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Provocative girls, silent employees, the bittersweet aftertaste of oil, and understanding people who spend millions on digital assets. Here are the articles our readers were most deeply engaged with this year.

Before we wrap up another year in the name of COVID, we went back and looked at what stories you, our dear readers, were most captivated by in 2021.

In what is becoming to look like a Christmas tradition, our most popular article of the year is once again Christine Myrvang and her in-depth look at the provocative girls’ era of the 1920s. If you have not already, make sure you check out this six-year-old article on a 100-year-old phenomenon.  

1) How flappers rebelled through feminism and consumerism

“A new female figure appeared in the 1920s. Young girls with their hair shaved short, heavy makeup and donning bolder dresses. They rode bikes and drove cars, chain-smoked cigarettes, drank like men, flirted outrageously, and plunged into wild jazz dances like charleston and black bottom.”

Have you ever noticed something wrong at work, yet decided to stay quiet? Sut I Wong and her study of why employees do not speak up obviously hit a nerve for many of us.

2) Cultures of silence

“In assertive cultures, the tendency of having higher levels of confrontation in the workplace can also create a threatening work context if voicing out can come with a cost. This can lead employees to think twice about whether challenging the status quo is worth the hassle.”

Rounding out the top three is philosopher Øyvind Kvalnes and his 2020 article on social media dilemmas.

3) Ethical dilemmas of social media – and how to navigate them

“Increased activities in social media and rapid publication create a range of dilemmas for decisions-makers within organizations, where they must prioritize conflicting ethical considerations.”

Fittingly enough, in fourth place we find an article, first published in 2020, on why the four biggest international auditing firms dominate the global market, written by Ole-Kristian Hope, John Christian Langli and Limei Che.

4) Why the big four provide higher quality audits

“EY, KPMG, Deloitte and PwC give the best audits. Here's why.”

While many of us are tired of living in the middle of a global pandemic, we are still interested in reading about living in the middle of a global pandemic. Readers flocked to Ragnhild Silkoset and this 2020 piece on changing people’s behaviour in the age of COVID.

5) Covid-19: The dysfunctional effect of coercive power to control the pandemic

“We see that the expectation of quick solutions and active action often leads to ill-considered strategies to influence people, companies and organizations. The use of intrusive coercive force may lead to counteractive power, loss of trust and increasing conflict in a society.”

Next on the list is another article diving into the tantalizing theme of Covid-19 and human behaviour, from our Swedish colleague Anders Gustafsson.

6) 7 ways life in lockdown is changing our behaviour

“The corona outbreak is a disaster for our society, but it is also an interesting time to reflect on how we treat ourselves and others. When the crisis is over, however, we should let certain behaviours die in peace.”

Readers cannot seem to get enough of articles on good (or bad) leadership practices. Find out why Øyvind Lund Martinsen and his article on leader personalities still attract huge interest, even almost eight years after it was first published.

7) Personality for leadership

“The best leaders are in the public sector and female leaders are better suited for leadership than men, indicates a study of nearly 3000 managers.”

How will Equinor’s U.S. scandal change corporate governance in state-owned Norwegian companies? Check out this piece from January, signed BI’s PhD candidate Jenni Maria Nossum.

8) The bittersweet aftertaste of oil

“Owning an oil company is not without financial and environmental risk. Does the State as a shareholder have greater legal duties than a private shareholder does?”

Most companies never expand outside their home markets. So, what drives the ones that do? This question clearly interested a lot of readers. Anyway, nice of Gabriel R.G. Benito, Irina Surdu and Henrich R. Greve to provide us with an answer!

9) Why companies internationalize

“Success in entering a foreign market depends on a company’s ability to unpack the lessons learned from its own past experiences and the experiences of peer companies and developing them into routines.”

Last, but not least: What makes so many people interested in buying digital assets like NFTs – and why are they willing to pay millions for them? Carlos Velasco and colleagues Maria Pombo and Francisco Barbosa-Escobar investigate.

10) Value in the age of non-fungible tokens (NFTs)

“The CEO of Twitter sold his first tweet as a NFT for over 2.9 million USD. CryptoPunks, a well-known NFT project that consists of 10,000 collectible characters, has also drawn much attention. Today, the lowest price you can pay for one of them is about 85 ETH. That is about 360,000 USD for a collectible picture on the internet, which can be downloaded by anyone.”

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