Why Organizations Are Restructuring and Rethinking Control, with Bengt Holmström and Saku Mantere



When Unconventional Power Shifts and Flat Firms Become More Than a Trend

In the face of societal and generational change, will organizational hierarchies fall flat—and could the end of hierarchies spell the future of work? Delve investigates such critical management and business questions in the cover story of Delve’s Spring 2023 digital magazine Reworking Bureaucracy. Changes to work life in the post-pandemic era are well known and intimately felt. Lately, the workplace zeitgeist has also shifted to questioning the purpose of workplace hierarchies, revealing implications for staff retention, employee loyalty, career trajectories, and company culture. The prospect of a post-hierarchical workplace is a double-edged sword.

Why Organizations Are Restructuring and Rethinking Control, with Bengt Holmström and Saku Mantere

What does the business firm of the future look like? In a special episode of the Delve podcast investigating digital platform economies, blurred firm-market boundaries, and shifting bureaucracies, Nobel Prize in Economics winner and Paul A. Samuelson Professor of Economics Emeritus at MIT Bengt Holmström speaks with Desautels professor and Delve Editor-in-Chief Saku Mantere. Their conversation investigates how companies are changing today: What social structures, financial factors, and digital technologies are at play in how contemporary businesses are changing the traditional nature of the firm? And are hierarchical bureaucracies and conventional leadership soon to become a thing of the past?

How Digital Technologies Could Turn Crisis into an Opportunity for Societal Change, with Michael Barrett

How useful, overhyped, or even detrimental are digital technologies in a crisis? Zoom came in to save the day when work went remote during the COVID-19 pandemic, online shopping and food delivery grew rapidly, even doctors’ appointments went online. What can be learned from experiences of crisis-driven technology use, both on an individual and organizational scale? For many, these digital technologies and even more specialized innovations provided a kind of utopian hope for large-scale societal change. In reality, the acceleration of digital innovation across sectors and the world has disrupted business as usual and exposed systemic challenges and inequalities. This is what Cambridge professor Michael Barrett points out on the Delve podcast as he discusses his latest research examining the possibilities and limits of digital innovation.

How Organizations Can Increase Gender Diversity by Rethinking Job Recruitment, with Brian Rubineau

Word-of-mouth is one of the most common ways that people learn about and are encouraged to apply for jobs. And who you know typically reflects your gender, race, and other influential differences that in policy terms are markers of diversity. Examining the role gender plays in job recruitment and hiring can lead to a more diverse workforce that benefits both organizations and society. On the Delve podcast, Desautels Professor Brian Rubineau discusses new research that shows how gender is a factor not only in word-of-mouth recruiting but in who applies for the job in the first place and who reapplies after they’ve been rejected.

How Banks and Institutional Investment Funds Are Driving the Road to Net-Zero

One of the biggest challenges today for financial institutions is how to meet net-zero climate targets while achieving high returns on investment and satisfying the needs of various stakeholders. What does the road to net-zero look like in the realm of long-term investment, who are the players, and how should the inevitable roadblocks be overcome? At the recent Desautels and Delve McGill International Portfolio Challenge symposium, institutional investment experts Fanny Doucet, CFA, Managing Director & Head of Sustainable Finance at Scotiabank, and Lori Kerr, CEO of FinDev Canada, Canada’s development finance institution, shared their insights on how to achieve net-zero with moderator Desautels Professor Sebastien Betermier.

Why Environmental, Social, and Governance Investment Standards Need an Indigenous Perspective

In the high-stakes realm of finance and investment, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria play a larger role than ever in companies’ decision making and commitment to creating shared value. In this accelerated transition toward cross-sector economic change, whose interests are centred and whose concerns are left out of the sustainability conversation? Recent research out of the Desautels Integrated Management Student Fellowship (IMSF) program, with the support and consultation of Desautels professors, finance-sector experts, and Indigenous business owners, found an absence of Indigenous notions and viewpoints in ESG reporting standards. An Indigenous perspective on ESG could lead to more inclusive, equitable, and truly long-term sustainability policies in investment.

Why the Job You Apply For May Not Be the Job You Get

When most people apply for jobs, they expect the job description to match the job that will be filled. But between the interview and the actual hiring, job duties sometimes evolve. At a time when many people are making career changes and employers are facing uncertainties and struggling to find employees, understanding why jobs change is crucial. In their recent study on startup hiring, Desautels Professor Lisa Cohen and co-author Sara Mahabadi found that when the job someone applies for doesn’t end up being the same job they are hired for, the consequences can be mixed for both job hunters and workplaces.

Scale Deep Not Up for Sustainable Local Entrepreneurship, with Anna Kim and Suntae Kim

How would definitions of business growth and success change if entrepreneurship ventures decided that instead of scaling up, they would “scale deep”? On the Delve podcast, Desautels Faculty of Management professor Anna Kim and her co-author Johns Hopkins Carey Business School Professor Suntae Kim discuss their eight-year study of two entrepreneurship-nurturing organizations in Detroit, revealing important differences in resourcing modes and venture growth. What they observed in that city is happening in many other places, whether small towns or big cities, rural or urban, where the issue of revitalization is top of mind.

Remix or Reinvent? How Deviance Can Drive Careers in the Creative Community of EDM, with Amandine Ody-Brasier

When does deviance from the norm propel a career or stop it in its tracks? The enforcement of certain norms and legalities around intellectual property isn’t always up to the law—it’s up to the community. Desautels professor Amandine Ody-Brassier discovered that within the electronic dance music (EDM) community, norms around unlawful activities such as illegal remixes are loose and often garner support, even career-launching acclaim. Her research asks how norms—appropriate, though not necessarily legal, behaviors shared by community members—affect careers and other economic outcomes in creative occupations.