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Article

Peter Buell Hirsch

The purpose of this paper is to examine the extraordinary reputational challenge for brands in social media in an era of heightened political and cultural polarization. In…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the extraordinary reputational challenge for brands in social media in an era of heightened political and cultural polarization. In a time when the tension between liberal and conservative consumers has grown significantly, brands are being threatened with boycotts from both the left and right. In this paper, the authors identify some core approaches for brands facing this dilemma.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors’ approach is to review the experience of various brands which have been the victims of consumer boycotts motivated by political considerations. The authors examined these events from the perspective of the severity/duration of their impact on the brand, how the brands chose to respond and how their response was perceived to suggest the approaches that seem to be most effective in mitigating brand damage.

Findings

The authors have found that the critical factors in mitigating brand damage are giving clear guidelines to employees about customer relations, understanding the composition of the customer base more deeply through the lens of politics and culture, developing a comprehensive risk management approach and creating a consistent point of view on handling political threats and boycotts to ensure consistency.

Research limitations/implications

The authors’ evaluation is by definition subjective and the insights gained have not been tested empirically.

Practical implications

While the potential political threats to a specific brand are reasonably predictable, consumer perceptions are influenced by many factors only partially within the brand’s control.

Social implications

Much as companies gained expertise in managing reputation crises throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the authors believe that brands adopting their approach to politically driven boycotts will gradually learn how to manage them and the threats will become a routine part of a brand’s relationship with its stakeholders.

Originality/value

While a great deal has been written about the nature and growth of politically driven brand threats, the authors believe this paper is an original contribution to how to manage them.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 38 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

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Article

Peter Buell Hirsch

This study aims to review the expanding use of different aspects of behavioral science in the corporate environment.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to review the expanding use of different aspects of behavioral science in the corporate environment.

Design/methodology/approach

This study presents an examination of the academic literature and media reporting on behavioral science in the corporate environment, including risk management, recruiting, employee rewards and group decision-making.

Findings

While there are some ethical risks in the application of behavioral science in the corporate environment, many aspects of corporate decision-making and corporate culture would benefit from behavioral science insights.

Originality/value

While there have been numerous pieces written about individual aspects of behavioral science in the corporate environment, to the best of the author’s knowledge, this is one of the first to look at the application of the discipline from a comprehensive perspective.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

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Article

Peter Buell Hirsch

The purpose of the viewpoint is to examine the various ways in which the pandemic has exposed structural vulnerabilities in global business infrastructures that have long…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the viewpoint is to examine the various ways in which the pandemic has exposed structural vulnerabilities in global business infrastructures that have long existed and been long ignored. It urges business leaders not to return to a “new normal” but make fundamental changes to ensure that their businesses are truly resilient and can withstand future threats more effectively.

Design/methodology/approach

The viewpoint looks at the various kinds of vulnerability to which businesses are exposed – such as supply chain, human capital, cyber security and climate change – and proposes ways to ensure that businesses, as well as shareholders and government entities work together to build true resilience.

Findings

At its core, the viewpoint exposes the various ways in which businesses have turned a blind eye to vulnerabilities that have always lurked just below the surface and suggests. The argument is that to secure the long-term future of our global business system, we can no longer remain oblivious to fundamental weaknesses in our infrastructures.

Research limitations/implications

The viewpoint looks selectively at the available data and is, therefore, by definition, subjective and non-comprehensive.

Practical implications

If businesses and shareholders truly take the recommendations of this viewpoint to heart, we can build a more resilient future through long-term investments in risk management infrastructures of all kinds that will secure a more prosperous and stable future.

Social implications

Developing a more resilient and stable global business infrastructure will help reduce the business volatility deriving from last minute responses to predictable threats. This will, in turn, help provide more stable, fulfilling employment, especially in developing countries that will act as a fly wheel for the secure development of human potential around the world.

Originality/value

While there has been much speculation of what the “new business normal” will look like once the pandemic has been conquered, this is, the author believes, the first piece to look concretely on how we can not only “build back better” but build back more soundly for the long term.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 42 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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Article

Peter Buell Hirsch

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the ways in which long running secular trends and the COVID-19 pandemic have combined to re-energize labor movements and pushed…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the ways in which long running secular trends and the COVID-19 pandemic have combined to re-energize labor movements and pushed political thinking to the left.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of emerging trends in public opinion and labor action to identify some critical tipping points.

Findings

There is a critical shift unfolding in which government intervention to stem income inequality is becoming politically acceptable.

Originality/value

To the best of the author’s knowledge, there have been few, if any comparable discussions of the relationship between the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the political will to stem income inequality and the implications for corporate behavior.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 41 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

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Article

Peter Buell Hirsch

The purpose of this paper is to illuminate the challenges of ad hoc teams in the corporate setting.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to illuminate the challenges of ad hoc teams in the corporate setting.

