For almost 40 years, Professor Michael C. Jensen has been a leader in elucidating the complex system of incentives and limitations that underlies business trends. Dean Joel Podolny spoke with Jensen about the market for corporate control, agency theory, and the benefits of integrity.
Nature abhors a vacuum. Air invades emptiness. Water floods open space. What happens when a wall is breached and markets are allowed to enter countries where they’d previously been banned? In the 1990s, Rosemary Ripley participated in the infusion of private enterprise into former command economies.
Creating a new market is different from developing a new product or service — it requires convincing an array of customers, partners, and other constituencies to see the world differently. And the effects can be far reaching, as markets are capable of taking on a life of their own. A media and technological innovator, a leader in the use of finance to address social problems, and a creator of housing futures discuss the risks and rewards of attempting the trick.
Studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that 40 years after the civil rights era, African Americans still find themselves under scrutiny in retail stores and women pay higher prices at car dealerships. How can we ensure fair treatment in markets?