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Organizational Behavior

Making the ‘Business Case for Diversity’ Can Backfire with Underrepresented Groups

Many companies say that they are committed to diversity because it boosts firm performance. In a new study, Oriane Georgeac at Yale SOM and Aneeta Rattan at London Business School find that this explanation can have detrimental consequences for the very applicants that companies seek to attract.

An illustration showing a graph of profits and a group of people of different ethnic backgrounds
  • Do Organizations Implement the Best Crowdsourced Ideas?

    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.

  • Can Low-Hanging Fruit Drive Earnings Growth?

    Jeremy Eden ’86 and Terri Long, co-CEOs of consulting firm Harvest Earnings, argue that organizations ignore ways to significantly grow earnings because of “behaviors that limit what we know and how we think.” Their solution starts with asking lots of questions.

  • How Do Leaders Advance Sustainability in Complex Organizations?

    Sustainability leaders often have to interact with a wide range of stakeholders with varied interests and incentives. They need to figure out the best way to engage, communicate, prioritize, and implement—in other words, to persuade. According to a panel of sustainability executives, that can mean sidestepping the language and baggage of sustainability entirely.

  • How Do You Hire When Everything Keeps Changing?

    How do companies with rapidly evolving business plans and a constantly shifting competitive landscape hire the right people for tomorrow, let alone next year? While education and training still matter, Laszlo Bock, head of people operations at Google, says that the company looks for people with the ability to learn, solve problems, and step in when leadership is needed.

    Illustration of several toolboxes with a focus on one with diverse tools
  • How Do Successful Firms Find the Right People?

    Placing the right people in the right role lets companies innovate and grow. But there’s no surefire way of getting the perfect fit. Some companies are turning to big data to solve this problem; some go with the gut to find creativity and judgment. Beth Axelrod, eBay’s head of human resources, explains how the company goes about finding and retaining the talent it needs.

    Illustration of a large arrow pointed up composed of many person icons
  • Study: Men Seeking Career Advancement Are Favored for Flextime

    Managers are most likely to grant flextime to men in high-status jobs who request it to pursue career development opportunities, according to a new study by Professor Victoria Brescoll. Women, regardless of their status within a firm or their reason, are less likely than high-status men to be granted a schedule change.

  • Can you lead from the middle of a big corporation?

    Managers from four global companies talk about how they launched social and environmental innovations within massive organizations.

  • What's the Google approach to human capital?

    Google's success depends on sustaining both generative chaos and precision output. Laszlo Bock, who heads the internet giant's human resources function—which it calls "People Operations"—talks about how it encourages employees to participate in running the company and builds effective teams.

  • What was Polaroid thinking?

    Polaroid went from ubiquity to obsolescence as digital photography replaced the print. But as early as the 1960s, Polaroid had been doing research into digital imaging. Did mistaken assumptions keep the company from making the transition to the digital world?