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The lowdown

 

Research repurposed

Experts at Cambridge Judge apply their research to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Abstract image of a brain.

The coronavirus pandemic is being analysed by Cambridge Judge Business School faculty and other experts from various angles, and their thoughts have been published in different publications including the magazine Entrepreneurship and The Conversation.

There are also many studies and blogs from Cambridge Judge faculty written prior to the current crisis that have potential relevance to the pandemic, as they look at issues such as risk, the workplace, mental health, and supply chains.

This is the first of a series of brief summaries of these articles, with links to the full feature stories on the Cambridge Judge Business School website:

Emotions and employee performance

A study co-authored by Dr Jochen Menges, University Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour at Cambridge Judge, looks into how happy employees deliver better results. “The very fact that many organisations now ‘invest in happiness’ means they understand that emotions matter,” says Jochen. “But what they typically do – offering benefits like chill-out zones, free food, yoga classes – is rather blunt and does not account for the complexity of people’s emotional life.” At a time when people are adjusting to working at home and other disruption to their routines, the study is useful for how managers might approach their roles.

Read the article “Emotions can help make work meaningful”

The benefits of sourcing flexibility

Manufacturing companies frequently outsource 60 to 80 per cent of their average cost of materials, components and services. A study co-authored by Feryal Erhun, Professor in Operations and Technology Management at Cambridge Judge, looks at the benefits of sourcing flexibility to both delivery and financial performance. The study is based on a survey of 336 manufacturing firms in Europe and the U.S.

Read the article “Sourcing flexibility”

Hospitals should separate routine and non-routine procedures

Hospital patients with both routine and complex conditions would benefit from splitting hospitals into separate units for routine procedures and for emergency or non-routine elective services, says a study co-authored by Stefan Scholtes, Dennis Gillings Professor of Health Management at Cambridge Judge. “Splitting a hospital’s volume in a disease segment across two organisationally separated units for routine and non-routine services, thereby lowering the absolute volume of patients in the two units relative to the hospital as a whole, will not harm routine services and may improve outcomes for complex patients,” the study says.

Read the article “Separate and concentrate”

From unknowns to black swans

A blog by Cambridge Judge Dean Christoph Loch looks at the discussion of risk management in the past two decades has often revolved around two phrases: the “known unknowns” and the “black swan”. Both phrases deal with uncertainty in strategic decision-making, and a common approach to dealing with such ambiguity has been “disinformation” – testing an assumed hypothesis by deliberately looking for new, inconsistent evidence. But disconfirmation often fails in the real world of business, because there’s usually still plenty of remaining ambiguity. An alternative approach is “counterfactual reasoning”: instead of seeking to poke holes in something, this instead calls for constructing possible alternatives.

Read the blog “From unknowns to black swans”

The gig economy podcast (Cambridge Judge Business Debate)

While the coronavirus crisis is affecting employees around the world, people working in the “gig economy” are feeling particularly vulnerable. A recent edition of the Cambridge Judge Business Debate podcast focused on the benefits and drawbacks of working in a non-salaried, more flexible way, often arranged through a technology platform. “When people mention the gig economy, they’re usually talking about Uber drivers or Deliveroo and these platform-driven businesses. But it’s also reflected in the precarious positions of all sorts of people across our economy,” says Dr Belinda Bell, Director of Cambridge Social Ventures at the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation at Cambridge Judge.

Read the article “The gig economy” and access the podcast