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Global CFOs: Facing Growing Data Security Threats

Idea posted: October 2018
  • Operations

Companies are increasing their efforts to combat data security breaches, a growing problem around the world according to a recent global survey of CFOs. 

Idea #717
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Source: Pixabay

Who’s Influencing Your Stakeholders?

Idea posted: February 2018
  • Marketing
  • Operations
Institutions: Henley Business School

Third party influence can have a major impact on a company’s reputation. By replacing the traditional company-centric communication strategy, a new stakeholder-centric Channel Strategy Model helps companies understand stakeholder perspectives that are outside the companies’ sphere of experience — and opens up new avenues of indirect communication.

Idea #691
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Hands with flowers

Collaborate with Suppliers to Ensure Green Practices in the Supply Chain

Idea posted: August 2016
  • CSR & Governance
  • Operations

A new study shows that collaborating with suppliers, rather than just monitoring them, is more effective in ensuring that they are engaging in green and sustainable practices. Internal non-coercive drivers (for example, pressure from top management rather than government regulators) encourage buyer/supplier collaboration. 

Idea #617
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Sugar Factory with clean vapor emission, Minas Gerais, Brazil, 2007 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Meeting Sustainability Priorities in Competitive Operational Strategies

Idea posted: August 2016
  • Strategy
  • CSR & Governance
  • Operations

Environmental and social sustainability priorities can be integrated with traditional priorities to varying degrees. Companies competing on innovation, for example, are more open to environmental and social sustainability than companies competing on price. Yet for all companies, environmental and social sustainability priorities play an increasingly greater role in their success.

Idea #618
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High-wire performer, South Korea, 2006 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Effective Risk Management to Secure Change and Growth

Idea posted: May 2016
  • CSR & Governance
  • Operations

Opponents of quantitative risk management models believe these models are counterproductive: they inhibit companies from taking calculated chances without preventing major mistakes (see the 2008 economic crisis). A new study of seven successful companies shows that when complemented by rigorous qualitative risk management practices and expanded roles for risk managers, quantitative models enhance rather than inhibit a company’s innovation and initiative.

Idea #604
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System change not climate change', 2009, UN climate talks in Copenhagen. Photo: kris krüg via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

How Social Movements Spark Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives

Idea posted: April 2016
  • CSR & Governance
  • Marketing
  • Operations

Social movements change society’s expectations of a company, as well as influence the thinking and values of individuals in that company. Under ideological pressure from diverse categories of external and internal stakeholders, the company responds with a corporate social responsibility agenda. 

Idea #603
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Tony Blair and George W. Bush at the White House, 2003 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Beware of Hubris Syndrome! A Leadership Personality Disorder

Idea posted: March 2015
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour
  • Operations
Institutions: Duke University

Researching the medical history of UK prime ministers and US presidents, a member the UK House of Lords and a psychiatrist and researcher from Duke University in the US reveal the symptoms and traits of hubris — a syndrome that befalls many who have substantial power over a length of time.

Idea #499
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Cyber-Attack Catastrophe: Lessons from a Plausible Risk Scenario

Idea posted: February 2015
  • Strategy
  • Finance
  • Leadership & Change
  • Operations

The Centre for Risk Studies at Cambridge University has developed a detailed risk scenario describing a slow-burning cyber attack on a fictional software developer that has global consequences. The improbable but plausible scenario, based on a variety of real (but smaller) cases, is intended as a ‘stress test’ for organizations and public policy bodies and offers lessons in how to mitigate the impact of such attacks.

Idea #491
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A watercolour by Gustaf Tenggren, 1918-19. An alternative version was used to illustrate an edition of Grimm's Fairy Tales published 1922.

Ethics and the Slippery Slope: Why Good People Do Bad Things

Idea posted: November 2014
  • CSR & Governance
  • Learning & Behaviour
  • Operations

An in-depth study of ordinary people over an extended period of time reveals how easy it is for ‘good’ people, starting with an initial small, self-justified deception, to quickly justify bigger and bigger indiscretions, thus falling down the ‘slippery slope’ to major unethical behaviour.

Idea #462
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Creating Shared Value Using Inter-Organizational Networks

Idea posted: June 2014
  • Strategy
  • CSR & Governance
  • Leadership & Change
  • Operations

More and more companies are making the connection between commercial success and attaining sustainable growth through ‘creating shared value’. This Idea outlines three steps organizations can take to advance their efforts in ‘creating shared value’, highlighting the role of inter-organizational networks as a key driver.

Idea #395
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How Competition for Customers Causes Unethical Behaviour

Idea posted: June 2014
  • Strategy
  • CSR & Governance
  • Operations

Do you encourage a culture of competition in your organization in order to motivate your employees? This Idea shows that doing so may also promote corruption and unethical behaviour. In the face of local competition, firms operating in the New York air-pollution testing industry were found to be more likely to behave unethically. Read on to find out the implications of this finding for your organization.

Idea #397
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"Your reputation precedes you" Lord Nelson to Lady Hamilton. Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh in That Hamilton Woman, 1941, produced and directed by Alexander Korda, distributed by United Artists.

How to Measure and Manage Reputation

Idea posted: May 2014
  • Strategy
  • Leadership & Change
  • Marketing
  • Operations
Institutions: Henley Business School

Reputation management is a complex task and the measurement of it particularly so, concerned as it is with diverse stakeholder groups and their respective, sometimes differing, evaluations of an organization. Getting the right level of engagement with stakeholders is a critical factor in a firm achieving its objectives, because from that engagement business recommendation and take-up will flow.

This research focuses on the pharmaceutical industry, although the model it uses is transferable to other industries and therefore offers potential to the wider corporate communication and

Idea #378
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The Arctic Expedition - the Crow’s Nest. Cover illustration (detail) for The Graphic, May 1875, by Samuel Edmund Waller

Does Your Organization Need a Chief External Officer?

Idea posted: April 2014
  • CSR & Governance
  • Finance
  • Leadership & Change
  • Marketing
  • Operations

Many large organizations face challenges in managing the demands of external non-market environments — political and social aspects of their working environment. This Idea suggests the creation of a chief external officer and gives some guidance on how to ensure their success.

Idea #362
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The Virgin of Chancellor Rolin (detail), van Eyck, 1435, Musee du Louvre, Paris. Nicholas Rolin was Chancellor to Philip the Good.

Rebuilding Reputation after a Serious Financial Restatement

Idea posted: January 2014
  • Strategy
  • Finance
  • Operations

In the wake of a serious financial restatement, how can companies repair their reputations and increase the value of their shares? According to this Idea, the answer may lie in focusing not just on investors but on stakeholders who are non-capital providers and can be viewed as ‘softer’ constituencies. 

Idea #313
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Chery A1 - service/repair shop in Ukraine (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

Reasons for Product Recalls: Safety on the Line

Idea posted: December 2013
  • Strategy
  • CSR & Governance
  • Operations

Product recall is an increasingly common problem for manufacturing industries. But its causes are rarely researched. Most studies concentrate on its effects. The  financial impact of withdrawing a product from sale has been examined in detail; the PR ‘fall-out’ much discussed. This Idea shifts the emphasis to the ‘plant-level drivers’ of recalls — and reveals the ‘systematic’ and operational reasons for quality-control failure and serious product flaws.

Idea #285
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Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, powered by Rolls Royce engines (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

In It Together: When Companies Collaborate

Idea posted: October 2013
  • Marketing
  • Operations
Institutions: Henley Business School

When two or more companies work together – which is increasingly common – their partnership will attract a reputation among customers and other stakeholders. But firms’ management of their jointly-owned reputation has traditionally been relatively neglected. By giving it proper consideration, leaders can improve the way partnerships are perceived by others, boosting their success.

Idea #232
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William Mark Felt, Sr. (1913-2008), A.K.A. ‘Deep Throat’. Felt, a former associated director of the FBI supplied Washington Post reporters Woodward and Bernstein with enough insider information to take down President Nixon after the Watergate scandal. (Source: CBS News)

Blowing the Whistle on Unethical Conduct: It Takes a Village

Idea posted: August 2013
  • CSR & Governance
  • Finance
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour
  • Operations

Employees who want to report wrongdoing must overcome two fears: the fear of retaliation and the fear of futility (the fear of risking the enmity of boss and co-workers for nothing, because nothing is done). New research on whistleblowers confirms that the boss sets the initial ethical tone for the organization or unit, but also demonstrates that co-workers play an important role in either supporting or discouraging whistleblowing. The research shows that the interaction of the two factors — boss attitude and co-workers attitude — impacts an employee’s fear of retaliation. If either the

Idea #193
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Anti-fracking activists, Balcombe, West Sussex, where Cuadrilla was drilling an exploratory well, August 2013 (Source: Greenpeace. Photo by Jiri Rezac)

CSR - Why Companies Need Activists

Idea posted: August 2013
  • CSR & Governance
  • Operations

A company’s positive or negative impact on society can enhance or harm its reputation. New research from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management shows that passionate activists play a key role in ensuring that companies remain socially responsible.  If they push too hard, however, the efforts of these same activists become counterproductive. On the corporate side, the research explains why corporations must never let up their socially responsible activities.

Idea #194
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Loud hailer

Crisis Management: Leadership and Communication

Idea posted: February 2013
  • Leadership & Change
  • Operations
Institutions: IESE Business School

How many times have you been eagerly awaiting an event, only for unforeseeable circumstances to result in its cancellation? Take the New York marathon as a recent example — it had to be cancelled as a result of the 2012 Hurricane Sandy. Crises are inevitable. But, there are steps leaders can take to avoid their organization from suffering detrimentally. This Idea explores these steps, and considers how to learn from a crisis in its aftermath.

Idea #088
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 ENRON, 2010, Written by Lucy Prebble, Royal Court Theatre, London

Corporate Scandals: Causes and Cures

Idea posted: January 2013
  • CSR & Governance
  • Finance
  • Leadership & Change
  • Operations

US corporate scandals plagued the early 2000s, with Enron, Tyco, and WorldCom becoming notorious. The 2008 financial crisis bred Libor rate-fixing and other cases of serious misconduct. Loss-hiding at Japan’s Olympus Corporation was exposed in 2011. In 2013 Shell, BP, Statoil and others came under investigation by the EU Commission for supposed oil price rigging. Fined, sued, disgraced and sometimes collapsed the consequences for organizations can be dire. What preventive measures should be put in place to ensure organizations do not fall prey to such outcomes? 

Idea #085
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Sustainable People Policies for Sustainable Organizations

Idea posted: January 2013
  • Strategy
  • CSR & Governance
  • Operations

Are human sustainability policies any less vital for a 21st Century organization than environmental ones? While the surface effects may not be so obvious, the impact on society can be huge. As pace-setting companies and cultures re-optimise toward ‘higher order fundamentals’ like human prosperity; well-being, happiness, satisfaction – employee health becomes a crucial conversation to have.

Idea #010
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