Jakurski Family Associate Professor of Business Administration
George Serafeim is the Jakurski Family Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He has taught courses in the MBA and doctoral programs, chaired Executive Education programs, authored more than 100 articles and business cases, and presented his research in more than 100 conferences and seminars. He has spoken at major events in over 60 countries around the world and is one of the most popular business authors, according to rankings of the Social Science Research Network.
Professor Serafeim's research interests are international, focusing on corporate valuation, governance and reporting issues. His work has been published in the most prestigious academic and practitioner journals such as the The Accounting Review, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of International Business Studies, Review of Accounting Studies, Journal of Accounting Research, Journal of Finance, Contemporary Accounting Research, Management Science, Financial Analysts Journal, MIT Sloan Management Review, Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, and Harvard Business Review. His research is regularly cited in media outlets including The New York Times, Bloomberg, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Economist, The Guardian, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera and NPR.
Professor Serafeim has extensive experience as a senior adviser of investment managers and corporations around the world and as a board member in both the non-profit and private sectors. He is a co-founder of KKS Advisors and an advisor to Calvert Investments. He serves on the advisory board of Arabesque, on the board of directors of the High Meadows Institute, on the working group of the Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism and on the Technical Review Committee of the Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings. He was a member of the Standards Council of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board.
Professor Serafeim earned his doctorate in business administration at Harvard Business School, where his dissertation was recognized with the Wyss Award for Excellence in Doctoral Research. He received a master's degree in accounting and finance from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he was awarded the Emeritus Professors' Prize for best academic performance. He grew up in Athens, Greece.
Aligning Sustainability with Corporate Performance
By now most companies have sustainability programs. But a mishmash of sustainability tactics does not add up to a sustainable strategy. To endure, a strategy must address the interests of all stakeholders: investors, employees, customers, and society at large.
Professor's Serafeim reseach has shown the value implications of integrating sustainability in a company's strategy and operations, and what are the distinguishing organizational processes that sustainable organizations have. His work on the financial materiality of sustainability investments was the first one to demonstrate the path to financial value. Relatedly, in his work he has outlined a process that can be used to execute a sustainable strategy and extend the boundaries of The Performance Frontier, and how to implement a strategy to achieve organizational change.
In his line of work on sustainable investing he has documented a market interest in nonfinancial information, how sell-side analysts have shifted their perceptions about the value of sustainability, and how firms with better ESG performance have better access to finance.
Competing With Integrity and Fighting Corruption
In this line of research Professor Serafeim has documented that corruption and bribery bring fewer business benefits than conventional wisdom would suggest, while generating significant costs both at the personal leader and at the business level.
For example, using data on hundreds of companies around the world, a clear picture emerges suggesting that after detection organizations bear significant costs through tarnished reputations, damaged regulatory and business relations, and lower employee morale.
Change: Lessons from Greece
Professor Serafeim delivered a lecture on how we can implement change within organizations and how those principles can be applied in the case of Greece. The lecture was recorded in Dublin Ireland in a sold-out theater with 160 attendees.
Making Greece Competitive
Greece is a country with great potential because of high quality assets due its rich history, culture, geographic location and human capital. At the same time it faces serious management and governance problems.
In 2015, Professor Serafeim was awarded the inaugural Pericles Leadership Award
, presented by the Prime Minister, given to individuals who have a track record of outstanding leadership in creating value for the Hellenic Republic through professional management processes, especially building trust and confidence with internationally comparable transparency and accountability.
Professor Serafeim's Harvard Business School case on the measurement, accounting and sustainability of Greece's debt can be found here:Greece's Debt: Sustainable
Professor Serafeim's commentary on Greece: