IMD Professor Reacts

Expert analysis of breaking news and business trends by IMD faculty.

Governance

The power and pitfalls of default settings

By Jayanth Narayanan - 01/05/2017

Organ donation rates in some countries are much higher than in others. Neighboring countries with similar cultures can have dramatically different levels of organ donation. For example, organ donation ...

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Leadership

Why powerful people should apologize more often and better

By Jayanth Narayanan - 01/05/2017

The recent scandal involving Ravindra Gaikwad, the Indian Member of Parliament who made headlines after an alleged assault on an Air India Employee for being asked to take an economy instead of a ...

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Sustainability

TESLA becomes a model for sustainable leadership: David and Goliath revisited

By Francisco Szekely - 13/04/2017

Tesla recently reached a market value of USD $ 50.84 billion, briefly surpassing General Motors – which has a USD $ 50.79 billion market value – and thus becoming the most valuable car company in the ...

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Marketing

Boycotting Google: free PR

By Stefan Michel - 06/04/2017

Swiss companies, such as the soft cheese manufacturer Baer and Swiss Life, have announced that they will stop placing any advertising on Google because their ads have appeared alongside YouTube videos ...

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Team Leadership

Jeff Jones at Uber: What's the real story?

By Michael D. Watkins - 21/03/2017

When the going gets tough, do the not-so-tough get going? Such may be the case with Jeff Jones who, after just 6 months as President, has departed Uber . The reason, according to sources cited by Reco ...

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Ethics

The cancer of corporate cheating will kill capitalism

By Jean-Pierre Lehmann - 16/03/2017

And now, it’s Renault! The French anti-fraud agency (DGCCRF) has accused the carmaker of having cheated on its emissions test data for the last twenty-five years. This brings Renault in line with ...

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Political Economy

Tawfik Jelassi on scandals, Le Pen, Frexit and the upcoming French election

By Tawfik Jelassi - 14/03/2017

Tawfik Jelassi, IMD Professor and Strategy and Technology Management, recent Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research, and Information & Communication Technologies in Tunisia, and French and ...

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Economics, Political Economy

The falling star called democracy

By Arturo Bris - 13/03/2017

Today, only 4.5% of the world’s population lives in a fully democratic country, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index. About 45% live in flawed democracies, while 33% are ...

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Governance

Putting gender diversity on the board agenda

By Bettina Büchel - 08/03/2017

Today, there are still fewer women than men on company boards, even though in many countries that belong to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), women have obtained highe ...

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Economics, Political Economy

GDP is dead. Long live ‘happiness’

By Arturo Bris - 03/03/2017

The modern concept of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was developed by economist Simon Kuznets in 1934. Since then, and especially after the Bretton Woods Accords, GDP has been the accepted standard for ...

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Economics, Information Technology

How does the Snapchat IPO make any sense?

By Michael R. Wade - 02/03/2017

The shares of Snap will start to trade on the US markets today. The IPO price of $17 per share values the company at about $24B. Based on interest in the shares (they were ten times over-subscribed), ...

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Economics, Political Economy

A history lesson (from year one) for Trump and the Brexit crowd: Isolationism has never worked!

By Stéphane Garelli - 03/02/2017

From Trump’s wall and immigrant ban, to Britain pulling away from its longtime partners, the tendency toward isolationist policies is on the rise in the west. We’ve seen this before but it has never h ...

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Economics, Political Economy

Swiss people’s party plays on fear and terrorism ahead of third generation foreigner vote

By Stefan Michel - 27/01/2017

Imagine that your grandparents and parents and you had lived the majority of your lives in your home country but that none of you were full citizens. That’s still possible in Switzerland but the ...

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Interpersonal Leadership, Self-Leadership

Should companies and government meddle with “happiness”?

By Stéphane Garelli - 23/01/2017

Oud Bint Khalfan Al Roumi is twice happy. She landed a prestigious government position in the United Arab Emirates. Then, she was appointed to the rather unique job of “state minister in charge of ...

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Interpersonal Leadership, Team Leadership

The political leaders we deserve

By Jean-Pierre Lehmann - 06/12/2016

I was born in 1945. As a Frenchman, indeed as a Western European, in the ensuing seven decades I have known nothing but peace and prosperity. No major “world” wars, no civil wars, no holocaust, no ...

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Sustainability

What does the Trump administration and climate change denial have to do with Switzerland?

By Francisco Szekely - 01/12/2016

The recent election of Donald Trump to the US presidency has a number of implications for the US and for the global community, particularly in the area of sustainability and climate change. During his ...

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Information Technology, Innovation

Why China’s new cybersecurity law is a threat to international businesses and innovation

By Georges Haour - 24/11/2016

China has the world’s largest market for digital shopping, mobile payments, and Internet-enabled financial services. Close to 400 million people in China do most of their payments using their ...

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Economics, Political Economy

Lima APEC summit marks major landmark: China’s global economic leadership

By Jean-Pierre Lehmann - 23/11/2016

Events in Lima, Peru, on 19-20 November 2016 radically mark a major transformation in global economic leadership, consequently global governance and hence the global business environment. Though the ...

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Interpersonal Leadership, Self-Leadership

The death of dignity: Do we really want our leaders to be truly authentic?

By Jennifer Jordan - 21/11/2016

In reflecting back on the last 18 months of the U.S. election, I experienced many emotions: sadness, anger, pity, confusion. But one thing that stuck with me most was a change that I have seen gradual ...

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Economics, Political Economy

The rising spectre of protectionism: Trump and the global trade agenda

By Jean-Pierre Lehmann - 09/11/2016

We are all in a state of shock. There was no prediction, or warning, that Donald Trump would be the 45 th President of the United States, let alone that his victory would be crushingly decisive. Wow! ...

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Innovation, Political Economy

It’s Swiss time!

By Arturo Bris, Michael R. Wade - 09/11/2016

Opportunities for greatness are rare, and all notable success stories can be traced back to someone, somewhere making exactly the right move at just the right time. One of those rare moments exists ri ...

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Governance, Strategy

Handling the truths in Cyrus Mistry’s purloined letter

By Anand Narasimhan - 07/11/2016

In his celebrated detective short story “The Purloined Letter” Edgar Allen Poe constructs an absorbing mystery out of a letter that has been hidden in plain sight. Corporate India has now been gripped ...

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Marketing, Strategy

When paying is preferable to free

By John W. Walsh - 31/10/2016

British Airways (BA) recently announced that from January 2017 it will replace its free food service with an expanded food range from Marks & Spencer (M&S), the well-known British retailer, on short h ...

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Governance, Interpersonal Leadership

The lessons of top executive derailment

By Anand Narasimhan - 28/10/2016

Cyrus Mistry was just removed as Tata Sons chairman after four years on the job at India’s most vaunted industrial group. Theories abound of why Mr. Mistry was let go: poor performance; inexperience; ...

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Economics, Political Economy

The mouse that roared

By Jean-Pierre Lehmann - 25/10/2016

The headline of a recent article in the New York Times  read: “With Europe-Canada Deal Near Collapse, Globalization’s Latest Chapter Is History”. In the article, the authors went on to assert: “The ph ...

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Self-Leadership, Team Leadership

Brexiteers should face harsh consequences

By Michael D. Watkins - 21/10/2016

While I think collective punishment is small and often self-defeating, I think the U.K. needs to face harsh consequences for abandoning the E.U. Why? In a word, deterrence . Brexit strikes at the hear ...

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Economics, Innovation

LinkedIn Learning: loading education 4.0?

By Stefan Michel - 14/10/2016

LinkedIn recently announced that it was entering the professional development market. Surprisingly, this news barely caused a ripple. Will 22 September 2016 go down in history as a key milestone in th ...

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Finance, Political Economy

Why action must be taken against corporate tax havens

By Arturo Bris - 23/09/2016

At the onset of the financial crisis in 2009, the members of the largest economies in the world launched a crusade against tax havens and banking secrecy. Eight years later, the Swiss private banking ...

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Economics, Interpersonal Leadership

The dangers of an unpredictable leader

By Jennifer Jordan - 15/09/2016

During a recent interview, American Presidential candidate Donald Trump stated in response to a question about his foreign policy agenda, “I’d rather not play my cards… I want to be unpredictable”. Th ...

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Economics, Interpersonal Leadership

Wells Fargo was lacking values-based leadership

By Jennifer Jordan - 14/09/2016

The story is all too familiar by now. In an effort to meet their targets, Wells Fargo employees created over two million fake bank and credit card accounts from which they charged various fees. While ...

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Economics, Strategy

The art of retreat: If you are going to lose, do it like Uber

By Michael R. Wade - 03/08/2016

Uber announced that it is selling its Chinese operations to Didi Chuxing, its great Chinese nemesis. Uber is exiting the very market that its CEO Travis Kalanick declared to be, “the #1 priority for ...

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Economics, Strategy

How Yahoo tried (but failed) to go big, and is now going home

By Michael R. Wade - 27/07/2016

I remember the early days of the Internet when the Yahoo directory was my home page. Capturing, categorizing, and presenting the Internet in a clickable tree structure was doable back then, and Yahoo ...

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Economics, Strategy

Unilever buys Dollar Shave Club: desperate or strategic?

By Michael R. Wade - 27/07/2016

Unilever announced last week that it would purchase Dollar Shave Club for $1 billion. On the surface, this may look like yet another desperate attempt by a lumbering legacy giant to buy (and overpay f ...

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Political Economy

Brexit signals a rift between the elite and the rest of the population

By Didier Cossin - 01/07/2016

The UK historically voted to leave the European Union sending global markets into turmoil. IMD caught up with Professor Didier Cossin, finance expert and author of the recent book “Inspiring ...

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Political Economy

Brexit shows up the failures of globalisation, with hate advancing across the globe and humanity in retreat

By Jean-Pierre Lehmann - 27/06/2016

There is something quintessentially British about Brexit. As I wrote in another article before the results were known , whether the British exit or not remains to be seen, but the fact is they never ...

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Strategy

An innovation hotbed

By Georges Haour - 23/06/2016

We’ve seen many foreign investments in the digital scene of China. Perhaps the largest recent example is with Uber’s Chinese competitor, Didi Chuxing (Didi for short). This privately-held company, ...

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Political Economy

BREXIT? I vote OUT!!!

By Arturo Bris - 22/06/2016

I know that, as a Spaniard, I cannot vote in the upcoming Brexit referendum. The outcome is uncertain, and the ultimate decision by British voters is going to be driven by both rational and emotional ...

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Political Economy

Better a Brexit for a revitalized EU

By Jean-Pierre Lehmann - 15/06/2016

Let me begin by saying I am a great Britophile. I lived in the UK for some fifteen happy years; I met my wife (even though French like myself) at Oxford where I did my doctorate; my three children wer ...

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Finance, Information Technology

5 reasons why the acquisition of LinkedIn is a great move for Microsoft

By Michael R. Wade - 14/06/2016

26.2 billion! That seems like a big ticket price, but Microsoft is getting a good deal. Here are the top reasons why the acquisition makes sense for Microsoft.  First, LinkedIn is undervalued. Even ...

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Economics, Political Economy

The G7 should be scrapped: It is an anomaly and an affront

By Jean-Pierre Lehmann - 25/05/2016

The 42nd Summit of the G7 held in Ise-Shima, Japan, should be its last. In fact, it should have been dissolved a long time ago. The G7 is an atavistic anomaly that serves no useful purpose in global ...

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Interpersonal Leadership, Political Economy

Donald Trump and the contemporary leadership deficit

By Jean-Pierre Lehmann - 04/05/2016

Nik Gowing and Chris Langdon have written an excellent, challenging report , entitled: Thinking the Unthinkable: A New Imperative for Leadership in the Digital Age. One of the key lessons is that in t ...

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Economics, Strategy

Apple’s dwindling sales show importance of self-cannibalization

By Howard H. Yu - 30/04/2016

The tech world is witnessing a turning point. Apple saw the first decline in its sales and profits in 13 years , triggering a selloff in the financial market that wiped out $43 billion of the company’ ...

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Economics, Sustainability

Transparency is the new sustainability: From Mitsubishi to Flint, covering up doesn’t pay

By Francisco Szekely - 28/04/2016

Mitsubishi Motors has admitted to overstating the fuel efficiency of four types of small cars sold in Japan by 5 to 10%, putting at further risk the trust of consumers in the automobile industry, alre ...

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Finance, Political Economy

The next crisis will have a Chinese name

By Arturo Bris - 20/04/2016

In a recent letter to JPMorgan Chase JPM 1.69% shareholders, CEO Jamie Dimon issued a warning about the Chinese economy and the potential $4 billion loss that a recession there could bring to the bank ...

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Economics, Political Economy

Panama - The coming crash of capitalism

By Jean-Pierre Lehmann - 06/04/2016

Watching the alarming scene of global capitalism today is akin to seeing a vehicle hurtling at full speed towards a wall and while shouting and screaming on the sidelines as the pilot remains obliviou ...

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Finance, Political Economy

Executives are terrible when it comes to predicting the stock market

By Arturo Bris - 06/04/2016

You might think that company executives, with their access to the best information on corporate trends, would be good at predicting stock market movements, but you would be wrong. They are terrible at ...

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Economics, Political Economy

North Korea: the country that doesn't smile

By Arturo Bris - 05/04/2016

I have just returned from my first-ever, one-week visit to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). Having spent the last ten years in Switzerland, I have enjoyed the experience of living in ...

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Economics, Political Economy

ISIS targeting Tunisia: “More than terrorism”, says former minister

By Tawfik Jelassi - 17/03/2016

ISIS recently launched an armed attack on the Tunisian town of Ben Gardane, near the country’s border with Libya. IMD Professor of Strategy and Technology Management, Tawfik Jelassi was the Tunisian ...

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Economics, Political Economy

Despite slowing growth, China is unlikely to cause a global slowdown

By Nuno Fernandes - 16/03/2016

February's sudden slump in Chinese exports prompted IMF deputy chief David Lipton to warn that next April's projections for global growth will very likely drop below the current prediction of 3.5%. So ...

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Economics, Innovation

Taming the machine before it’s too late

By Howard H. Yu - 08/03/2016

Get ready for Man vs. Machine round two this week . After Google’s self-learning algorithm AlphaGo beat European champion Fan Hui by 5-0 at the game “Go,” the world’s top player Lee Se-Dol will now ta ...

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Political Economy, Strategy

The Trump effect on China

By Jean-Pierre Lehmann - 01/03/2016

On this Super Tuesday, with the probable triumph once again of Donald Trump and an ever-stronger prospect that his long march to defeat the Republican Party establishment succeeds, it is high time to ...

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Economics

Acquisition of Japan’s Sharp by Taiwan’s Foxconn

By Jean-Pierre Lehmann - 26/02/2016

The substance of the outcome of the acceptance by Japanese electronics giant Sharp of a USD $4.3bn takeover bid by Taiwanese multinational Foxconn remains to be seen. Its symbolic significance however ...

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Economics, Political Economy

Europe now

By Seán Meehan - 22/02/2016

By Seán Meehan – Martin Hilti Professor of Marketing and Change Management at IMD The EU Council Summit saw the collective energies of senior politicians across the European Union focused on ...

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Economics, Strategy

Conglomerate discount: A dangerous idea that must die, proved by Google

By Howard H. Yu - 03/02/2016

Alphabet, the holding company of Google, just announced its 2015 fourth quarter earnings at USD $8.67 per share on revenues of USD $21.33 billion, a profit so good that it sent the company’s market ...

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Economics, Strategy

Is China Inc. going from imitator to innovator?

By Howard H. Yu - 28/01/2016

Just a month ago, China’s state owned chemical conglomerate, ChemChina, which has USD$45.6 billion in revenues and 140,000 employees, successfully acquired Munich machine tool builder KraussMaffei for ...

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Economics, Strategy

What’s wrong with Apple?

By Howard H. Yu - 28/01/2016

To industry pundits and casual observers, it came as a shock this week when Apple projected that growth for its iPhone sales would hit the slowest pace since 2007, the year of the iconic phone’s relea ...

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Governance, Political Economy

After the election of Tsai Ing-wen, what next for Taiwan and China?

By Jean-Pierre Lehmann - 22/01/2016

Following the victory of the candidate of the independence-inclined Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to Taiwan’s presidency, Tsai Ing-wen, and the significant DPP majority in the Parliament, there a ...

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Economics, Governance

Haier and GE: understanding the magic behind the deal

By William A. Fischer - 21/01/2016

Over the next few months, there will undoubtedly be a lot written about the recently concluded Haier-GE partnership. Don’t be misled by what you read. This is not just another acquisition. This is a r ...

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Economics, Strategy

Dragon at the doorstep in Germany?

By Howard H. Yu - 21/01/2016

China’s National Chemical Corporation, along with some other investors, has agreed to by the German group KraussMaffei, a rubber and plastics machine manufacturer, for USD $1 billion in what is being ...

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Governance, Political Economy

Tunisia five years after the revolution: Was it worth it?

By Tawfik Jelassi - 14/01/2016

At the five-year mark after the Arab Spring uprisings, IMD Professor and former Tunisian minister Tawfik Jelassi talks about Tunisia today in an interview: What comes to your mind when you think back ...

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