Design/methodology/approach

Review of the literature about teams, agile methodologies, scrums, etc. was carried out.

Findings

While ad hoc teams can create value, their proliferation has had unintended consequences.

Research limitations/implications

The literature review is, by its nature, selective not comprehensive.

Practical implications

Based on the recommendations cited, corporations will be able to make better decisions about when to initiate special teams.

Social implications

By doing so, companies will eliminate the frustrations employees feel in certain types of teams and improve their quality of life.

Originality/value

Although the subject of ad hoc teams has been extensively covered, this viewpoint takes a fresh look at the overall consequences of their proliferation.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 42 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

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Article

Peter Buell Hirsch

The purpose of this study is to highlight the pitfalls companies face in confronting their history and how to manage them.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to highlight the pitfalls companies face in confronting their history and how to manage them.

Design Methodology Approach

This study uses a review of the literature and current commentary on how different cultures and companies have come to terms with their history with slavery.

Findings

Companies that demonstrate transparency, accountability and consistency are more likely to accrue reputational equity.

Research Limitations Implications

The research involved was selective and by no means exhaustive.

Originality Value

This is the first treatment of contemporary corporate encounters with their history set in the context of historical revisionism.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 41 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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Article

Peter Buell Hirsch

This paper aims to examine whether the behavior of brands during the Great Depression held lessons for the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine whether the behavior of brands during the Great Depression held lessons for the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of brand marketing and advertising from the 1920s and 1930s.

Findings

There are many learnings from the Great Depression that are instructive for today’s brand marketers dealing with COVID-19.

Research limitations/implications

The review of the literature is not comprehensive and the findings are subjective.

Practical implications

Today’s brands can learn a great deal from the 1930s such as to take advantage of opportunities and avoid mistakes in today’s difficult environment.

Social implications

By handling today’s challenges skillfully, brands can refresh relationships with consumers overwhelmed with choices.

Originality/value

Though there was some commentary on this subject following the Great Recession of 2009, there has been little written about the lessons in brand marketing in the current situation.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 41 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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Article

Peter Buell Hirsch

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of the splintering of the global internet into sovereign, government-controlled islands on the communications strategies…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of the splintering of the global internet into sovereign, government-controlled islands on the communications strategies and tactics of global corporations.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach taken was to review the various ways in which powerful authoritarian regimes such as Russia and China are controlling the Web to dissect the ways in which this could impact corporations.

Findings

The author believes that unless governments, civil entities and corporations collaborate to develop common standards for free speech and privacy, the Web as we know it today will cease to exist.

Research limitations/implications

The research is based on selected books and articles reviewed by the author and is not comprehensive.

Practical implications

Corporations will need to examine the impact of these developments on their own communications needs and strategies to develop the collaborations proposed.

Social implications

Without a universal global internet, the ability of citizens across the world to exchange ideas and develop strategies to tackle global problems will be severely curtailed.

Originality/value

The author does not believe that the splintering of the internet has been considered from the perspective of the global corporation.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 40 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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Article

Peter Buell Hirsch

This paper aims to examine whether the stereotypes about intergenerational conflict in the workplace have any validity.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine whether the stereotypes about intergenerational conflict in the workplace have any validity.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is a review of the available academic literature and popular reactions to it.

Findings

The perception of intergenerational conflict has created its own negative dynamic that is in itself the main source of tension.

Research limitations/implications

By definition, the review of the literature was selective not comprehensive.

Practical implications

If companies can begin to understand this dynamic at work they can follow steps to eliminate it.

Social implications

A better understanding of the absence of meaningful differences in generational attitudes will contribute to better intergenerational collaboration.

Originality/value

The knowledge that intergenerational differences are small is well established in the literature but, to the author’s knowledge, this is one of the first attempts to explore its popular ramifications.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 41 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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Article

Peter Buell Hirsch

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role that corporate political positioning taking is playing in exacerbating political polarization and to suggest that, by…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role that corporate political positioning taking is playing in exacerbating political polarization and to suggest that, by contrast, corporations could also play a role in healing some of the increasing divides in democracies around the world.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper looks at recent examples of companies taking political positions on controversial public issues and public reactions to those positions in the media.

Findings

The author’s analysis suggests that with each subsequent political position announced by companies, the stakes for more extreme and noisy pronouncements become higher and higher. This threatens to be an unsustainable journey, and companies will need to find new ways to communicate their commitment to customers and other stakeholders.

Originality/value

While there has been wide discussion of the increasing propensity of companies to take public positions on social and political issues, the author believes this is the first viewpoint to examine the consequences of this trends over the longer term and its impact on polarization.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 41 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

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