Whether it is trying to increase the welfare of citizens through public policy, or adapting organizational culture to a new business environment, changing behavior is one of the biggest challenges faced by managers and policymakers. Theoretically, harnessing the power of social influence is a highly cost-effective and relatively simple mechanism for achieving widespread behavioral change. In practice, however, the ability to use targeted interventions in this way to trigger broader behavioral change is far more complex than is often assumed.
Corporate governance rules are designed to ensure that firms are well run – that management decisions do not unjustly deprive certain stakeholder groups of value, for example. A major challenge for policymakers, however, as regular reports of poorly run companies in the media show, is devising effective governance provisions. Now though, using a novel approach, academics Boris Nikolov, Erwan Morellec, and Norman Schürhoff have devised a framework which can be used to gauge the actual impact on a firm’s value of some common governance problems and the relative impact on different stakeholder groups.
Whether it is negotiating, selling, motivating, or even dating, people with access to the latest social sensing technologies and techniques will have a distinct advantage as they engage in a range of activities, business related or otherwise. While they may not be able to read minds, they will be able to monitor the impact of their social interactions on others in real time, and modify their behavior accordingly to achieve their desired outcome.