First Look

First Look summarizes new working papers, case studies, and publications produced by Harvard Business School faculty. Readers receive early knowledge of cutting-edge ideas before they enter the mainstream of business practice. For complete details on faculty research, see our Working Papers section.

August 6

'Go green' going big

Corporate environmentalism has entered increasingly into the mainstream, but opting for LED light bulbs and carpool incentives may not be enough to halt climate change, according to Greening Is Not Enough: 4 Steps to Corporate Leadership on Climate Change, by Auden Schendler and Michael W. Toffel. Instead of taking this piecework approach businesses should use their clout to encourage widespread federal reforms. The authors list four ways in which corporations can become environmental leaders: lobby for limits on greenhouse gas emissions; insist that trade groups stop opposing climate policy; require that suppliers monitor their climate impact and set targets for pollution reduction; and set an example by letting customers know about their environmental policies.

Women and the MBA: A case history on HBS

Harvard Business School turns its case writing efforts inward, charting the growth of women trained in its MBA program starting in 1963. "The 50th anniversary of women's enrollment in the traditional MBA program gave HBS Dean Nitin Nohria the opportunity to take stock of the progress that had been made by HBS women students and alumnae and ponder what still remained to be done," according to the case, "Women MBAs at Harvard Business School: 1962-2012."

How skewed comparisons affect self-perception

In All Ranks are Local: Why Humans Are Both (Painfully) Aware and (Surprisingly) Unaware of their Lot in Life, Michael I. Norton reveals that most people miscalculate the percentage of wealth held by the richest members of society, while overestimating their own income bracket. Yet despite not knowing where we stand, or what game we're even playing, many of us continue to use our incomes as a measure of personal worth. Norton suggests that this is because we are more likely to focus on our 'immediate rank' rather than our 'absolute rank.' Once made aware of how we stack up compared to, say, our nation rather than our community, we begin supporting policies that will help us gain social mobility.

 

Publications

  • August 2013
  • Cengage Learning

Principles of Management. 1st ed

By: Gulati, Ranjay, Anthony J. Mayo, and Nitin Nohria

Abstract—Prepare your students, as managers, to confront today's challenges and opportunities that are more dynamic and complex than ever before with the interconnected approach found only in Gulati, Mayo, and Nohria's Management. This unique text demonstrates how success within a constantly changing business environment requires a clear understanding of the interactive and dynamic nature of strategy, organizational design, and leadership. Students clearly see how today's managers need to harness technological advances, manage and lead a dispersed and diverse workforce, anticipate and react to constant competitive and geopolitical change and uncertainty, compete on a global scale, and operate in a socially responsible and accountable manner. Management demonstrates the mutual interconnectivity among the three key facets of management: strategic positioning, organizational design, and individual leadership. The authors highlight both the manner in which strategy informs leadership and how leaders influence strategic positioning and, ultimately, performance. Your students effectively prepare for leadership roles and truly think like managers as they master and address the many integrated facets involved in answering the key question: How are leaders successfully managing competitive companies in the 21st century?

Publisher's link: http://www.cengage.com/aushed/instructor.do?disciplinenumber=1028&product_isbn=9781133626701&courseid=MN05&codeid=2A3A&sortBy=copyrightYear&sortByShow=all

  • August 2013
  • Journal of Financial Economics

Accountability of Independent Directors-Evidence from Firms Subject to Securities Litigation

By: Brochet, Francois, and Suraj Srinivasan

Abstract—We examine which independent directors are held accountable when investors sue firms for financial- and disclosure-related fraud. Investors can name independent directors as defendants in lawsuits, and they can vote against their re-election to express displeasure over the directors' ineffectiveness at monitoring managers. In a sample of securities class-action lawsuits from 1996 to 2010, about 11% of independent directors are named as defendants. The likelihood of being named is greater for audit committee members and directors who sell stock during the class period. Named directors receive more negative recommendations from Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), a proxy advisory firm, and significantly more negative votes from shareholders than directors in a benchmark sample. They are also more likely than other independent directors to leave sued firms. Overall, shareholders use litigation along with director elections and director retention to hold some independent directors more accountable than others when firms experience financial fraud.

Publisher's link: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2285776

  • August 2013
  • Harvard Business Review

The Costs of Racial 'Color Blindness'

By: Norton, Michael I., and Evan P. Apfelbaum

Abstract—The article looks at research on people's attitudes and behaviors with respect to noticing and referring to a person's race. It explains the 2013 study, in which participants played a "Guess Who?" style game of asking yes-or-no questions about a group of faces pictured, half white and half African-American. The authors suggest that people's discomfort and avoidance of referring to race imposes costs in terms of information gathering and effective workplace diversity programs.

