Frontiers

Exploring the Digital Future of Management

When Jobs Become Commodities

It pays to ask yourself whether your job is common and repetitive enough to be done by a machine.

When People Don’t Trust Algorithms

University of Chicago’s Berkeley Dietvorst explains why we can’t let go of human judgment — to our own detriment.

Seeing Beyond the Blockchain Hype

The transformative potential of blockchain is real, but so are the challenges to its implementation.

The 2017 Digital Business Report

Achieving Digital Maturity

July 13, 2017 | Gerald C. Kane, Doug Palmer, Anh Nguyen Phillips, David Kiron, and Natasha Buckley

In the 2017 Digital Business Report, MIT SMR and Deloitte find that digitally maturing companies are achieving success by increasing collaboration, scaling innovation, and revamping their approach to talent.

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“Getting Results From Your Company’s Data”

Get a collection of three MIT SMR articles on how to achieve positive results using your company’s analytical resources. Learn how to manage your data scientists effectively, how AI can prevent problems before they occur, and how best to use analytical insights to make smart business decisions. Registration required.

 

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Marketing Tactics That Work

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The Power of Consumer Stories in Digital Marketing

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Sharing consumers’ positive stories about a brand can be a highly effective marketing strategy.

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Which Features Increase Customer Retention?

Product features designed to attract new customers differ from features that retain customers.

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Beyond Viral: Generating Sustainable Value From Social Media

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Why hasn’t the proliferation of social media resulted in long-lasting social and business change?

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Leadership Development By the Numbers

A Data-Driven Approach to Identifying Future Leaders

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May 26, 2017 | Stacey Philpot and Kelly Monahan

Many executives believe they are good at identifying leadership talent. However, when asked how they make their decisions, they often cite intuition or “gut” instincts. Social science research, on the other hand, suggests that individuals are often prone to cognitive biases in such decisions. Rather than just relying on the subjective opinions of executives, some companies are using assessment tools to identify high-potential talent.

Understanding Your Coworkers’ Mindset

The Smart Way to Respond to Negative Emotions at Work

It is impossible to block negative emotions from the workplace. Whether provoked by bad decisions, misfortune, poor timing, or employees’ personal problems, no organization is immune from trouble. And trouble agitates bad feelings. However, in many workplaces, negative emotions are brushed aside; in some others, they are taboo. Unfortunately, the author’s research suggests that neither of these strategies is effective. Instead, insight and readiness are key to developing effective responses.

The Upside of Being a Woman Among ‘Bros’

“Bro” culture in business and the institutional sexism it can breed are hot topics these days. But could there be situations where there is an advantage to being a woman in a workplace full of bros — men who form tight, in-group ties? New research on gender and leadership in the workplace looked at the willingness of managers to accept advice and feedback from subordinates. The findings: In certain circumstances, managers are actually more responsive to suggestions from the opposite gender.

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Developing Strategy within the Business

The Best Response to Digital Disruption

Although digitization’s disruptive influence is growing rapidly, there’s surprisingly little empirical evidence on the magnitude of digital disruption — nor any showing how companies are reacting on a broad scale. A new global survey of C-suite executives looks at how digitization unfolds across industries and how incumbents are responding. With some notable exceptions, the answer is: “Not well.”

Using Scenario Planning to Reshape Strategy

Rather than trying to predict the future, organizations need to strengthen their abilities to cope with uncertainty. A new approach to scenario planning can help companies reframe their long-term strategies by developing several plausible scenarios.

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Crowdsourcing New Ideas

Developing Innovative Solutions Through Internal Crowdsourcing

May 31, 2017 | Arvind Malhotra, Ann Majchrzak, Lâle Kesebi, and Sean Looram

Internal crowdsourcing, which seeks to channel the ideas and expertise of the company’s own employees, allows employees to interact dynamically with coworkers in other locations, propose new ideas, and suggest new directions to management. Because many large companies have pockets of expertise and knowledge scattered across different locations, harnessing the cognitive diversity within organizations can open up rich new sources of innovation.

New Directions for Corporate Culture

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The End of Corporate Culture as We Know It

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In the age of networked enterprise, strong cultures may turn from assets to liabilities.

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The Need for Culture Neutrality

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As firms work with increasingly diverse arrays of people, they need to adopt leadership standards that cross geographies.

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Don’t Give Up on Corporate Culture

Readers contest the view that corporate culture becomes less important in distributed organizations.

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The Business Impact of Artificial Intelligence

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Video: Preparing for the Changes AI Will Bring to Tomorrow’s Jobs

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A panel at the 2017 MIT CIO Symposium discusses how artificial intelligence will transform how we work.

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Video: The Impact of Machine Learning on Work Is Bigger Than You Think

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A new phase of technology-enhanced work is upon us.

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Augmentation Versus Automation: AI’s Utility in the Workplace

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The challenges of leading companies through the AI revolution were examined in a recent symposium.

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Video: Three Ways Businesses Use Artificial Intelligence

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How is business actually using artificial intelligence?