redesign.Re: David B. Yoffie9251David B. Yoffie6577Cold Call Podcast

The Powerful Strategy Tool Companies Should Not Try to Control

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 00:00
3QUESTIONS More executives are tapping user communities for strategic guidance, but productive relationships with fan groups require a nuanced approach, Frank Nagle says.by Danielle Kost9252Frank Nagle566431Research & Ideas

Migrant Inventors and the Technological Advantage of Nations

Wed, 06/19/2019 - 00:00
This study by Prithwiraj Choudhury and colleagues provides robust econometric evidence for how immigrant inventors shape the innovation dynamics of their receiving countries.by Dany Bahar, Prithwiraj Choudhury, and Hillel Rapoport9250Prithwiraj Choudhury327154Working Paper Summaries

Can Khan Academy Scale to Educate Anyone, Anywhere?

Tue, 06/18/2019 - 00:00
9249Cold Call Podcast

The Comprehensive Effects of a Digital Paywall Sales Strategy

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 00:00
Many print media firms are switching to a business model requiring readers to pay for online content. This study of media paywall strategies in the US finds that adopting a digital paywall can lead to positive demand substitution from digital to print channels, particularly for large-sized firms and those with unique content.by Doug J. Chung, Ho Kim, and Reo Song9248Doug J. Chung643341Working Paper Summaries

Can Health Care Companies Learn To Compete?

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 00:00
3QUESTIONS: Why is it so difficult for health care providers to compete for customers? Raffella Sadun and Leemore Dafny discuss why health care needs a business strsategy.by Alumni Bulletin Staff9247Leemore S. Dafny220887Raffaella Sadun541712Research & Ideas

Investors Have More Than Money to Offer Entrepreneurs

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 00:00
Running a startup means solving an endless list of problems, and entrepreneurs can be quickly overwhelmed. Where to turn for advice? Julia Austin says look to your investors.by Julia Austin9246Julia B. Austin873098Research & Ideas

Throwing the Baby Out with the Drinking Water: Unintended Consequences of Arsenic Mitigation Efforts in Bangladesh

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 00:00
In this study of the 1994 discovery of arsenic in ground water in Bangladesh, Reshmaan Hussam and colleagues investigate the possibility of unintended health consequences from public health interventions.by Nina Buchmann, Erica Field, Rachel Glennerster, and Reshmaan Hussam9240Reshmaan N. Hussam952941Working Paper Summaries

These Aren't Beach Books, but Managers Should Read Them Anyway

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 00:00
As you contemplate your summer reading, let these recent books from Harvard Business School management scholars that can boost your career and improve on-the-ground management skills.by Sean Silverthorne9245Book

Going Digital: Implications for Firm Value and Performance

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 00:00
This study of the economic performance of nontech firms adopting digital technologies finds a persistent future increase in valuation. However, investors only slowly incorporate the value implications of digital activities into prices.by Wilbur Chen and Suraj Srinivasan9243Suraj Srinivasan10700Wilbur Xinyuan Chen958392Working Paper Summaries

The Gift of Global Talent: Innovation Policy and the Economy

Sat, 06/08/2019 - 00:00
This chapter pulls from William Kerr’s book "The Gift of Global Talent" to examine the migration dynamics of high-skilled individuals. He argues that improving our knowledge of high-skilled migration can lead to better policy decisions.by William R. Kerr9242William R. Kerr337265Working Paper Summaries

Are You Prepared to Be a Manager in the Digital Workplace?

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 00:00
Linda Hill explains how the digital workplace is placing greater burdens on managers but also creating new opportunities to shine. PLUS: Book excerpt.by Martha Lagace9244Linda A. Hill6479Book

Reflexivity in Credit Markets

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 00:00
Investors’ biases and market outcomes affect each other in a two-way feedback loop. This study develops a model of a credit market feedback loop, finding that when investors become more bullish this can predict positive returns in the short run, even if expected returns become more negative at longer horizons.by Robin Greenwood, Samuel G. Hanson, and Lawrence J. Jin9241Robin Greenwood136446Samuel G. Hanson333598Working Paper Summaries

If Your Customers Don't Care What You Charge, What Should You Charge?

Wed, 06/05/2019 - 00:00
Consumer inertia is the tendency of some customers to buy a product, even when superior options exist. Alexander J. MacKay discusses how that habit affects competitive strategy and even regulatory oversight.by Kristen Senz9236Research & Ideas