Podcast: Why Are Rankings and Listicles So Popular?

From “Top 10 Beaches” to “Five Ways to Negotiate a Raise,” the psychology behind effective lists.

Take 5: How Companies Benefit from Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility has been a buzzword for a while. And it’s not hard to see how communities stand to benefit when firms are serious about CSR—be it by participating in a clean water campaign or having a large philanthropic presence.

But what about the firms themselves? How does doing good affect their bottom line? Here, Kellogg faculty share research and perspectives into how companies can … [ Read more ]

Take 5: How to Motivate Employees

Research sheds light on which employee incentives work best.

Four Tips to Persuade Others Your Idea Is a Winner

“People just aren’t naturally oriented towards innovation or change,” says Loran Nordgren. “If you were dealing with totally rational agents, you could sell your innovation on the grounds of its functionality—in other words, why it’s a good idea. But you are almost never dealing with totally rational agents.”

Thankfully, if you are convinced that a certain new product, fresh strategy, or overseas expansion is exactly what … [ Read more ]

Finding the Right Performance Incentives to Motivate Employees

Some incentive schemes encourage hard work—others reward those who game the system.

Duncan Watts

You’re trying to understand what makes something successful, but you’re only studying successful things. But of course, most of the things that successful people do are also done by unsuccessful people. So all successful people have breakfast, right? Maybe having breakfast is the key to being successful. Well, it turns out that’s not a very predictive feature. But you already know that if you study … [ Read more ]

Four Tips to Gain Influence in Your Organization

You have more power than you think—here’s how to harness it.

The Customers You Do Not Want

If these “harbingers of failure” love what you do, you are in trouble.

Editor’s Note: This is one of the more interesting pieces of research I have read about in a while. Based on the work of Eric T. Anderson, Song Lin, Duncan I. Simester and Catherine E Tucker

To Motivate, Better to Take Away Than to Give

Our motivation to work for goals is not steadfast: it can wax and wane depending upon factors both psychological (a bad mood) and environmental (nearby construction work). Determining how to enhance task motivation, therefore, remains a significant pursuit for both researchers and managers alike.

Editor’s Note: the comments on this article’s controversial findings are as more–or more–interesting as the article.

Everyone Loves a Generalist

Specialists are undervalued, on sports teams and in the workplace.

The Risks and Rewards of Experience Abroad

Do past international investments help or hurt a company’s chances of succeeding in a new market?

Russell Walker

[Risk opportunities are] largely ignored because risk has been presented as a downside, not necessarily as an upside. What is fascinating about risk and understanding your competitive position against risk is that if your competitor is to falter—if you could assist your competitor in some demise—their assets (be they market share, factories, brands, etc.) get transferred. And in the context of risk, if we … [ Read more ]

Collaborate Better

“The teams that can meet the creative challenges posed to them are the hallmark of the most successful organizations,” writes Leigh Thompson, the J. Jay Gerber Professor of Management and Dispute Resolution at the Kellogg School, in a new book published by Harvard Business Review Press.

Yet, she argues, most of the time collaboration fails to live up to its potential, largely because teams fall victim … [ Read more ]

Whipping the Supply Line into Shape

If a company makes purchases from its suppliers more unpredictably than it sells to its customers, it is said to “bullwhip.” Bullwhips can cause problems in the supply chain because it may be difficult for suppliers to adjust production in response to the changeable demand.

“Up until now,” says Robert Bray, an assistant professor of managerial economics and decision sciences at the Kellogg School, “anyone who … [ Read more ]

When and How to Drive Real Value with CSR

CSR can drive economic and reputational value in targeted circumstances and, improve a company’s bottom line. To make CSR a value-generating strategy executives must understand the contexts in which responsible practices are more likely to pay off and implementing the practices with specific principles, including competence, in mind. In this sense CSR works like other dimensions of strategic positioning, such as the quality of products … [ Read more ]

Pinpointing the Value in CSR

Proponents of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives tend to justify their position by arguing that these expenditures improve a company’s economic performance―allowing it to earn higher profits through enhanced brand reputation, more-productive employees, and insulation from regulatory penalties. In other words, executives promote the company’s own interests by pursuing a strategy of “doing well by doing good.”

In contrast, economist Milton Friedman proclaimed in 1970 (the … [ Read more ]

Principles of Pricing

Because management is not an exact science, several approaches that appear obvious turn out to have little value. In a book published this year—and particularly in a chapter devoted to pricing and competition—Kellogg School of Management professors Rakesh Vohra and Lakshman Krishnamurthi outline why many preconceived ideas can be wrong.