Monday, February 23, 2015

Can Business Schools Humanize Leadership?

PETRIGLIERI Gianpiero, PETRIGLIERI Jennifer
Can Business Schools Humanize Leadership? Academy of Management Learning & Education (forthcoming)


This article examines how and why business schools might be complicit in a growing disconnect between leaders, people supposed to follow them, and the institutions they are meant to serve. We contend that business schools sustain this disconnect through a dehumanization of leadership that is manifested in the reduction of leadership to a set of skills and its elevation to a personal virtue. The dehumanization of leadership, we suggest, serves as a valuable defense against, but as poor preparation for, the ambiguity and precariousness of leadership in contemporary workplaces. This article proposes ways to humanize leadership by putting questions about the meaning of leadership—about its nature, function, and development—at the center of scholarly and pedagogical efforts. Reflecting on our attempts to do so, we argue that it involves revisiting not just theories and teaching methods but also our identities as scholars and instructors.

Can Business Schools Humanize Leadership?

PETRIGLIERI Gianpiero, PETRIGLIERI Jennifer
Read the working paper
INSEAD Working Paper 2015/18/OBH

This article examines how and why business schools might be complicit in a growing disconnect between leaders, people supposed to follow them, and the institutions they are meant to serve. We contend that business schools sustain this disconnect through a dehumanization of leadership that is manifested in the reduction of leadership to a set of skills and its elevation to a personal virtue. The dehumanization of leadership, we suggest, serves as a valuable defense against, but as poor preparation for, the ambiguity and precariousness of leadership in contemporary workplaces. This article proposes ways to humanize leadership by putting questions about the meaning of leadership—about its nature, function, and development—at the center of scholarly and pedagogical efforts. Reflecting on our attempts to do so, we argue that it involves revisiting not just theories and teaching methods but also our identities as scholars and instructors.

The Value of Field Experiments

LI Jimmy, RUSMEVICHIENTONG Paat, SIMESTER Duncan, TSITSIKLIS John N., ZOUMPOULIS Spyros
Access the publisher's website
Management Science (forthcoming)


The feasibility of using field experiments to optimize marketing decisions remains relatively unstudied. We investigate category pricing decisions that require estimating a large matrix of cross-product demand elasticities and ask the following question: How many experiments are required as the number of products in the category grows? Our main result demonstrates that if the categories have a favorable structure, we can learn faster and reduce the number of experiments that are required: the number of experiments required may grow just logarithmically with the number of products. These findings potentially have important implications for the application of field experiments. Firms may be able to obtain meaningful estimates using a practically feasible number of experiments, even in categories with a large number of products. We also provide a relatively simple mechanism that firms can use to evaluate whether a category has a structure that makes it feasible to use field experiments to set prices. We illustrate how to accomplish this using either a sample of historical data or a pilot set of experiments. We also discuss how to evaluate whether field experiments can help optimize other marketing decisions, such as selecting which products to advertise or promote.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Changing C-Suite: Executive Power Structures in Transformation



ALVAREZ Jose-Luis; VELIKOVA Silviya Svejenova
The Changing C-Suite: Executive Power Structures in Transformation Oxford University Press (forthcoming)

Object Salience in the Division of Labor: Experimental Evidence

RAVEENDRAN Marlo, PURANAM Phanish, WARGLIEN Massimo
Read the working paper
INSEAD Working Paper 2015/17/STR


When we engage in the process of division of labor, there are typically multiple alternatives, but insufficient knowledge to choose among them. Under such conditions, we propose that not all alternatives are equally likely to be pursued. In particular, we argue that when we engage in the process of division of labor for novel and non-repetitive production, we display a tendency to perceive and select object-based task partitions over activity-based partitions. We experimentally investigate how the salience of objects over activities manifests itself in individuals and groups engaged in division of labor for the assembly of more or less decomposable products. We draw implications for organization design as well as the impact of technological change on organizations.