Who’s Afraid Of Responsibility? The Aftermath Of The Financial Bank Crisis

[We’re pleased to welcome Rolf Brühl, Chair of Management Control at ECSP Europe School of Business. Brühl co-authored an article with Max Kury in the International Journal of Business Commujob.gifnication entitled “Rhetorical Tactics to Influence Responsibility Judgments: Account Giving in Banks Presidents’ Letters During the Financial Market Crisis.” Notes from Brühl:]

Reading the following quote from a leading bank, “We believe we have an affirmative responsibility to play an even bigger role in helping solve the economic, social and environmental challenges of the day” (JPMorgan Chase & Co., 2012), should make us curious about its sincerity. It is hard to find a bank website and not to read sentences like this introductory quotation. We seem to live in the era of corporate social responsibility, and to take responsibility is said to be an important cornerstone of a modern, ethical corporation.

However, do corporations really take full responsibility for their actions? Content analysis of presidents’ letters in the annual financial reports shows accounts as a rhetoric device directed to influence stakeholders in their responsibility judgment. Our results indicate that bank managers in the financial market crisis primarily use accounts which do not directly address responsibility.

This may inspire future research to have a closer look on account giving in the communication of companies if different layers of the responsibility pyramid are concerned (Carroll, 1991): economic, legal, moral responsibilities.

 

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Book Review: Private Equity at Work: When Wall Street Manages Main Street

FinalPrivateEquity-ApplebaumBattGrab a mug of your favorite hot beverage and put those slippered feet up for a well-deserved weekend read!

Eileen Appelbaum, Rosemary Batt : Private Equity at Work: When Wall Street Manages Main Street. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2014. 396 pp. $35.00, paper.

Michael Jensen of University of Michigan Ann Arbor recently reviewed “Private Equity at Work: When Wall Street Manages Main Street” by Eileen Appelbaum, Rosemary Batt in Administrative Science Quarterly.

Private Equity at Work is a wonderful introduction to private equity. Using a mixture of simplifying models, aggregate ASQ_v59n4_Dec2014_cover.indddescriptive data, published statistical analyses, and detailed case studies, Applebaum and Batt provide a comprehensive examination of private equity and its role in the U.S. economy and society. The authors propose that “the private equity business model represents a test of the notion that pursuing shareholder value aggressively is a good thing by putting the shareholders even more in charge” (p. 4). Although they question the value of private equity for anybody but the general partners running private equity funds, their critical approach to private equity is nevertheless a remarkably fair and balanced evaluation of private equity’s advantages and disadvantages.

Click here to read the rest of the review from Administrative Science Quarterly. Want to know when all the latest reviews and research articles are available from Administrative Science Quarterly? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Submit Your Research to World Future Review!

World Future Review is a refereed journal that seeks to expand communication among the researchers and practitioners now exploring trends and alternatives for society. This journal welcomes articles that: 1) assess techniques WFR_72ppiRGB_powerpointfor studying future options; 2) fairly evaluate probable, possible, and optimal outcomes of existing policies and practices in every field; and 3) facilitate the exchange of futures-relevant information among cultures. World Future Review‘s aim is to help all peoples develop sustainable lifestyles and technologies that respect the carrying capacity of Earth’s environment, while promoting new research into areas beyond today’s known limits.

World Future Review is especially seeking the following types of material:

1. Methodological and conceptual papers regarding futures study techniques;
2. Papers based on research, analysis, and modeling of presumed causes and potential developments affecting current social, economic or political conditions;
3. Papers evaluating the actual outcomes achieved by government and corporate planning efforts and/or assessing the common practices of professional futurists;
4. Papers about futures research practitioners (whether individual, corporate, or governmental) and their contributions to the art and science of futures research.
5. Scholarly reviews that compare past efforts at forecasting and/or depictions of future societies in fiction or popular media, with actual events and current trends.

For more information on submitting to World Future Review click here.

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Using Creativity and Beauty to Find Solutions

boat-in-lake-1368014-mThe news isn’t always uplifting: declining home price growth, sinking big business profits, and rising gas prices can make for an economy that is less than reassuring. How can we even start to fix it? According to Nancy Adler there is hope if we allow our passions to lead us to creative solutions and we strive towards a sense of beauty in our leadership.

You can watch the video of Nancy Adler speaking on this topic by clicking here. Nancy Adler also published a paper on this topic entitled “Leading Beautifully: The Creative Economy and Beyond” in Journal of Management Inquiry.

