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.
Yes, Social Entrepreneurship Training Works. Here Is How
Social entrepreneurship is characterized by a deep commitment to a social cause and the desire to develop new business models with economic, social, and ecological impacts. But can people be trained to become better at social entrepreneurship? HEC Paris Professors Thomas Åstebro and Florian Hoos found that social entrepreneurship training works, but only if carefully designed.
How to Manage Innovators for the Public Good
Today’s major societal challenges – such as climate change, migration and inequality - urgently call for new ideas and approaches that can create both economic growth and social value. Recent years have seen a surge of support programs targeted specifically at nascent social entrepreneurs - new actors on the innovation scene -, widely thought to be invaluable for bringing forth and inspiring such ideas. It is essential, now more than ever, for organizations to understand how they can motivate and manage teams or nascent entrepreneurs to innovate for the public good. An interview with one of the scholars at the forefront of research on innovations for the public good, HEC Paris Professor Marieke Huysentruyt, Academic Director of the Social and Inclusive Business Inclusive Center at the Society & Organizations Institute (S&O), on her experimental approaches and results.
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 (including Rodolphe Durand and Magali Delmas) arguing for political transparency in a paper that won the California Management Review’s Best Article Award 2019.
Making a Change: Teaching Sustainable and Inclusive Business
“Continuing to do business as usual is no longer an option,” argues Professor Bénédicte Faivre-Tavignot. She explains the push at HEC Paris to develop programs dedicated to sustainability and inclusive business and, just as importantly, to integrate those principles throughout the business school’s mainstream core offerings.
Posing Dilemmas: An MBA Ethics Course Incites Students to Question Themselves and their Beliefs
Five years after its launch as a core course, Ethics and Sustainability is now one of the most successful courses in the HEC MBA program. Through a lively combination of debate, discussion, game playing, and surveys, see how this course leads students to question their own beliefs, gain an understanding of other points of view, and become better decision makers in the process.
Reinventing Business Education
Editorial by Marc Vanhuele, Professor of Marketing and Associate Dean. We live in a world of constant transformation. The role of research and education at a business school like HEC is to constantly innovate in order to give our students the knowledge, skills and mindset to live and work in a world with opportunities and challenges that may already have shifted by the time they graduate.
Think, Teach, Act for an Inclusive and Sustainable World!
On 8th November, 15,000 scientists from 184 different countries signed a “warning (letter) to humanity,” urging the global community to tackle problems such as, notably, climate change. It’s the second letter of its kind, sent 25 years after the first such warning was issued in 1992. Unlike 25 years ago, however, today consensus within the scientific community around the urgency of the threat has spread to the political sphere. At the COP23 also held this month, the large majority of world leaders were clear on the need to take action.
The Movement for Social Business Impact Blows Out Its First Candle
November 9, 2016 witnessed the official launching of one of HEC Paris’ most ambitious initiatives, the Movement for Social * Business Impact, MS*BI. The far-reaching project seeks to accompany business and entrepreneurs in a joint mission to build a more inclusive global economy. MS*BI also aspires to help businesses to maximize their social impact while improving their economic development. Knowledge@HEC analyzes the developments in the past year of a Movement hoping to help build a new type of capitalism.
Master in Sustainability and Social Innovation: training “realistic idealists”
Business as usual? No more. Climate change, strains on natural resources, and growing social and economic inequalities mean that a fundamental shift is required in the way we do business, to ensure that the production of goods and services remains efficient while addressing these issues. This is why HEC offers a master's program specifically geared to train future leaders in sustainable management.