Top of Mind

Do activist investors target women CEOs? The New York Times’ Dealbook points out that only 23 companies in the S&P 500 are led by women, but a quarter of those are being targeted by activist investors. The investors deny any gender bias, and most of the CEOs refused any comment, but one said, “You’re onto something.”

The Times cites research by Yale SOM’s Victoria Brescoll showing that female leaders are perceived negatively, by both male and female listeners, when they talk as much as male peers. 

Last year, Brescoll and Prof. Jeffrey Sonnenfeld wrote an op-ed about the bias and discrimination that persist for powerful women in corporate America.

12:41 PM - 13 Feb 15
Heather Gerken — Every Election Day, politicians sporting flag pins step into voting booths and come out proclaiming their pride in the democratic process. But take a step back and things don’t look so rosy. Between badly run elections and a new wave of “dark money” entering campaigns, reformers fear that the very nature of our democracy is at risk. View Video
Richard N. Foster & Michael Apkon & Rosalyn Cama & Bryan Kim & Michael Sherling — Healthcare is an industry as much as a science. Innovations that enable the system to deliver better quality at a lower cost are as likely to come from IT, business processes, and design as from new medicines. Moving medicine fully into the digital world could be the linchpin of a more integrated, coordinated approach, if the technology can mesh neatly with the needs of patients, providers, and payers; existing business models; and the complexity of medicine itself. View Video
Richard N. Foster — Where do the new ideas come from—the ones that change industries and societies? In a lecture at Yale SOM, Prof. Richard Foster explains what creativity is—and isn’t—and describes the kinds of traits, knowledge, and ways of thinking that lead to the moment of creative insight. View Video
Rodrigo Canales — Should organizations favor the dependable efficiency of rules and standards or a less calculated but more flexible operation that bends to accommodate individual situations? How about both? Read More
Robert J. Shiller — In a New York Times op-ed, Professor Robert J. Shiller explores the link between people’s feelings of uncertainty about the future and the unusual dynamics at work in today's economic world. Read More
Denis Ring — Organic food is booming. Even after a dip during the financial crisis, organics have continued to grow at an impressive clip worldwide. But organic food remains a small fraction of total food consumption. Will organics will ever be able to break into the mainstream? Yale Insights talks with Denis Ring ’84, founder of organic chocolate company Ocho Candy and creator of Whole Foods’ 365 organic store brand. View Video
Jonathan Klein — Digital technology has vastly expanded the supply and the market for stock image providers like Getty Images, but it has also complicated the task of controlling their intellectual property. Jonathan Klein, Getty’s cofounder and CEO, talks about its business model and the “existential threat” posed by online image search. View Video

Do Organizations Implement the Best Crowdsourced Ideas?

Linus Dahlander — Many companies use crowdsourcing in search of new ideas. But in a video interview for ESMT’s Knowledge series, Professor Linus Dahlander says that organizations seeking crowdsourced ideas end up sticking with the most familiar ones. View Video
Judith A. Chevalier — The online, user-generated review is a boon for consumers—a chance to sidestep promotional claims and get an honest assessment. But as soon as reviews appeared online, fake reviews followed. A study co-authored by Professor Judith Chevalier looks at the prevalence of fake hotel reviews and tests a hypothesis about who might post them and why. View Video
When Zagat launched its first survey of New York City dining, aggregating restaurant reviews by ordinary people was a novel idea. Today, the user-generated review has moved online and is a major influence on commerce. But models for collecting and presenting opinions continue to evolve. Read More
James Choi — Investment companies including Fidelity, Putnam Investments, and Voya Financial are rolling out tools that tell investors how their retirement savings compare to those of their peers. This social comparison is intended to motivate investors to increase their savings; however, new research shows that it can have the opposite effect. Read More
Eric Spiegel — Tradeoffs are an inevitable part of doing business. And sustainability work in particular involves spending a great deal of time in the tug of war of competing priorities. Eric Spiegel, president and CEO of Siemens USA, discussed that company’s efforts to minimize tradeoffs. View Video