Strategy Forum / Panelist

Raffaella Sadun

Harvard Business School

Harvard University

United States

Raffaella Sadun is professor of business administration in the strategy unit at Harvard Business School. Professor Sadun’s research focuses on managerial and organizational drivers of productivity and growth in both the private and public sector. She is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics, the Center for Economic Policy Research and Ariadne Labs.

Voting History

Statement Response
The COVID-19 pandemic has permanently changed how companies should think about business strategy. Disagree “The pandemic has exacerbated the importance of well-known organizational and managerial factors, allowing firms to rapidly adjust to constantly changing conditions (internally and externally), adopt new technologies, and build effective lines of communication within firms. I do not think this calls for a massive change in how we should think about strategy per se, but it does highlight the strong complementarity between business strategy and organizational/operational aspects of firms, which is unfortunately often overlooked.”
The COVID-19 pandemic will lead companies to relocate infrastructure and employees away from dense urban locations. Agree “The COVID-19 crisis has shown that remote working is possible, even for firms and organizations that had resisted this transition for a long time. The effect of this sudden transition on productivity and workers’ well-being is probably going to vary tremendously across firms, but it is likely to spur a serious reflection on the cost and benefits of concentrating activities in cities.”
The California Consumer Privacy Act will undermine the targeted advertising market by giving consumers the right to opt out of allowing companies to sell personal data to third parties. Neither agree nor disagree
In the wake of recent climate-related disasters and related events, such as the bankruptcy of PG&E, corporations are now planning for the increased operational risks and potential liabilities caused by climate change. Disagree “I suspect that the majority of organizations (or people, for that matter) are still far from fully understanding what’s needed to protect themselves from extreme events. But the real issue is [what] we will collectively do to prevent these events in the first place.”
Antitrust policy should intervene more decisively to limit the scope of large technology platforms. Disagree “My ‘no’ is, in fact, a ‘not yet.’ This is an area at the intersection of strategy, economics, and policy that is in need of pragmatic models and rigorous empirical evidence. We need these theoretical and empirical tools to be developed before intervening with business models that are still largely opaque to the regulators.”
U.S. regulations have been rolled back in a number of areas, including emissions standards and clean water. Companies will decide to voluntarily adhere to rules that closely resemble the original standards. Disagree
The Business Roundtable’s new Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation indicates a shift away from shareholder value maximization as the sole purpose of the corporation and toward a broader view of value creation.
This shift will have material impact on the well-being of U.S. workers.
“It is, at this point, hard to distinguish this statement from pure PR speak. It will be interesting to see whether and how the Business Roundtable will substantiate these intentions with concrete actions.”