HBS Elevator Pitch Builder

You have one minute to explain yourself, your business, your goals, and your passions. Your audience knows none of these. Are you prepared? Can you present your vision smoothly, enticing them to want to know more?

What Do CEOs Do?

We develop a methodology to collect and analyze data on CEOs’ time use. The idea—sketched out in a simple theoretical set-up—is that CEO time is a scarce resource and its allocation can help us identify the firm’s priorities as well as the presence of governance issues. We follow 94 CEOs of 600 top Italian firms over a pre-specified week and record the time devoted each … [ Read more ]

Strategies to Fight Ad-sponsored Rivals

We analyze the optimal strategy of a high-quality incumbent that faces a low-quality ad-sponsored competitor. In addition to competing through adjustments of tactical variables such as price or the number of ads a product carries, we allow the incumbent to consider changes in its business model. We consider four alternative business models—a subscription-based model; an ad-sponsored model; a mixed model in which the incumbent offers … [ Read more ]

Assess, Don’t Assume, Part I: Etiquette and National Culture in Negotiation

When facing a cross-border negotiation, the standard preparatory assessments—of the parties, their interests, their no-deal options, opportunities for and barriers to creating and claiming value, the most promising sequence and process design, etc.— should be informed and modified by two classes of potentially relevant cross-border factors, the general and the negotiation-specific. Drawing on considerable literature in cross-border and cross-cultural negotiation, this paper develops the … [ Read more ]

Assess, Don’t Assume, Part II: Negotiating Implications of Cross-Border Differences in Decision Making, Governance, and Political Economy

When facing a negotiation that crosses national borders and/or cultures, the standard preparatory assessments—of the parties, their interests, their no-deal options, opportunities for and barriers to creating and claiming value, the most promising sequence and process design, etc.—should be informed and modified by potentially relevant factors. Drawing on considerable literature in cross-border and cross-cultural negotiation, a two-paper series develops a four-level prescriptive framework for effectively … [ Read more ]

Find the 15-Minute Competitive Advantage

We all want breakthroughs; it’s just that we can’t know exactly which of the bold new ideas will break through. It’s is also hard to get traction for ideas that are so far ahead of their times that the infrastructure or human habits do not yet support them.

As many technology companies have seen to their peril, you can leap much too far into the future … [ Read more ]

From Strategy to Business Models and to Tactics

Drivers such as globalization, deregulation, or technological change, just to mention a few, are profoundly changing the competitive game. Scholars and practitioners agree that the fastest-growing firms in this new environment appear to have taken advantage of these structural changes to compete “differently” and innovate in their business models. However, there is not yet agreement on what are the distinctive features of superior business models. … [ Read more ]

The CHAT Dataset

This note accompanies the Cross‐country Historical Adoption of Technology (CHAT) dataset. CHAT is an unbalanced panel dataset with information on the adoption of over 100 technologies in more than 150 countries since 1800. The data is available for download at http://www.nber.org/data/chat. We discuss the main aim of CHAT, its scope and limitations, as well as several ways in which we have used the data so … [ Read more ]

Clusters of Entrepreneurship

Employment growth is strongly predicted by smaller average establishment size, both across cities and across industries within cities, but there is little consensus on why this relationship exists. Traditional economic explanations emphasize factors that reduce entry costs or raise entrepreneurial returns, thereby increasing net returns and attracting entrepreneurs. A second class of theories hypothesizes that some places are endowed with a greater supply of entrepreneurship. … [ Read more ]

Do Economists Breed Greed and Guile?

One of the root problems with business schools is that too many are infected with assumptions that reinforce and bring out the worst in human-beings. In particular, the logic and discipline of economics usually rules the roost at business schools.

Editor’s Note: The comments add as much or more value as the article itself.

Can Ethics Classes Cure Cheating?

Aine Donovan discusses the responsibility of schools to teach ethics.

Editor’s Note: the main article isn’t that enlightening, but some of the numerous comments posted are.

Bob Sutton

There is a stream of research — which economists routinely ignore, reject, or are unable to process — that shows self-interest is not hardwired but is in fact a social norm that gets stronger or weaker depending on the assumptions that people hold about their own behavior and those around them.

James Hoopes

MBA students need more than professed values. They need to know that the world is morally complex and morally dangerous. They need to know that bad deeds can come from good values. They need to know that valuing integrity enough to keep one’s hands off other people’s money is only the beginning, not the end of business ethics.

There are many ethical questions in business life … [ Read more ]

How to Ask Better Questions

Although providing employees with answers to their problems often may be the most efficient way to get things done, the short-term gain is overshadowed by long-term costs. By taking the expedient route, you impede direct reports’ development, cheat yourself of access to some potentially fresh and powerful ideas, and place an undue burden on your own shoulders. When faced with an employee’s problem, you can … [ Read more ]

Three Rules for These Times

Shouldn’t business and business schools be looking at their practices and precepts with the same critical eye as the economics profession? Three questions, culled from Alan Webber’s book, Rules of Thumb, can help propel the thinking on these issues in the right direction.

Goals Gone Wild: The Systematic Side Effects of Over-Prescribing Goal Setting

Goal setting is one of the most replicated and influential paradigms in the management literature. Hundreds of studies conducted in numerous countries and contexts have consistently demonstrated that setting specific, challenging goals can powerfully drive behavior and boost performance. Advocates of goal setting have had a substantial impact on research, management education, and management practice. In this article, we argue that the beneficial effects of … [ Read more ]

Dishonest Deed, Clear Conscience: Self-Preservation through Moral Disengagement and Motivated Forgetting

People routinely engage in dishonest acts without feeling guilty about their behavior. When and why does this occur? Across three studies, people justified their dishonest deeds through moral disengagement and exhibited motivated forgetting of information that might otherwise limit their dishonesty. Using hypothetical scenarios (Study 1) and real tasks involving the opportunity to cheat (Studies 2 and 3), we find that dishonest behavior increased moral … [ Read more ]

Performance Persistence in Entrepreneurship

All else equal, a venture-capital-backed entrepreneur who starts a company that goes public has a 30 percent chance of succeeding in his or her next venture. First-time entrepreneurs, on the other hand, have only an 18 percent chance of succeeding, and entrepreneurs who previously failed have a 20 percent chance of succeeding. But why do these contrasts exist? HBS professors Paul A. Gompers, Anna Kovner, … [ Read more ]