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Tuck Faculty Predictions for 2022

From corporate strategy to employee satisfaction, data analytics and e-commerce, Tuck faculty opine on the trends that will shape 2022.

A new year has arrived, and if 2021 and 2020 are any indication, the months ahead will certainly be interesting. Here are issues some Tuck faculty are watching in 2022, and their predictions on trends taking shape across the business world.

 

Ron Adner

Nathaniel D’1906 and Martha E. Leverone Memorial Professor of Business Administration; Author, recently published Winning the Right Game: How to Disrupt, Defend, and Deliver in a Changing World

Areas of expertise

Strategy, innovation, entrepreneurship

Prediction

"In 2022, managing interdependence become the critical priority for companies, and this has big implications for leadership mindsets: Putting your organization and your people first was the hallmark of successful servant-leaders. But in an ecosystem world, where partners are the key to success, a ‘my company first’ approach is a sure-fire way to lose allies, break coalitions, and fall behind. To succeed, leaders must shift from an execution mindset to an alignment mindset. The new C-Suite challenge is to go beyond exercising wise leadership within your organization, and to establishing your leadership beyond its boundaries."

Paul Argenti

Professor of Corporate Communication

Areas of expertise

Corporate communication, corporate responsibility, general management

Prediction

"1. Companies will become even more enamored of the idea of corporations having a broader purpose than just to make money. We are now seeing the financial and reputational benefits of this societal transformation, and there is no turning back.

2. Society is demanding that corporations take a stand on social issues more than ever before. Companies will need to come up with a strategy that works for them rather than making ad hoc decisions for every event that comes along.

3. It’s going to get more and more tricky to do business in China and maintain that you are a responsible corporation as a variety of constituencies object to that country’s human rights violations and other un-democratic behavior.

4. Keeping employees happy and engaged rather than just well-paid will become increasingly important as younger generations with different ideas about corporate behavior move in while baby boomers move out. The great resignation was just the beginning of this phenomenon."

Lindsey Leininger

Clinical Professor of Business Administration; Co-Founder, dearpandemic.org

Areas of expertise

Health care, data analytics, public policy

Prediction

"Eroding trust in science and credible news reporting is an existential threat to successfully stitching society back together in a post-pandemic world. I believe higher ed will continue to make strides in democratizing knowledge beyond the ivory tower. Scholars engaging with the public—on its own turf—will be key to winning the “info wars” in a fractured and fractious information environment. I predict that much of the best teaching and learning we'll see in 2022 will happen via Twitter threads, Facebook communities, local coffee chats, and Substack newsletters."

Lauren Lu

Associate Professor of Business Administration; Daniel R. Revers T’89 Faculty Fellow

Areas of expertise

Health care operations, global supply chain management

Prediction

"As we head into the third year of the Covid-19 pandemic, we see the ever-increasing importance of data analytics and AI. These tools have been deployed in a wide range of business and public settings, from predicting shifting consumer demand patterns to mitigating supply chain disruptions to developing evidence-based public health policies. I’m excited to offer a new elective course—Operations Analytics and Data-Driven Innovation—with the goal to expose students to the essential concepts and tools needed to navigate today’s data-rich environment. The course will demonstrate data analytics in a variety of operations and supply chain settings, with a focus on emerging data-driven business model innovation."

Leslie Robinson

Professor of Business Administration

Areas of expertise

Financial accounting and taxation

Prediction

"Tax proposals to pay for trillions in social spending related to the pandemic will pass, but they won’t be the right proposals. They will leave wealth gains and inheritances largely alone and instead focus on taxing income. President Biden’s vision of a tax code that rewards ordinary workers at the expense of the very rich will not pass for political reasons and our tax code in the U.S. will be the most regressive tax code we’ve ever seen in the history of this country."

Sharmistha Sikdar

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Areas of expertise

Marketing, statistical modeling, statistical machine learning, predictive analytics

Prediction

"In 2022, traditional brick-and-mortar firms are likely to continue to enter e-commerce. Some evidence of this trend is from the pandemic experience when traditional retailers like Walmart ramped up their online presence. However, even in an increasingly digital post-pandemic world, offline storefronts will continue to offer communication and “touch-and-feel” experiences for brands. Thus, market expansion for digitally native, direct-to-consumer (DTC) firms will be a challenge if they completely opt out of physical retail distribution. In that sense, traditional firms with established retail formats will have an edge and can be stronger than the digitally native, DTC firms if they can integrate their offline model with online channels, and subsequently adopt an omnichannel strategy.

An example of this is the success of the omnichannel hybrid model adopted by the Turkish firm Arçelik, which seamlessly integrated its DTC website with its dealership network. Another key trend will be the increased reliance on predictive algorithms and AI/ML (machine learning) to manage pricing, inventory, and demand. Here again, firms that have both an online and offline presence will benefit most from these algorithms, as they can use information about customers’ online behavior to predict inventory and sales in-store. However, algorithms can be over-used. Humans will need to incorporate ethics into algorithmically-adjusted pricing and marketplace strategies."