Juan Alcacer is the James J. Hill Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. Professor Alcacer’s recent research focuses on growth and exit strategies, strategies to cope with major shifts in the environment (such as Brexit), and strategic decision-making under geopolitical and technological uncertainty. He is a member of the Academy of Management and the Strategic Management Society and an associate editor of Management Science.
|When hackers take data hostage, companies should pay the ransom. Strongly disagree||“Hacking is a common problem that requires a common solution. Individual actions such as paying ransom are short-lived and only exacerbate the problem for all companies in the long term.”|
|Relaxing the rules around physical presence in the office will improve employee productivity and firm performance. Neither agree nor disagree||“This is an area where a one-size-fits-all approach is dangerous. Some tasks will benefit from more flexibility on physical presence; some won’t. For example, tasks that have links with others are not well defined, and those that require frequent interactions may negatively affect productivity. External links (links associated with the environment) may also suffer from physical distance. Finally, dynamic links (how tasks today affect new tasks in the medium- to long-term) may also be affected. Most of the productivity gains may come when organizations redesign their tasks’ flow to accommodate more flexible work conditions, but caution is advised.”|
|The COVID-19 pandemic has permanently changed how companies should think about business strategy. Neither agree nor disagree||“COVID-19 accelerated trends that were already in place. On the supply side, global value chains were slowly adapting to a riskier geopolitical environment by moving production closer to markets. Organizations had also begun to offer more flexible working environments to attract the scarce right talent. On the demand side, most companies had started a digital transformation process to adapt to changes in preferences and consumption patterns. The COVID-19 pandemic brought home the need to adjust swiftly and continuously.”|