Why Anti-Discrimination Laws Are Not Enough to Ensure Inclusiveness
The EU has a comprehensive legal framework to combat discrimination. But where exactly does the letter of the law lie and how can corporations make their businesses truly inclusive? HEC Paris professor Matteo Winkler suggests going above and beyond the law to make workplaces genuinely diverse.
Unintended Consequences: When Minority Directors Get a “Pass” in Cases of Fraud
Companies are increasingly facing societal pressure to diversify their boards. However, these well-intended measures may have unforeseen consequences, a new study finds. Because of a perceived shortage of minority candidates, fraud-tainted minority directors — unlike their non-minority counterparts — enjoy some immunity from negative reputational consequences.
How Brands Can Fight Gender Stereotypes in Ads
Men and women value a product differently depending on whether it has a male or female brand representation — think Mr. Clean or Betty Crocker. Specifically, female-identified brands are less appealing to male shoppers. But researchers have found a relatively simple way to combat this gender bias.
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.
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.
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.