Assistant Professor of Business Administration
George Serafeim is an Assistant Professor of Business Administration in the Accounting and Management Unit. He teaches the course "Leading the Global 1000" in the MBA elective curriculum and co-chairs the Executive Education program "Aligning Sustainability with Corporate Performance." Previously he has taught the "Financial Reporting and Control" course in the MBA required curriculum, the field course "South Africa; Innovating for Sustainability in an Emerging Market" in the MBA elective curriculum, and the doctoral seminar "The Role of the Corporation in Society." These courses have been created by Professor Serafeim and Professor Robert Eccles as part of a broader research agenda on reconceptualizing the role of the corporation and capital markets in society.
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, Director Notes, Harvard Business Review and has also appeared in media outlets including Bloomberg, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, NPR and Responsible Investor. He has written more than twenty 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 corruption 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 currently serves on the Technical Review Committee of the Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings that is designing a generally accepted standard for sustainability ratings. Moreover, he is a member of the Standards Council of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board that is engaged in the development and dissemination of industry-specific sustainability accounting standards. He has served as an advisor to numerous organizations around the world and he is a partner at 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.
The Role of the Corporation in Society
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;
corporate social responsibility;
The Relationship between ESG and Long-term Financial Performance
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."
business model innovation;
Information and Institutions
In this line of work I study how institutions affect corporate performance and facilitate the flow of information to market participants, thereby influencing firm valuation.