Cryptocurrency Affair Reflects Complex Interplay between Off-Chain Practices and Blockchain Accounting
Since December 2022 and the arrest of Sam Bankman Fried in 2023, the FTX founder has been at the heart of a scandal rocking the world of cryptocurrencies and the on-chain features that underpins its entire existence. But it is also illustrating the impact of off-chain factors involved in blockchain operations. These off-chain characteristics are forms of communication and coordination that need to happen for the technical activities of the blockchain to function. Recent research by professors Dane Pflueger (Assistant Professor in the accounting department HEC Paris), Martin Kornberger (Vienna University) and Jan Mouritsen (Copenhagen Business School) helps to shed light on the complexities surrounding FTX’s accounting. The academics’ December 2022 publication in the European Accounting Review, explores the issues of governance, organizing, and trust that buttress the blockchain accounting systems. In a long interview from his HEC campus near Paris, Pflueger challenges the notion some have that blockchain technology does not need intermediaries like accountants to function.
Artificial Intelligence for Business & Society
Make AI Your Ally
Artificial Intelligence has a potentially disruptive impact on organizations, firms, and society at large. The latest mind-boggling illustration came with the discovery of chatGPT’s mesmerizing results in November 2022. This followed a fall of investments in AI last year in Silicon Valley. From analyzing data in one’s business to increasing customer engagement and replacing humans in routine tasks across industries, AI is becoming more relevant to our lives and economy every day. Everyone talks about it, but do we really understand its opportunities and threats? And how can we make the best out of it, whilst ensuring that ethical requirements are met?
Decisions Under Uncertainty: Lessons for Future Black Swans
On the eve of the 11th annual D-TEA conference, promoting Dialogues between Theory, Experimental findings and Applications of decision-making (hence the acronym), we talk to its co-organizer Professor Itzhak Gilboa. Last year, the professor of decisions sciences was ranked by Stanford University in the world’s top six theoretical economists. Gilboa’s research centers on decision under uncertainty and decision models whereby uncertainty can’t be quantified. That is called non-Bayesian decision models – as opposed to the Bayesian approach which assigns probabilities based on experience or best guesses. The HEC Paris academic questions these axioms, or self-evident truths. He believes his research can help answer unforeseen crises, called black swans, like the war in Ukraine, health pandemics or the climate crisis. Extracts.
How the Global Shipping Industry Evades Corporate Responsibilities in the 2.0 Age
HEC Paris Associate Professor Guillaume Vuillemey explores the ways the maritime shipping industry has evolved in the past 40 years to systematically evade its corporate responsibilities. In his groundbreaking research he reveals how this industry – which handles over 80% of global trade flows – uses flags of convenience and limited liability to flout international and moral law. This has repercussions on the environment and basic human rights. In a 30 minutes interview, Vuillemey outlines his approach of this industry and its links to what some are calling the “dark side of globalization”. Extracts.
HEC PhD Graduate Anicet Fangwa Revolutionizes Health Practices in D.R.C
Doctor Anicet Fangwa's work on health centers and stillbirths in the Democratic Republic of Congo could save millions of lives by better managing health practices throughout Africa. The PhD graduate from HEC Paris describes the managerial tools he's been using in remote parts of the DRC.
How Inclusive Corporate Culture Matters in the #MeToo Era
Gender diversity in corporate boards of directors has long been on the agenda, but whether and when investors reward companies that make efforts towards such inclusion remains an open question. Researchers in Accounting Crystal Shi (HEC Paris), April Klein and Mary Brooke Billings (New York University) investigate whether the #MeToo movement had an impact on investors' perceptions of the benefits of having a diverse and inclusive corporate culture, as reflected by the gender makeup of corporate boards.
How Coaching Children in Social Skills Yields Tremendous Individual and Social Benefits
In 1984, a group of young boys living in poor neighborhoods in Montreal took part in a unique experiment. For two years, they received coaching in social skills like self-confidence and perseverance. A new assessment by HEC Professor of Economics Yann Algan, with Elizabeth Beasley, Sylvana Cote, Jungwee Park, Richard E. Tremblay and Frank Vitaro, now reveals the lifelong benefits of this work, not only in terms of life outcomes for the subjects themselves, but also for society at large.
Environmental, Social and Governance Performance
Addressing the 'S' Demands of ESG
Top-quality research and teaching are essential to understand growing inequalities which hinder the urgently needed ecological transition, to interrogate the ESG factors, and to leverage theory and the most ambitious empirical methods. To do so, HEC scholars work with public and private regulators, peers from leading European academic institutions, CEOs and administrators to develop, test, and evaluate novel strategies, policies and practices designed to tackle inequalities in their field. In this Knowledge@HEC issue, we share academic knowledge and highlight professional experiences on those topics. Find the pdf of that issue here.
Research and Policymaking: Conference Debates Governance in Crisis Period
Top personalities from the political and academic worlds, including Pascal Lamy, Peter Altmaier, John Denton and Merit Janow, were amongst the 17 speakers at a September 29 conference at HEC Paris on constitutionalism. Over three intense sessions, the policymakers and professors of law explored reforms in governance of public goods. In this article, however, our focus was on how innovative research in faculties should and sometimes does lead to concrete policy proposals.
As COP27 Gears Up, an HEC Student and an Academic Confront Points of View
The COP27 summit begins on November 6 in Sharm al Sheikh, Egypt, exactly a year after COP26 in Glasgow. A year is a long time and challenges have piled up: a world divided by war in Europe, where the world sees an acceleration of climate changes and global warming has beaten all modern records. In this light, Knowledge@HEC discusses the 12-day summit’s agenda and objectives with two guests: Igor Shishlov, Academic Co-Director for HEC’s Climate & Business Certificate; and Shiraz Moret-Bailly, co-president of Esp’R, an HEC student association devoted to sustainability and social economy.