Addressing “S” Demands of ESG: What Role the Board Can (and Should) Play
Faced with rising demands from society, it is crucial that companies address their social/societal impact and the board has a key role to play. A report recently published by the ESG Club of the French Institute of Administrators brushes a fresh picture of current social expectations regarding businesses. In this report, the members of the Social/Societal working group put forward recommendations for administrators to understand these expectations and anticipate the effect of social impact on the competitiveness of companies. Bénédicte Faivre-Tavignot Associate Professor (Education Track) of Strategy and Business Policy and cofounder of the Society & Organizations Institute at HEC Paris, and also board member, is one of the report’s authors. In this interview, she comments on the risks and challenges for companies and for board members.
Spotlight on the Social Dimension Measurement in ESG
Three HEC academics joined forces with an S&P Global social specialist in ESG research (Bruce Thomson) to bring out a landmark report on the social factors covered – and not - in ESG frameworks. The report “What Gets Measured” challenges traditional coverage of the social dimension in corporate ESG frameworks and suggests ways to ensure that what gets measured “matters for businesses and the people and communities they impact”. We talk with HEC professor and co-author Marieke Huysentruyt.
Do CEOs Matter for CSR Initiatives?
A new large-scale study links CEO influence to a 30% difference in firms’ performances in the areas of social responsibility. Interview with Georg Wernicke, Assistant Professor of Strategy and Business Policy at HEC Paris, and member of the school’s Society & Organizations Institute.
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.
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.
4 Lessons From Bringing Design Thinking Into a Business
Design thinking has been hailed as the latest strategy to gain a powerful competitive edge in both innovation and processes. But to be successful, it must involve a major cultural and organizational shift. Two researchers and Thales Chief Design Officer share the lessons from their analysis of bringing design thinking to technology giant Thales.
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.
CEO Pay and Philanthropy: When Good Intentions Attract Bad Attention
In giving large compensation to CEOs, some companies receive criticism in the media, while others escape attention. Recent research shows that the companies under the most scrutiny are often those who engage in activities that media and other stakeholders perceive as contradictory, such as CEO overcompensation and corporate philanthropy.
Using Storytelling to Support Organizational Change
Transformation is a difficult challenge for companies. How can the art of storytelling guide companies through transformative change? Researchers Giada Di Stefano and Elena Dalpiaz turn to Italian housewares and kitchen utensil company — and master storyteller — Alessi to understand the narrative practices for successful change.