Tuesday, August 1, 2006


Does an Effective Media Reduce Politicians' Incentives to Pander to Voters?

Elections sometimes give policy makers incentives to pander - to implement policies that voters think are in their best interest even though the policy maker knows they are not, says Professor Kenneth Shotts. In general, an effective media reduces this tendency to pander, "but there are some exceptions to this general rule."

First Selling the Idea to Senior Leaders Helps Organizations Realize Change

Getting all the senior leaders on board in advance is the most effective way to be successful in introducing change to an organization, according to research co-authored by business school Professor Charles O'Reilly.

CEO Succession Planning Lags Badly Research Finds

More than half of companies today cannot immediately name a successor to their CEO should the need arise, according to new research conducted by Heidrick & Struggles and Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University. The survey of more than 140 CEOs and board directors of North American public and private companies reveals critical lapses in CEO succession planning.

Why Trust Can Get You Into Trouble

"Why do people trust, why can trust get us into trouble, and what we can do to protect ourselves?" asks Professor Rod Kramer of the Stanford Graduate School of Business. After looking at the financial industry he was surprised by "the level of abuse of trust throughout the financial industries: its magnitude, its pervasiveness, and its duration."

People in the Minority May Know Themselves Better

One benefit of knowing you're in the minority is a clearer sense of self, says marketing Professor S. Christian Wheeler. Business organizations, which have been shown to improve their decision making when diverse ideas are present, may therefore want to think about more structured ways for encouraging naysayers to speak up.

Nurturing Innovation and Top Talent Are Priorities Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer tells Stanford MBA students how his leadership style has evolved. If he could change one decision he made since becoming CEO, Ballmer said he’d have pushed the company to start developing internet search products years earlier. VideoVideo

It’s Not About You Leadership is not about you. It’s about the people who work for you Business School Dean Robert L. Joss says in a recent essay.

WilliamsAudio AUDIO SLIDE SHOW: Learning Leadership

Evelyn Williams, director of the Leadership Labs, narrates the new leadership component in the school's curriculum. Students will now face real-world problems through role-play exercises.

The Key to a Successful Merger of Cultures? Look at Employee Demographics Although it may not get a lot of lip service, the reason most mergers succeed is that employees of the new firm coalesce into a united whole. It sounds harsh, but Professor Glenn Carroll and his co-author say the best thing for employees who won't or can't fit the new mold may be to encourage them to leave. (October 2006)

Run as Fast as You Can: The Red Queen of Competition Improves Organizational Performance Organizations that don’t keep changing eventually become punished for being really good at what used to be rewarded, according to Professor William Barnett. Like the Red Queen of Alice in Wonderland, businesses have to move fast to keep even with the competition. (October 2006)

Diverse Backgrounds and Personalities Can Strengthen Groups Groups with diverse functional expertise, education, or personality can increase performance by enhancing creativity or group problem-solving. In contrast, more visible diversity, such as race, gender, or age, can have negative effects unless it's managed properly, says Margaret Neale. (August 2006)

Introducing New Ideas—The Dangers of Mixing Foie Gras and Arugula Categorical boundaries are ideological fault lines in all industries, but particularly in music, food, wine, and art. Innovators who cross those boundaries can be seen as traitors and booed by their audience, says Professor Hayagreeva Rao. (April 2006)

Untested Assumptions May Have a Big Effect Many managers assume certain things in the business world. Working to uncover exactly what leaders' assumptions are and then testing them to be sure they're true may be the most important step in human resource management, says Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer. (June 2005)

Admitting Missteps May Boost Stock Prices Corporations that accept responsibility for a bad financial year rather than blame external forces may see rewards from the stock market, according to recent research. (August 2004)

When First Impressions Flop: The Power of Getting a Second Chance Many people can overcome a bad first impression if they're given a second chance. But, says professor Jerker Denrell, human nature and many corporate environments make it very hard to get that second chance. (June 2004)

Better Decisions Through Teamwork The U.S. Supreme Court benefits from differences of opinions among the justices. Research that included studying how teams make decisions says when a narrow majority exists, pressure of the minority forces the majority to make think with more complexity and to consider diverse evidence. (April 2004)

Failure Is a Key to Understanding Success Studying success has become almost a cottage industry for writers and consultants. Jerker Denrell warns that by not studying failure too, these pundits may present a very skewed picture of what it takes to succeed. (January 2004)

When the CEO Leaves, Do Others Follow? The departure of the CEO doesn't necessarily mean the entire top management is in jeopardy, says Prof. Paul Oyer. What really matters when top corporate leadership changes is how much the CEO and the top-level executive have invested in their relationship. (October 2003)

Don Quixote's Lessons for Leadership Drawing on classical literature and contemporary film, Professor James March creates a movie produced in Europe and America based on the idealism in Cervantes' novel. (May 2003)

Issues in Leadership Promotion by pedigree, or even potential, can be a fast track to failure. The best leaders prove themselves by performance—every step of the way. (February 2002)