George Serafeim

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 delivered keynote speeches in 20 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 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, and Harvard Business Review. He has authored more than thirty business cases on organizations from around the world. 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 Asset Management, on the board of directors of the High Meadows Institute 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.

  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;