Explaining Decisions on Russia: Begin with Why and Don’t Over-Communicate

With apologies to the English punk band the Clash, the song “Do I Stay or Do I Go?” seems more complicated now than it was when the tune was released, in 1982. On the face of it, the title seems like a yes or no question. Yet Do I Stay or Do I Go? no longer applies for some multinational companies doing business in Russia.

You might have heard or seen Yale Business School professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld discuss his list of companies staying in or departing from Russia. It’s a staple of TV and print media reporting on Ukraine.

Initially, even Sonnenfeld ‘sang’ with the Clash: businesses either stayed in Russia or exited. Simple. Neat. Of course, his first list, compiled four days after the Feb. 24 invasion, contained fewer than 30 companies.


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