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.
Can Housing Prices Fuel Optimism On The Way Out?
A striking feature of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis is the boom in house prices. Economists are debating on the origins of such a spike. Based on his recent publication coauthored with Boston College Professor Ryan Chahrour, HEC Paris Professor Gaballo explains how housing prices generates waves of optimism and pessimism causing sizeable fluctuations in the business cycle. A spike in housing prices can then effectively fuel the optimism needed to trigger a quick, persistent recovery of the US economy.
Understanding AI-Human Interactions to Foster Creative Effort
What comes out of our collaborations with artificial intelligence? What happens in the minds of humans who are involved in interactions with smart non-humans? Does AI change how we come up with new ideas and work together on bringing them into life? Daria Morozova, Ph.D. student at HEC Paris’s Management and Human Resources department, explains how her research on AI-human interactions can help establish best practices for creative work involving artificial intelligence.
Real Estate Returns Are Lower Than You Think
National trends for housing data over the last decades seem to indicate that housing prices climb steadily. Even during the pandemic, certain real estate markets are showing record prices. Yet a new study, with unusual access to minute detail, indicates that over the long term, real estate as an investment is decidedly lukewarm.
BtoB: How Much Should You Focus on Existing Buyers?
Managers of supplier firms often dedicate substantial resources and attention towards maximizing the level of the business they capture from their existing buyers. But can there be downsides to deepening these BtoB relationships? In related prior research on client-led diversification, John Mawdsley, assistant professor of Strategy at HEC Paris, explained how deeper relationships with existing clients lead to law firms following their clients’ expansion into new lines of business. Now, in a study with Deepak Somaya of the University of Illinois, Professor Mawdsley asks whether the strength of the relationships between a supplier and its existing buyers influences the rate at which the supplier can grow its business. In this interview, Mawdsley reveals an important trade off of deepening existing B2B relationships.
GameStop: Hedge Funds vs Amateur Traders?
Is the GameStop Affair a collective action revolting against major hedge funds, or is it just another form of speculation by amateur investors also aiming to become rich? In the course of one week, GameStop’s stock value had catapulted to an impressive 1600% rise from its previous value. This situation had Wall Street trembling, and had hedge funds and individual investors at attention. As GameStop’s stock value continues to fluctuate towards a lower price, its initial steep climb up raises questions on stock market behavior, the actions of hedge fund investors, and the trading technique of short selling. HEC Paris professor of Finance Johan Hombert explains the mechanics behind the GameStop affair and Robinhood trading application.