Tom Kochan: The Workforce

MIT Sloan Prof. Thomas Kochan
Photograph by Stu Rosner

From Harvard Magazine

An interview with Thomas A. Kochan, Bunker professor of management, MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and co-director of the MIT Institute for Work and Employment Research.

Harvard Magazine: You speak of a fundamental human-capital paradox in the way American employers and workers interact with each other.

Thomas Kochan: American corporations often say human resources are their most important asset. In our national discourse, everyone talks about jobs. Yet as a society we somehow tolerate persistent high unemployment, 30 years of stagnating wages and growing wage inequality, two decades of declining job satisfaction and loss of pension and retirement benefits, and continuous challenges from the consequences of unemployment on family life. If we really valued work and human resources, we would address these problems with the vigor required to solve them. Read More »

Corporate Social Responsibility pays for itself: Here's the evidence

Caroline Flammer, Lecturer, Global Economics and Management

In recent years, the call for corporate social responsibility has grown louder, and many companies have committed to serious CSR programs.

However, a big question for companies is to what extent CSR—specifically behavior that  affects the  environment—actually alters shareholder value. Is it  better to pursue a single bottom line, or do shareholders benefit more when a company supports the “triple bottom line” that includes people, the planet, and profits?

It’s easy to see that a company’s environmental footprint can sometimes make a big difference in shareholder value, as when the BP oil spill, in April 2010, sent BP’s stock price plummeting from $59.50 that day to $28.90 by the end of June, reducing shareholder value by half. But that was a dramatic event, the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history. What about lesser happenings at other companies?

To find out, I tracked hundreds of articles in The Wall Street Journal for relevant press coverage on responsible and irresponsible environmental behavior by U.S. publicly-traded companies from 1980 to 2009. Then I analyzed how the stock market had reacted to those events and looked for trends over the past three decades.

To read more, please visit Forbes at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesleadershipforum/2011/08/30/csr-pays-for-itself-heres-the-evidence/