Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Your hurried homework helper: B2B study release re-cap

School might be out for the summer, but B2B research doesn’t take a break. Here’s a selection of lessons learned from the press releases from business school studies that have been hitting our in-boxes at B2BNN.

Lesson 1: a review of the “assume nothing” canon

We’ll start off with another lesson from the “assume nothing” canon by asking the question, are B2B enterprises equal opportunity employers?

The sector does have a large number of women in leadership positions, but female bosses aren’t any more likely to loosen the purse strings than their male counterparts, especially when it comes to their female employees.

“Whereas most previous research has suggested that female managers are “agents of change” who act in ways that reduce the gender wage gap, this study found no support for this assertion. In fact, a subset of switchers—low-performing women who switched to working for a high-performing female supervisor—fared worse financially, not better, than their male colleagues making a comparable switch,” said a press release about a study conducted by Sameer B. Srivastava and Eliot L. Sherman at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business.

Lesson 2: Gang up for good

Good governance is at the heart of any corporation’s integrity. Researchers at UofT’s Rotman School of Business have been tracking the activities of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance. The coalition of investors and investment groups seeks to align management and shareholder interests to promote greater efficiency and efficacy in the Canadian capital markets. Together, the members manage about $3 trillion in assets.

According to the study, coalitions combined efforts are leading to changes and improvements in governance.

“When targeted by the CCGG’s campaign, firms were 17% more likely to adopt policies requiring a majority of shareholders to approve uncontested candidates for director positions, even controlling for other possible causes,” says the study press release. “They were 22% more likely to adopt recommended improvements to executive compensation policies, such as bonus claw backs for underperformance and pension caps, and 11% more likely to accept policies giving shareholders a say on C-suite remuneration.”

Lesson 3: Luck can’t replace hard work

You might get lucky if you write a test without studying, but you still won’t feel good about it. Morality runs deep and the belief that everything must be “earned” runs deep. Apparently, suddenly going from being an unnoticed and unappreciated employee to someone whose advice and leadership is sought out is not a hugely positive experience as it leads to increased feelings of insecurity.

Tracy Dumas, co-author of the study and assistant professor of management and human resources at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, tracked American employees of a large Japanese firm whose official language was changed from Japanese to English.

According to the press release about the study, the American employees felt they had lower status than their Japanese colleagues and believed there were limitations on their opportunities for advancement. After the announcement, the American employees saw their status immediately rise within the company, but it wasn’t comfortable.

“They knew that this status boost was given to them,” Dumas said. “They didn’t earn it – and they knew it could be taken away.”

Lesson 4: Take breaks & celebrate achievements

According to Professor (honorary) Alice Cooper at the school of hard rock, taking regular breaks to explore non-academic interests leads to fun and excitement.


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Kate Baggott
Kate Baggott
Kate Baggott is a former Managing Editor of B2BNN. Her technology and business journalism has appeared in the Technology Review, the Globe and Mail, Canada Computes, the Vancouver Sun and the Bay Street Bull. She is the author of the short story collections Love from Planet Wine Cooler and Dry Stories. Find links to recent articles by following her on LinkedIn


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