Harvard Business Review March - April 2017

For over 80 years, Harvard Business Review magazine has been an indispensable and unrivaled source of ideas, insight, and inspiration for business leaders worldwide. Each issue contains breakthrough ideas on strategy, leadership, innovation and management. Now, newly redesigned, HBR presents these ideas in a smart new design with improved navigation and rich infographics. Become a more effective leader by subscribing to Harvard Business Review.

United States
Harvard Business School Publishing
6 期号


from the editor

Do CEOs know less than their employees about what’s really going on in the business? That’s one of the provocative questions raised this month by Hal Gregersen, executive director of the MIT Leadership Center, in “Bursting the CEO Bubble” (page 76). Gregersen, whose article is based on interviews with more than 200 senior executives, says that status and authority often insulate CEOs from critical information that might challenge their assumptions and strategies. No one wants to tell the boss bad news, so the CEO may be the last to hear it. It’s a common problem. But it’s not insurmountable. Some of the world’s most innovative leaders have found ways to avoid this trap—but those tactics require executives to break out of their routine. One technique is simply to be quieter. Instead of going…


Though she’s been studying psychology for more than 25 years, Suzanne Johnson Vickberg never considered the impact of her own work style until team chemistry became her focus at Deloitte. As a detail-oriented introvert on a team of bold, bigpicture colleagues, she initially felt like a misfit. But through efforts to understand and flex to one another, Vickberg and her teammates now recognize how the distinctive contributions they each make complement one another and ultimately make the team stronger. Tim Butler, who runs a coaching program for students at Harvard Business School, noticed a significant shift about six years ago: Jobs at elite consulting or private equity firms had been the most coveted; now the hot new career trajectory was to become an entrepreneur. A clinical psychologist, Butler knew that not…


Managers have tried various strategies and perks to boost employee engagement—all with little long-term impact. Through his research on the brain chemical oxytocin—shown to facilitate collaboration and teamwork—Zak has developed a framework for building a happier, more loyal, and more productive workforce. He has identified eight management behaviors that stimulate oxytocin production and increase trust. HBR ARTICLE BY PAUL J. ZAK, JANUARY–FEBRUARY I have a question about the “recognize excellence” behavior in the framework. In your research did you run into any issues with what was recognized? Was it the accomplishment or the effort? Recognition of an accomplishment rather than the hard work that achieved it is counter to enriching trust on teams, in my experience. This can be seen every year when the annual performance review cycle begins. Cooperation and collaboration…


They can be surprisingly effective, but most companies use them incorrectly. More than a century ago, the department store magnate John Wanamaker famously complained about his inability to gauge the effectiveness of the money he spent on advertising. Since then, technologies such as radio, television, and the internet have given companies new venues for self-promotion, but the age-old problem persists: How to tell whether ad dollars are really boosting sales? That question is one factor driving firms to shift ad money to digital media. Not only are people spending more time online, but advertisers believe that companies such as Facebook and Google, which track people’s online habits, can put the right ads in front of the people most likely to buy (and the companies can measure what results). According to data from…

roundup of the latest management research and ideas

IT USED TO be that leisure time was a sign of social status. But in our always-on culture, that’s changed: Today a lack of leisure time is more likely to cause one to be held in high regard. In a series of experiments, researchers showed that people who complain about being “crazy busy” are actually signaling that their talent is a scarce commodity in high demand, leading others to judge them as having high status. In one experiment, subjects were asked about their perceptions of two hypothetical friends: one whose Facebook posts mentioned long working hours and one who boasted about long lunches and short workdays. The busier friend was seen as having higher status. Another experiment demonstrated that belief in social mobility influenced this view. “Americans who perceive their…

defend your research

When University of Ottawa economics professor Anthony Heyes and his colleagues compared daily data from the S&P 500 index with daily air-quality data from an EPA sensor close to Wall Street, they found a connection between higher pollution and lower stock performance. Their conclusion: HEYES: The effect was strong. Every time air quality decreased by one standard deviation, we saw a 12% reduction in stock returns. Or to put it in other terms, if you ordered 100 trading days in New York from the cleanest-air day to the dirtiest-air day, the S&P 500 performance would be 15% worse on the 75th cleanest day than it was on the 25th cleanest day. We also replicated this analysis using data from the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, and saw the same effect. HBR:…