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Research from Cambridge Judge Business School: From Hollywood ‘logic’ to ‘highly institutionalised myths’ of the workplace

In the latest instalment in a series, Charles Goldsmith, head of media relations at Cambridge Judge Business School, summarises some of its recent research.

Netflix is changing how movies are released (30028870)
Netflix is changing how movies are released (30028870)

Hollywood studios versus streaming a matter of ‘logic’

The battle between the traditional Hollywood movie studio model and streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime are a matter of competing institutional “logics”, says a new study co-authored by Dr Allègre Hadida, of Cambridge Judge Business School.

The study in the Journal of Cultural Economics says that the old model revolves around “commitment logic”, or whether customers will make the commitment to visit a cinema, while streaming services focus on the “convenience logic” of variety and ease of timing.

The study outlines four alternative scenarios on how these two logics may play out in coming years and decades: whether they will coexist, whether commitment will dominate, whether convenience will dominate, or whether a “radically different” institutional logic replaces both the current systems.

Artificial intelligence will transform financial services

Artificial intelligence (AI) has long been used by financial services firms to reduce costs such as routine back-office functions. But a new study by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance and the World Economic Forum predicts that AI increasingly will be used to generate new revenue streams.

In a survey of incumbent financial firms and FinTechs across 33 countries, 77 per cent of respondents expect AI to have high or very high importance to their business within two years. New uses of AI will include risk management, customer service and client acquisition.

Incumbent financial firms expect AI to replace about nine percent of all their jobs in the next decade, while FinTech firms expect their workforces to expand by 19 percent due to AI during the same period.

“This empirical research underscores the growing importance of harnessing AI in financial services, which gives new impetus for firms to develop a holistic and future-proof AI strategy,” says Bryan Zhang, Executive Director of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at Cambridge Judge.

Keynes was a keen art collector

John Maynard Keynes was one of history’s most famous economists, so famous that “Keynesian” has entered widespread political dialogue. Less well known is Keynes’s keen interest – and success – in collecting art.

A new study based at Cambridge Judge found that Keynes generated “extraordinary” long-term returns on his art collection, which was bequeathed to King’s College, Cambridge after his death in 1946, and many of the most famous works are hung at the Fitzwilliam Museum.

The study co-authored by Dr David Chambers and Professor Elroy Dimson of Cambridge Judge found that Keynes invested less than £13,000 on his extensive art collection, which had appreciated in value to more than £76million by early 2019. That’s a real rate of return of 6.1 per cent – more than government bonds and nearly as high as investing in equities over that period.

The study in the journal Review of Asset Pricing Studies was made possible by Keynes’s careful documentation of his art dealings that are housed in the King’s College archives.

How good is the advice received by CEOs?

A paper published in the Journal of Management shows that CEOs of companies facing poor financial performance are keen to seek advice, but they often turn to internal advisers who don’t offer fresh insight.

And when such CEOs do seek external advice, they favour “trusted, friendly contacts” or people whose backgrounds are similar to theirs, says the study co-authored by Professor Yasemin Kor, of Cambridge Judge.

“If CEOs have not already surrounded themselves with advisers who have a diverse set of perspectives and ideas, it may be too late to seek these in desperate times,” says the article, which is based on a review of 65 studies in high-impact academic journals or which have been heavily cited.

The Circular Economy can help family businesses

Family businesses should play a key role in advancing the recovery, recycling and reuse principles of the circular economy, says Dr Khal Soufani, director of the Circular Economy Centre at Cambridge Judge. Like the circular economy, family businesses seek to preserve wealth and resources while ensuring longevity through intergenerational sustainability.

Dr Soufani says the circular economy is not only about social and environmental responsibility, but it also requires companies to develop new and disruptive business models based on renewability and longevity.

By focusing on sustainability, family firms can boost productivity through the involvement of multiple generations in decision making – as linking founders with future generations boosts the likelihood of smooth succession and long-term success.

Government procurement should benefit social enterprises

A report issued at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos calls on government procurement legislation to ensure that calls for tender favour enterprises that pursue environmental and social goals.

“Public procurement is a powerful tool to drive better business practices, comprising 12 per cent of GDP across OECD countries,” says the report co-authored by Dr Helen Haugh, of Cambridge Judge. The report says that procurement rules might require ethical certification or flexibility in quantities and lead times in order to advantage social enterprises.

For investors, the report suggests social finance bonds and crowdfunding that embrace patient investment, and the mentoring and support of Fair Trade Enterprises.

Organisations play a key role in perpetuating inequality

A study co-authored by Dr Kamal Munir, of Cambridge Judge, says that organisations foster and perpetuate inequality due to practices that go unquestioned through “highly institutionalised myths”.

These myths of organisational life evolve around efficiency, meritocracy and positive globalisation.

For example, vast pay differences within companies are often justified by the existence of a neutral and efficient labour market, but this often doesn’t take into account cultural and social networks that slant the playing field.

“Organisations, far from being neutral entities, constitute bounded, rationalised and formalised spaces in which economic opportunities intersect with structures of exclusion and disadvantage,” says the paper published in Academy of Management Annals.

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Research from Cambridge Judge Business School: From a lack of crowd wisdom to less-than-useful communication

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