Associate Professor of Business Administration
George Serafeim is an Associate Professor of Business Administration in the Accounting and Management Unit. He teaches in the MBA and doctoral programs and co-chairs the Executive Education program "Aligning Sustainability with Corporate Performance." His work on how organizations integrate sustainability issues into their business models, integrated reporting, and sustainable investing has won numerous awards and has been presented at more than 100 conferences and seminars in over 20 countries.
Professor Serafeim's research interests are international, focusing on equity valuation, corporate governance, and corporate reporting issues. His work has been published in prestigious academic and practitioner journals such as the 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, Harvard Business Review and has appeared in media outlets including Bloomberg, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Economist, The New York Times, and NPR. He has written more than thirty business cases on organizations from around the world. He is the co-author with Professors Richard Macve and Joanne Horton of a book on the transparency and valuation of insurance companies and the co-author of a study, commissioned by the European Union, that evaluated the relevance of public information disclosed during the transition of European companies to IFRS.
Professor Serafeim's work with Professor Ioannis Ioannou on corporate sustainability and sell-side investment recommendations received the best paper award from the Academy of Management, and their work on corporate sustainability and access to finance received the best paper award from the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment network. Professor Serafeim's research with Professor Paul Healy on anticorruption efforts and firm performance was awarded the Hermes Fund Manager best paper prize (second place), his work with Professors Mo Khan and Leonid Kogan on the effects of price pressure on equity issuance and corporate acquisitions was awarded the Whitebox Prize (runner up), and his work with Robert Eccles on "The Performance Frontier" was recognized as "The Big Idea" at Harvard Business Review. He has served on the Technical Review Committee of the Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings and on the Standards Council of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board. He has advised numerous organizations around the world and he is a co-founder of KKS Advisors.
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.
Competing Corruption Free
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.
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. To do that, it has to increase shareholder value while at the same time improving the firm’s performance on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) dimensions.
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. 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.
Sustainability Reporting and Integrated Reporting