The abstract:

“These times are riven with anxiety and uncertainty” asserts John O’Donohue.1 “In the hearts of people some natural ease has been broken. . . . Our trust in the future JMI_72ppiRGB_powerpointhas lost its innocence. We know now that anything can happen. . . . The traditional structures of shelter are shaking, their foundations revealed to be no longer stone but sand. We are suddenly thrown back on ourselves. At first, it sounds completely naïve to suggest that now might be the time to invoke beauty. Yet this is exactly what . . . [we claim]. Why? Because there is nowhere else to turn and we are desperate; furthermore, it is because we have so disastrously neglected the Beautiful that we now find ourselves in such a terrible crisis.”2

Twenty-first century society yearns for a leadership of possibility, a leadership based more on hope, aspiration, innovation, and beauty than on the replication of historical patterns of constrained pragmatism. Luckily, such a leadership is possible today. For the first time in history, leaders can work backward from their aspirations and imagination rather than forward from the past.3 “The gap between what people can imagine and what they can accomplish has never been smaller.”4

Responding to the challenges and yearnings of the twenty-first century demands anticipatory creativity. Designing options worthy of implementation calls for levels of inspiration, creativity, and a passionate commitment to beauty that, until recently, have been more the province of artists and artistic processes than the domain of most managers. The time is right for the artistic imagination of each of us to co-create the leadership that the world most needs and deserves.

The article “Leading Beautifully: The Creative Economy and Beyond” from Journal of Management Inquiry can be read for free by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest news and research like this from Journal of Management Inquiry? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Top Five: What If?

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This morning saw the beginning of the World Future Society 2014 annual conference: WorldFuture 2014: What If in Orlando, Florida!

WorldFuture 2014 is a collective of some of the world’s most inquisitive and dedicated scholars, asking about the future of a myriad of topics including humanity, government, education, religion and even happiness. Speakers will include Paul Saffo of Foresight at DISCERN, Stacey Childress of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s investment in K-12 Next Generation Learning, Lee Rainie of the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project and many more! You can keep up with the conference on Twitter by using the hashtag #wfs2014!

In honor of the conference, we’re pleased to bring you the top five most read articles from World Future Review.

WFR_72ppiRGB_powerpoint“The Democratization of Innovation: Managing Technological Innovation as If People Matter” by Philip H. Spies from March 2014

“How Digital Outcasts Can Pilot the Future of Health Care” by Kel Smith from June 2013

“Peer Production and Prosumerism as a Model for the Future Organization of General Interest Services Provision in Developed Countries: Examples of Food Services Collectives” by  Katarzyna Gajewska from March 2014.

“Geothermal Energy” by Gioietta Kuo from February 2012.

“Higher Education in the Future Tense: Taking Futuristics to School” by Arthur B. Shostak from March 2014.

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Do Home Foreclosures Affect Some Neighborhoods More than Others?

house-for-sale-3-1150734-mAccording to a December 2010 report from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Monthly Labor Review report, the U.S. housing bubble peaked in 2006 and burst in 2008. Residential-construction-employment fell to levels lower than those in 1993 and foreclosure signs quickly became a common sight in neighborhoods across the country. But were some neighborhoods affected more than others? Why? This is what authors Keith Ihlanfeldt and Tom Mayock explored in their article “The Variance in Foreclosure Spillovers across Neighborhood Types” from Public Finance Review.

The abstract:

The estimation of foreclosure spillover effects has been the subject of a number of studies PFR_72ppiRGB_powerpointfollowing the most recent housing market crash. An important issue largely overlooked by these studies is the extent to which these spillovers vary across neighborhoods. In this article, we use data from the South Florida metropolitan area to study the variance in these foreclosure spillovers across neighborhoods with different income levels and racial concentrations. We find that the largest foreclosure spillovers occur in higher-income neighborhoods. In low-income, minority neighborhoods, we find no evidence of spillover effects. The results have important implications for local governments.

Clickhere to read “The Variance in Foreclosure Spillovers across Neighborhood Types” from Public Finance Review for free! Don’t forget to click here to sign up for e-alerts and keep up to date on all the latest news and research from Public Finance Review!

Who is Hurt By Corruption in the United States?

brown-envelope-money-bribe-1-1384589-mWhat is the economic impact of corruption? And who is hurt most by these misguided acts? Author Adriana S. Cordis discusses this topic in her article “Corruption and Composition of Public Spending in the United States” from Public Finance Review.

The abstract:

I investigate the relation between corruption and the composition of state government spending in the United States. The analysis reveals that the United States is not immune to the adverse effects of corruption documented in cross-country studies. Corruption lowers the share of state governmentPFR_72ppiRGB_powerpoint spending devoted to higher education and raises the share of spending devoted to other and unallocable budget items. These results are robust to the use of political variables to instrument for corruption. There is also some evidence that corruption lowers the share of spending on corrections and public welfare and raises the share of spending on health and hospitals, housing and community development, and natural resources.

Click here to read “Corruption and Composition of Public Spending in the United States” from Public Finance Review for free. What to get updates on all the latest from Public Finance Review? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!