Les comportements « court-termistes » sont les ennemis de la création de valeur !

Êtes-vous intéressés à comprendre les comportements à court terme adoptés par les organisations en réponse aux nombreuses occasions qu’ont les gens de profiter de situations non-éthiques, à l’encontre de la création de valeur à long terme ?

Si vous vous demandez quels sont les facteurs-clés qui conduisent aux abus reliés à des comportements de court terme et, surtout, si vous voulez connaître les moyens susceptibles d’améliorer la situation, l’article de Malcolm Salter, professeur à la Harvard Business School, vous fascinera.

Vous pouvez lire le résumé qui suit. Si votre curiosité l’emporte, vous pouvez télécharger le document au complet.

Short-Termism at Its Worst

Researchers and business leaders have long decried short-termism: the excessive focus of executives of publicly traded companies—along with fund managers and other investors—on short-term results. The central concern is that short-termism discourages long-term investments, threatening the performance of both individual firms and the U.S. economy.

English: Detail from Corrupt Legislation. Mura...
English: Detail from Corrupt Legislation. Mural by Elihu Vedder. Lobby to Main Reading Room, Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington, D.C. Main figure is seated atop a pedestal saying « CORRUPT LEGISLATION ». Artist’s signature is dated 1896. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the paper, How Short-Termism Invites Corruption…and What To Do About It, which was recently made publicly available on SSRN, I argue that short-termism also invites institutional corruption—that is, institutionally supported behavior that, while not necessarily unlawful, erodes public trust and undermines a company’s legitimate processes, core values, and capacity to achieve espoused goals. Institutional corruption in business typically entails gaming society’s laws and regulations, tolerating conflicts of interest, and persistently violating accepted norms of fairness, among other things.

My argument starts by describing the twin problems of short-termism and institutional corruption and showing how the latter has led to a diminution of public trust in many of our leading firms and industries. Focusing most specifically on the pervasive gaming of society’s rules (with examples drawn from the finance industry, among others), I then explain how short-termism invites gaming and identify the principal sources of short-termism in today’s economy. The most significant sources of short-termism that collectively invite institutional corruption include: shifting beliefs about the purposes and responsibilities of the modern corporation; the concomitant rise of a new financial culture; misapplied performance metrics; perverse incentives; our vulnerability to hard-wired behavioral biases; the decreasing tenure of institutional leaders; and the bounded knowledge of corporate directors, which prevents effective board oversight.

I next turn to the question of what is to be done about short-termism and the institutional corruption it invites. In this final section of the paper, I discuss reforms and recommendations related to the improvement of board oversight; the adoption of compensation principles and practices that can help mitigate the destructive effects of inappropriate metrics, perverse incentives, and hard-wired preferences for immediate satisfactions; the termination of quarterly earnings guidance; and the elimination of the built-in, short-term bias embedded in our current capital gains tax regime.

The full paper is available for download here.

Short-Termism (projecteve.com)

In defence of short-termism (stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com)

The Reality of Short Termism Per Mark Roe (concurringopinions.com)