Thursday, February 4, 2016

Le paradoxe de l’authenticité

IBARRA Herminia
Le paradoxe de l’authenticité (translation of "The Authenticity Paradox", Harvard Business Review, January 2015) Harvard Business Review France Fev-Mar 2016
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L’authenticité est devenue la référence absolue en matière de leadership. Mais une compréhension trop simpliste de ce que signifie ce terme peut ralentir votre évolution et limiter votre impact.

Carbon Taxes, Path Dependency and Directed Technical Change : Evidence from the Auto Industry

Access the publisher's website Journal of Political Economy 124, 1 (2016) 1-51

Can directed technical change be used to combat climate change? The authors construct new firm-level panel data on auto industry innovation distinguishing between "dirty" (internal combustion engine) and "clean" (e.g. electric and hybrid) patents across 80 countries over several decades. 

This study shows that firms tend to innovate relatively more in clean technologies when they face higher tax-inclusive fuel prices. Furthermore, there is path dependence in the type of innovation both from aggregate spillovers and from the firm's own innovation history. Using our model we simulate the increases in carbon taxes needed to allow clean technologies to overtake dirty technologies.

Status-Aspirational Pricing The “Chivas Regal” Strategy in U.S. Higher Education, 2006–2012

ASKIN Noah, BOTHNER Matthew S.
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Administrative Science Quarterly (forthcoming)

This paper examines the effect of status loss on organizations’ price-setting behavior. The authors predict, counter to current status theory and aligned with performance feedback theory, that a status decline prompts certain organizations to charge higher prices and that there are two kinds of organizations most prone to make such price increases: those with broad appeal across disconnected types of customers and those whose most strategically similar rivals have charged high prices previously.

Using panel data from U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of private colleges and universities from 2005 to 2012, we model the effect of drops in rank that take a school below an aspiration level. The authors find that schools set tuition higher after a sharp decline in rank, particularly those that appeal widely to college applicants and whose rivals are relatively more expensive. This study presents a dynamic conception of status that differs from the prevailing view of status as a stable asset that yields concrete benefits. In contrast to past work that has assumed that organizations passively experience negative effects when their status falls, these results show that organizations actively respond to status loss. Status is a performance-related goal for such producers, who may increase prices as they work to recover lost ground after a status decline.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A Survey of Forecasting and Uncertainty

Access the publisher's website Risk and Decision Analysis 6, 1 (2016) 37-64

The origins of forecasting can be traced back to the beginning of human civilization with attempts to predict the weather, although forecasting as a field first appeared in the 1940s and attracted more followers from the early 1950s, when the need for predictions emerged in different fields of endeavor. It expanded considerably in the 1960s and 1970s when benefits were ascertained and computers were employed to perform the tedious calculations required. But initial successes in the fields of economics and business were first moderated and later reversed, with reality checks, first during the 1973/74 energy crisis, afterwards during the prolonged economic stagflation of the late 1970s and early 1980s and further deteriorated during the severe 2007/8 global financial crisis. The initial, optimistic expectations that social sciences will (using powerful computers and sophisticated models) replicate the predictive accuracy of hard ones were repeatedly shattered. This has left diverse fields like economics, management, political and human sciences and even worse medicine with no objective evidence of successful, accurate predictions, casting doubts to their “scientific” vigor. At the same time, weather forecasting achieved success for immediate term predictions improving its accuracy and reliability over time. This paper starts with a historical overview of non-superstition based forecasting as it is practiced in different areas and surveys their predictive accuracy, highlighting their successes, identifying their failures and explaining the reasons involved. Consequently, it argues for a new, pragmatic approach where the emphasis must shift from forecasting to assessing uncertainty, as realistically as possible, evaluating its implications to risk and exploring ways to prepare to face it. It expands Rumsfeld’s classification to four quadrants (Known/Knowns, Unknown/Knowns, Known/Unknowns and Unknown/Unknowns) in order to explore the full range of predictions and associated uncertainties and consider the implications and risks involved. Finally, there is a concluding section summarizing the findings and providing some suggestions for future research aimed at turning forecasting into an interdisciplinary field increasing its value and usefulness.

Coopetition as a Paradox: Integrative Approaches in a Multi-Company, Cross-Sector Partnership

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Organization Studies (forthcoming)

Coopetition is paradoxical in that the simultaneous cooperation and competition can give rise to important synergies as well as tensions. To circumvent these tensions, scholars primarily suggest structural, separation-centred strategies. Such strategies are helpful, but incomplete, as total separation would not allow exploitation of the synergies that coopetition may offer. Based on an in-depth case study of a pioneering multi-company, cross-sector partnership, we explore how employees cope with the remaining tensions.

Illustrating employees’ sense-making processes, the autghors show how they build on the organisational and the boundary-spanning task contexts and develop paradoxical frames. Juxtaposing the competitive and collaborative logics, these frames shape the employees’ understanding of who they are (i.e. a nested identity) and what they should do (i.e. contextual segmentation). This juxtaposition allows the employees to navigate emerging tensions by adopting both logics (i.e. integrating behaviour) and by contextually prioritising one logic without ignoring the other (i.e. demarcating behaviour). These insights complement structural strategies with integrative, employee-centred ones and highlight contextual factors that promote such an integrative approach.