01 Mar 2015

Providing an Environment for Ideas to Grow

Re: George Serafeim; Anat Keinan


Communicating the Language of Business Across Borders

Tsedal Neeley

Tsedal Neeley

My intellectual agenda is ambitious and somewhat risky,” says Associate Professor and Marvin Bower Fellow Tsedal Neeley. “I truly believe that HBS is one of the few places on earth where I could boldly pursue my work in the way that I have.”

Neeley’s research focuses on the challenges organizations face when coordinating operations across linguistic and national boundaries. As a doctoral student at Stanford, she participated in a large-scale global teams study and identified language differences “as the most divisive, polarizing barrier to collaboration,” Neeley says. “But no one was looking at that, even as global organizations were rapidly moving toward making English their lingua franca.”

Since joining the HBS Organizational Behavior Unit nearly eight years ago, Neeley has pursued pathbreaking research on the effects of internationalizing firms’ policies that require employees of diverse skill sets to adopt English as their business language. For the past four years, with extensive support from the School’s research centers in Asia, Europe, and Latin America, she has gathered data from employees of a single company located in eight countries.

“With close to 800 interviews conducted in a variety of languages, more than 3,500 survey results, and thousands of pages of archival material, a project of this scope would have been nearly impossible without the international resources and infrastructure HBS has built,” she stresses.

Currently at work on a book based on her globalization study, Neeley teaches several Executive Education offerings and the MBA elective Leading Teams in a Global Economy. Her case study “Language and Globalization: ‘Englishnization’ at Rakuten” has been incorporated into the required MBA curriculum, raising new sensibilities about language among native and nonnative English speakers in HBS classrooms and beyond.

Learn more about HBS faculty and their research at www.hbs.edu/faculty

Anat Keinan and George Serafeim

Anat Keinan and George Serafeim

Jakurski Associate Professors Flourish

Creating an exclusive brand shouldn’t be about erecting barriers to keep consumers out; indeed, growth requires the welcoming of new faces,” concludes HBS marketing professor Anat Keinan in a July 2014 Harvard Business Review article, “How ‘Brand Tourists’ Can Grow Sales.” Keinan studies consumer behavior and is particularly interested in branding, luxury marketing, symbolic consumption, consumer self-control, and fairness and ethics in marketing. A member of the faculty since 2007, she currently teaches the second-year MBA course Luxury Marketing.

Keinan and colleague George Serafeim were each recently named the first Jakurski Family Associate Professors of Business Administration. Their chairs are funded by a gift from André R. Jakurski (MBA 1973) and his wife, Maria, and are part of a new effort to invest in the development of the School’s faculty. Longtime supporters of faculty and research at HBS, the Jakurskis were inspired to support junior faculty during a pivotal point in their careers.

“By investing in associate professors, Maria and I feel we are helping HBS sustain and further its world-class faculty,” says André Jakurski, founding partner of JGP Asset Management in Rio de Janeiro.

For his part, Serafeim studies how companies should respond to big problems—such as corruption or climate change—in order to sustain their competitiveness and how investors should integrate nonfinancial (environmental, social, and governance) data to make better capital allocation decisions. In a November 2014 Management Science article, he examined the effect of a corporate culture of sustainability on corporate behavior and performance outcomes. Serafeim, a member of the Accounting and Management Unit, teaches across the School’s educational programs, most recently leading the Executive Education program Innovating for Sustainability and teaching the second-year MBA elective Reimagining Capitalism.

Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Class of MBA 1973, Section A

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