Can Financial and Social Missions Truly Coexist Within Companies?
A number of business leaders and researchers have promoted the idea that social and financial goals are complementary. The authors of a recent paper say that may be true, but if so, why aren’t all companies pursuing these dual goals? They propose ways to diminish tensions between the two aims.
Best Buy Case Study: How does Purposeful Leadership Impact Performance?
The case study “Purposeful Leadership at Best Buy” written by Rodolphe Durand, HEC Paris Professor of Strategy and holder of the Joly Family Purposeful Leadership Chair, has just been released on the Case Centre platform. This case study aims to better understand the characteristics of “Purposeful Leadership” and to identify the conditions of success to impact positively the performance of a company.
Why (Fake) News Spreads and How to Manage It
This dossier features six articles on the causes of information and misinformation propensity, and its consequences on society. Research professors from Information Systems, Decision Science, Finance and Marketing expertise, explain the role of democracy, economy, mobile connectivity and cognitive biases in the proliferation of (fake) news. They also share insights on the actions that professionals, governments, investors and the general public can take to exploit such news, or combat them.
The Economic Impact of Different COVID-19 Lockdown Strategies in France
On March 31, 2021, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a 4-week national lockdown, throwing the country into a similar situation slightly over a year ago. This time though, not all businesses are affected in the same way. On Knowledge@HEC podcast, HEC Paris Associate Professor of Economics Tomasz Michalski analyzes the possible microeconomic impact of the different lockdown strategies, and its eventual long-term effects.
How Governments Can Take Actions Against Fake News Propensity
The COVID-19 pandemic has touched almost all countries around the world. The crisis marks an undefined period of uncertainty and fear among citizens around the globe. Such prolonged conditions of uncertainty and fear amongst people has triggered a surge in the amount of fake news circulating on the Internet. Our research highlights the urgent need to arrest the growing infodemic of fake news, which has precipitated significantly during the current COVID-19 pandemic. There is a clear need for governments to plan and invest in tools for identifying misinformation and improving online accountability especially during times of a crisis.
When Videos Become Viral: Why, How and What Consequences?
Although popular wisdom assumes that virality is a random and thus unmanageable process, research by Haris Krijestorac (HEC Paris), Rajiv Garg (Goizueta Business School, Emory University) and Vijay Mahajan (University of Texas) finds several ways for marketers and content creators to design and promote their digital media in ways that significantly increase the likelihood of these media achieving virality and sustaining it. Interview with Haris Krijestorac, Assistant Professor of Information Systems.
Why Do Investors Trade on Unverified Rumors?
Stock prices occasionally move in response to unverified rumors. These rumors often concern corporate takeovers and are associated with a surge in stock returns and trading activity. As CNBC stock expert Herb Greenberg succinctly observed: “Takeover rumors have always been part of the game of Wall Street, but there are times they fly so quickly you don't have time to consider the sources.” Why do investors trade based on unverified rumors?
Activist Hedge Funds: Good for Some, Bad for Others?
Recent news cast some doubts about the effects of shareholder activism on firms’ strategic orientation. Hence, the question: Do activist hedge funds help or harm the companies they target? Mark DesJardine of Pennsylvania State University’s Smeal College of Business and Rodolphe Durand of HEC Paris (members of the HEC’s Society & Organizations Institute) investigated the long-term effects of hedge fund activism on companies that get targeted by these activists. In their extensive research, they found the value of targeted companies spikes the first year after targeting but drops in later years relative to similar non-targeted companies. In addition, the authors found that being targeted by activist hedge funds put a halt to the broader investment portfolios and socially responsible efforts of companies.
Why Activist Hedge Funds Target Socially Responsible Firms, and How Executives and Investors Can Counteract Them
Danone’s CEO had to leave his position under the pressure of increasingly powerful and influential activist hedge funds. With their controversial tactics aimed at maximizing shareholder profit, they undermine sustainability practices, which they consider wasteful. Indeed, not only do they tend to suppress the corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities of the companies they target, they also target companies with stronger CSR records in the first place, as a new study reveals. But its authors Mark DesJardine, Rodolphe Durand, and Emilio Marti also show that these companies can divert the attention of activist hedge funds, and that policymakers and socially minded investors can intervene, too.
Improving Consumer Welfare With Marketing Interventions
Fei Gao holds a Ph.D. from HEC Paris and has joined Bentley University in the U.S. as an Assistant Professor in 2020. Fei Gao’s dissertation consists of developing marketing interventions to influence consumers judgment, choice, and behaviors. He was awarded the HEC Foundation prize for the best 2020 doctorate thesis at HEC Paris. In this interview, Fei Gao explains the different interventions he studied and developed for various goals, such as altering consumers’ taste judgments of indulgent drinks and foods, reducing consumers’ portion size choices, or motivating consumers to referring products and services with a prosocial incentive scheme.