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From the soft skills that are needed in the age of AI to the surprising advantages of imitation, we present 10 of the most-read articles from the last 12 months on IB Knowledge

If you are looking for topical insight in 2024, you are in luck. We have compiled 10 of the most-read articles published by Imperial College Business School over the last 12 months. They cover a range of topics we know you will be interested in, from Japanese philosophy and AI to social mobility and EDI. 

Whether you want to learn more about how Chinese firms are redefining management, or the political appeal of Donald Trump, you will find practical tips and vital context right here. 

1. What is Donald Trump’s appeal? 

With Donald Trump almost certain to secure the Republican nomination for this year’s US presidential election, it is a good moment to look at what makes him so appealing to such a large swathe of the American public. Dr Sanaz Talaifar explains that what unites so many of his voters is a feeling they have something to lose. 

2. Opportunity is not equal unless individuals are given what they need to succeed 

Tackling discrimination in business and society requires us to change the ways we deal with "difference" in education, from the day a child enters primary school to the day they complete their postgraduate degree. Professor Sankalp Chaturvedi, Associate Dean of EDI, identifies some of the challenges and gaps in the current system. 

3. The UK still relies heavily on the EU when it comes to medicine approvals 

Dr Matthias Hofer, a research associate at the Centre for Health Economics & Policy Innovation, reveals the challenges and opportunities the UK faces in approving medicines in the post-Brexit era, as well as the impact of innovation schemes and international partnerships.  

4. Parental unemployment can have a lasting effect on children’s health 

Parental joblessness, especially of fathers, increases the risk of long-standing illness, mental ill-health, poverty, and lower educational attainment for children later in life. Dr Mario Martínez-Jiménez explains how these effects come about and how they vary depending on the child’s age. 

5. Imitation is the new key to business success 

In the business world, as elsewhere in life, copying is frowned upon. Yet, in some cases, it has been responsible for inspiring business leaders, creating new markets and, most surprisingly, driving innovation. Dr Jan-Michael Ross challenges some common misconceptions and provides examples of successful imitators in different industries. 

6. Why leaders need soft skills in the age of AI 

The classical economical view of the individual is that we are all rational and self-interested actors. We are not, of course, and Dr Cláudia Custódio explains why. She also looks at the limitations of such simple ideas about people in an increasingly complex business world – and how skills traditionally valued in leaders might become redundant as more tasks are automated. 

7. India has a lot to teach us about social mobility 

Upward mobility in India has not changed despite economic growth, and there are large gaps between different castes, communities and religions. Dr Sam Asher highlights the importance of understanding how local factors, such as neighbourhoods and public services, affect the outcomes of disadvantaged children. 

8. How to adapt your business in a crisis 

In times of hardship, companies tend to respond by downsizing their operations. But instead, they should be taking stock and considering opportunities for innovation, so they can emerge stronger during the recovery. Dr Jan-Michael Ross explains how decisions made during a downturn may have their biggest impact just as it looks like you should be in recovery. 

9. The Chinese firms redefining management 

Chinese companies are reinventing management in the digital age. Emeritus Professor George Yip and his co-authors explain how these firms’ innovative approach is enabling employees to organise themselves around business opportunities without direct managerial intervention.  

10. How to find purpose and meaning in your work 

The Japanese philosophy of ikigai (which translates as “your reason for being”) is often discussed in terms of personal development, but here Frank Brueck explains how it can help you and your organisation achieve a balance between passion, skills, impact and market needs. He also explains how it can help you attract and retain a new generation of talent. 

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