Category Archives: Research

Employment Laws Can Hurt Smaller Firms

Professor Sharon Belenzon studied more than 68,000 firms in western Europe and learned that large companies grew faster than smaller firms in countries with stronger employee protection laws. He found that tougher worker protections tend to give bigger companies—or those that form groups—a competitive advantage over smaller firms, who don’t have as much flexibility to move employees around within their organizations.

Read the full story here.

Graphic depicting Duke Fuqua Professor Sharon Belezon's research on employment laws in Europe


In Tech, First Isn’t Always Best

John Joseph cell phonesFor his latest research, Fuqua Professor John Joseph studied the release of hundreds of new cell phone features into the German market between 2004 and 2008. This pre-iPhone era is when companies were experimenting with different kinds of hardware: flip phones, sliders and clam shells. Joseph found companies that are the first to launch new technology don’t perform any better financially than the companies who follow later.

Read the full story here.

CFO Survey: Public Distrust, Threat of Severe Russian Sanctions Impacting Global Economy

The damaging effects of deflation on the European economy are a prime concern for some European Chief Financial Officers, according to the most recent Duke University/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook Survey.

About one-third of European CFOs believe deflation is occurring or soon will occur in the Eurozone, and two-thirds of this group think deflation could last for two or more years. Most of these CFOs think deflation could be damaging to the economy.

“These findings are particularly surprising because recent actions by the European Central Bank (ECB) had been widely anticipated at the time of our survey. These European CFOs are effectively saying that the ECB’s actions will not be sufficient to stave off deflation,” said Campbell R. Harvey, founding director of the survey.


Dominating Leaders Can Hamper Team Success

According to a recent report from The Conference Board, European business leaders say their biggest strategic challenge is managing, growing, and retaining talented workers.

images2VDEM3VODuke University Fuqua School of Business Professor Rick Larrick, Leigh Plunkett Tost of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, and Francesca Gino of Harvard University’s Business School conducted a study looking at the impact power has on team leadership.

Their findings suggest that at times when leaders are most successful personally, they are least likely to consult and involve their team. In the study, the researchers reminded leaders of their power over others and watched their subsequent interactions in a team setting. They discovered that following the reminder, the leaders did a poorer job facilitating conversation between the team members than they did in the absence of a reminder. As a result, the team’s performance suffered.


What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is meant to be a currency, like the dollar or the yen, but increasingly, it’s being used as an investment. This is a fact recognized by some governments struggling to understand how bitcoin fits into their economies.

The Bank of England recently came out with guidance on bitcoin, labeling it as a commodity rather than a currency.

The move happened in the wake of the collapse of Mt. Gox, one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges in the world. The collapse led some skeptics to question the viability of the cryptocurrency.

Duke University Fuqua School of Business professor Campbell Harvey discusses the basics of how the currency works, security concerns, and the future of bitcoin in the following video series.