George Serafeim

Jakurski Family Associate Professor of Business Administration

George Serafeim is an Associate Professor of Business Administration in the Accounting and Management Unit. He has taught courses in the MBA and doctoral programs, chaired Executive Education programs, and written more than 100 articles and business cases. His work on how organizations integrate sustainability issues into their strategy, integrated reporting, and sustainable investing has won numerous awards and has been presented at more than 100 conferences and seminars in over 20 countries. He is one of the most popular business authors, according to download rankings of the Social Science Research Network. 

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 StudiesReview 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.

  1. The Role of the Corporation in Society

    by George Serafeim

    This research project seeks to redefine the role of the corporation in society. We adopt a process view of the role of the corporation in society and we investigate how corporations extend their purpose beyond profit-maximization as a single objective. We pay attention especially to the behavior of the 1000 largest companies in the world. Moreover, we study the role of the board of directors and their fiduciary duties in under this expanded purpose of the corporation.

    Keywords: corporate accountability; sustainability; stakeholder management; corporate culture; corporate social responsibility; environmental performance; regulation; accounting; reporting;

  2. The Relationship between ESG and Long-term Financial Performance

    by George Serafeim

    Environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are increasingly viewed as material for corporate performance. This research project seeks to identify the nature of the relationship between ESG and financial performance, the conditions under which this relationship is negative, neutral or positive, and the critical role of innovation in extending the "performance frontier."

    Keywords: sustainability; investment management; innovation; capital markets; corporate culture; tradeoffs; transparency; product development; business model innovation; valuation; value creation;