Publisher's link: http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/download.aspx?name=norton%20apfelbaum%202013.pdf

  • August 2013
  • Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

The Cheater's High: The Unexpected Affective Benefits of Unethical Behavior

By: Ruedy, N.E., C. Moore, F. Gino, and M. Schweitzer

Abstract—Many theories of moral behavior assume that unethical behavior triggers negative affect. In this paper, we challenge this assumption and demonstrate that unethical behavior can trigger positive affect, which we term a "cheater's high." Across six studies, we find that even though individuals predict they will feel guilty and have increased levels of negative affect after engaging in unethical behavior (Studies 1a and 1b), individuals who cheat on different problem-solving tasks consistently experience more positive affect than those who do not (Studies 2-5). We find that this heightened positive affect does not depend on self-selection (Studies 3 and 4) and it is not due to the accrual of undeserved financial rewards (Study 4). Cheating is associated with feelings of self-satisfaction, and the boost in positive affect from cheating persists even when prospects for self-deception about unethical behavior are reduced (Study 5). Our results have important implications for models of ethical decision making, moral behavior, and self-regulatory theory.

Publisher's link: http://www.francescagino.com

  • August 2013
  • Journal of Finance

The Real Product Market Impact of Mergers

By: Sheen, Albert

Abstract—I document sources of value creation in mergers by analyzing novel data on the quality and price of goods sold by merging firms. When two competitors in a product market merge, their products converge in quality, and prices fall relative to the competition. These effects take two to three years to be fully realized and are stronger in mature, slow growth industries. Prices do not fall, however, when the acquirer is diversifying into a new product market. This direct evidence of real changes induced by merger activity is consistent with consolidation by related merging firms to achieve operational efficiencies and lower costs.

Publisher's link: http://people.hbs.edu/asheen/consumer%20mergers%206-28-13.pdf

 

Cases & Course Materials

  • Harvard Business School Case 413-013

Women MBAs at Harvard Business School: 1962-2012

Eight women had first enrolled in Harvard Business School's traditional MBA program in 1963. By 2013, the number of women in the MBA classroom had reached 40%. The 50th anniversary of women's enrollment in the traditional MBA program gave HBS Dean Nitin Nohria the opportunity to take stock of the progress that had been made by HBS women students and alumnae and ponder what still remained to be done. The case examines the evolving experiences of male and female MBAs over the decades through interviews with dozens of HBS alumni, as well as the experiences of female faculty at the School. The case scrutinizes a number of issues facing professional women, such as changing definitions of success and diversity, barriers faced by women at work, the expectations of work and family, and present-day implications for the pipeline of future women leaders. Students consider the role of the School in addressing disparities both on campus and in the wider business world.

Purchase this case:
http://hbr.org/search/413013-PDF-ENG

  • Harvard Business School Case 413-089

Women MBAs in the Workplace

No description available.

Purchase this case:
http://hbr.org/search/413089-PDF-ENG

  • Harvard Business School Case 313-109

Triodos Bank: Conscious Money in Action

No description available.

Purchase this case:
http://hbr.org/search/313109-PDF-ENG

  • Harvard Business School Case 112-085

Schön Klinik: Measuring Cost and Value

The case illustrates how a leading German hospital group has invested deeply in the measurement of patient-level outcomes and costs, the foundations of a health care value framework. The company launches a pilot project to use time-driven activity-based costing (TDABC) for measuring the cost of total knee replacements. The costing project complements an existing initiative for comprehensive outcomes measurement. The combination of accurate measurement of outcomes and costs empowers local personnel-physicians, nurses, and administrators-to improve the value of care they deliver. It also permits benchmarking across the group's multiple hospital sites to identify best practices that can be shared. The case concludes with a decision on using outcome and cost measurement to inform the adoption of a new recuperative approach that promises to dramatically lower post-surgical length of stays.

Purchase this case:
http://hbr.org/search/112085-PDF-ENG

  • Harvard Business School Case 813-159

C12 Energy

C12 aimed to build not merely a company, but an entire industry around carbon capture and sequestration (CCS). "You change the world by building a market, and you build a market by building a profitable company that other people copy," said Dawe, C12 Energy's CEO. "In the energy business, you build a company one project at a time. Moving forward with this first project is where we hope to begin to change the world."

Purchase this case:
http://hbr.org/search/813159-PDF-ENG

  • Harvard Business School Case 713-531

Global Strategic Management

No description available.

Purchase this case:
http://hbr.org/search/713531-PDF-ENG