Activist Hedge Funds: Good for Some, Bad for Others?
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 Center) 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.
The Taboos and Ambiguities of the Prevailing Narrative on Corporate Social Responsibility
In an article published this month in the journal Business & Society1, Aurélien Feix, research fellow at HEC, and Déborah Philippe, HEC alumna and professor at the University of Lausanne, analyze narratives that promote voluntary Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices as a privileged means to combat social inequality and environmental degradation. In view of the similarities that exist between these narratives, the authors argue that they must be conceived of as variants of one and the same “metanarrative of CSR”. They show that this metanarrative stays ambivalent about crucially important questions, including that of the results that can realistically be expected from activities performed voluntarily by business firms that are bound by profitability constraints, and subjected to the capitalist growth imperative. Therefore, they call for challenging the comforting, but largely inconsequential, rhetoric of the metanarrative of CSR.
The Key to Involving the Private Sector More in Public-Private Partnerships
In a context of tightening of public purse strings, governments increasingly rely on public-private partnerships (PPP) to design, build, finance, maintain and operate infrastructures and services, were once purely state managed. This includes traditional infrastructures, such as bridges and roads, and services, such as schools and hospitals. Researchers have found that the key factor in attracting strong private partners to build efficient PPPs is the quality of national institutions.
How Scandal Helps Punish Powerful Corporate Criminals
Could scandals actually be good for society? Often brushed aside as simply media hype or gossip, new research shows that scandals can be potent opportunities for regulatory authorities to challenge individuals or corporations that are otherwise untouchable because of their high status.
The future of Netflix in the face of a new competition
Disney is going live in the US. Time Warner, one of the biggest Hollywood studios, is launching HBO Max. Netflix faces a new competition with other video streaming platforms such as YouTube, Amazon, Apple... Can Netflix survive to this? If so, how? We interviewed Ankur Chavda, Assistant Professor freshly arrived at the Strategy and Business Policy Department of HEC Paris, to comment Netflix’s strategy to ensure its success in the face of this new competition. Ankur Chavda’s recent research uses Netflix’s success to explain how incentives can trigger innovation within firms.
Academic Entrepreneurship: who owns patents and businesses?
Researchers have investigated the effect of the transfer of intellectual property rights from researchers to employing universities, in the USA and in Europe. While the effect of this act is positive in the US (more production and therefore competitiveness), the effect is negative in Europe (fewer creations). Interview with Thomas Astebro, professor of entrepreneurship at HEC Paris.
Why former soldiers could make more trustworthy CEOs
Damaging cases of financial fraud often directly involve company CEOs. Are CEOs with a past in the military less likely to commit fraud? Or are they just better at not getting caught red-handed? New research by Georg Wernicke (HEC Paris) and Irmela Fritzi Koch-Bayram (University of Mannheim) sheds light on that question.
Walking the talk: why companies should be politically transparent
More and more companies flaunt their policies regarding social or environmental sustainability. However, these same companies may promote policies that contradict their stated CSR objectives through their political actions. Enough is enough, says a group of top researchers arguing for political transparency in a paper that won the California Management Review’s Best Article Award 2019.
How companies can offset the risks of foreign investments
Investing abroad can be a risky business for firms, so many only invest in countries that can safeguard investments through treaties. But some companies do invest in less stable countries without the protection of bilateral treaties. Pierre Dussauge, HEC Professor of Strategy and Business Policy explains how these firms instead use their political influence to get ahead of competitors.