One Bad Apple Spoils the Company

A new study suggests that avoiding or weeding out toxic employees can be much more valuable to firms than hiring or cultivating overachievers.

Female CEOs: A Steady Hand at the Wheel

Bottom Line: The number of women presiding over large companies still lags far behind men, yet the firms they lead tend to be more risk averse and more profitable over the long term.

The Myth of the Coveted Loyal Shopper

Bottom Line: When it comes to consumer goods, infrequent purchasers, not faithful customers, seem to drive market-share growth.

Agreeable vs. Disagreeable CEO: Who Do You Want at the Helm?

An executive’s character traits are linked to certain patterns in a firm’s investments, strategy decisions, and overall performance, a new study finds.

Nice Guys Finish First

According to a new study, nice guys finish first in the race up the corporate ladder. And yes, it’s usually guys who emerge victorious. Hiring committees tend to disproportionately value candidates’ interpersonal qualities, the authors found, and elevate far fewer similarly credentialed women than men to the CEO role.

The Double-Edged Sword of Overseas Experience

Executives who accumulate international experience are no more likely than others to advance their career at multinational companies.

Knock, Knock. Who’s There? Your Boss

In most cases, when managers joke with their employees, it’s no laughing matter.

“We Know Who You Are” Is a Profitable Pitch

Bottom Line: Despite privacy concerns, businesses can benefit from including personalized information about potential customers in their email advertising appeals.

Weak Links in the Chain

Flexible, adaptive supply chain management is an overlooked but vital component of a company’s overall innovation strategy.

The Most Profitable Way to Divest a Subsidiary

Bottom Line: When firms want to shed a subsidiary, they must decide whether to spin off or sell the business. New research shows that selling, rather than spinning, may be the more profitable option.

Putting the Naysayers in the Spotlight

Early adopters get most of the attention from analysts and marketers, but focusing on consumers who are resistant to innovations is another way to bring new products to market.

The Unexpected Benefits of Product Returns

Product returns are typically seen as a necessary headache and a cost drain. But companies can use their return policies to enhance customer loyalty and increase profits. Research by J. Andrew Petersen of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and V. Kumar of Georgia State University.

Honesty (about Your Costs) Is the Best Policy

Being honest about the expenses that go into developing and distributing a product can increase sales and enhance a firm’s bond with consumers.

Research Perspectives on the New CEO

Academic studies of the recruitment of chief executives suggest that those from outside the industry do relatively well, companies pay more for generalists than for specialists, and “shadow emperors” hamper performance.