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HBS Working Knowledge

Updated: 2017-07-27T13:17:28Z


First Look at New Research and Ideas: July 25, 2017


Banning protections on M&A deals...Effectively measuring the patient experience...Considering the efficacy of 'quadratic voting.'

People Have an Irrational Need to Complete 'Sets' of Things


People are irrationally motivated to complete arbitrary sets of tasks, donations, or purchases—and organizations can take advantage of that, according to new research by Kate Barasz, Leslie John, Elizabeth Keenan, and Michael Norton.

Organizational Structures and the Improvement of Working Conditions in Global Supply Chains: Legalization, Participation, and Economic Incentives


Suppliers face increasing pressure from the institutional environment as well as demands from buyers to improve working conditions. Yanhua Z. Bird, Jodi L. Short, and Michael W. Toffel analyze the internal organizational dynamics of more than 3,000 supplier firms in 55 countries.

Why Government 'Nudges' Motivate Good Citizen Behavior


Analysis by John Beshears and colleagues finds that “nudges” can be a cost-effective way for governments to get their citizens to do the right thiong.

First Look at New Research and Ideas, July 18, 2017


The creative habits of ordinary people ... Pursuing innovation at Polaroid ... Do we know how to improve bad working conditions?

Op-Ed: As America Recedes from Global Leadership, Its CEOs are Stepping Up


A new generation of business statesmen is stepping up to take on global issues of monumental importance, says Bill George.

The Relevance of Broker Networks for Information Diffusion in the Stock Market


How information is generated by market participants, shared, and incorporated into prices is one of the key questions for understanding how financial markets operate. This study by Marco Di Maggio and colleagues finds that intermediaries play a large role in the acquisition and dissemination of private information, which they extract from order flow and, more generally, from interaction with clients.

Catering Through Disclosure: Evidence from Shanghai-Hong Kong Connect


Aaron S. Yoon studies firms’ use of disclosure to build investor confidence when they operate in a market where the institutions that support the supply of credible information are weak. He finds that the eligible firms increased private disclosures ahead of the new regime’s implementation, motivated by their desire to attract capital.

Task Selection and Workload: A Focus on Completing Easy Tasks Hurts Long-Term Performance


Employees facing increased workloads usually tackle easier tasks first. This study by Francesca Gino and colleagues tests the performance implications of such prioritization. Findings show that it happens because people feel positive emotions after task completion, yet it could hurt long-term performance. Workloads could be structured to help employee development as well as organizational performance.