Fall 2005
Volume 47, Issue # 1


Developing the Big Picture

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 3 min 

In an earlier life, as a marketing executive at a large lending institution, I was given the opportunity to join the company’s strategic leadership team. Because of some recent, significant organizational changes, we had many critical issues to confront.


Can Shareholders Be Wrong?

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 3 min 

Two views of board/CEO relationship persist. One is the common view that boards that are “entrenched” — or insulated from shareholder action — will ignore a struggling CEO to the detriment of shareholder interests.


Managing Service Inventory to Improve Performance

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 25 min 

In service businesses as in others, work can be performed and stored in anticipation of demand. By wisely choosing what kind of inventory to hold, companies can improve quality, response times, customization and pricing.



A Supply Chain View of the Resilient Enterprise

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 27 min 

An organization’s ability to recover from disruption quickly can be improved by building redundancy and flexibility into its supply chain. While investing in redundancy represents a pure cost increase, investing in flexibility yields many additional benefits for day-to-day operations.


Using Commitments to Manage Across Units

  • Read Time: 28 min 

To coordinate work across different business units, executives should think of the organization as a nexus of commitments, or personal promises between employees, that must be actively managed.


The Risks of Customer Intimacy

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 12 min 

Too much familiarity with customers can backfire, but engaging them in multisided conversations, or “polylogues,” can manage the risks and get better results.



Achieving Excellence in Global Sourcing

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 23 min 

Global sourcing is an increasingly popular business strategy, but it’s not easy to execute. There are seven typical characteristics of organizations with outstanding global sourcing.


Creating Sustainable Local Enterprise Networks

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 24 min 

In developing countries, examples of successful sustainable enterprise often involve informal networks that include businesses, not-for-profit organizations and communities.


What Really Drives the Market?

  • Read Time: 9 min 

Despite the recent popularity of the “behaviorist” view, analysis indicates that, on the whole, investors make rational investment decisions based on their view of future cash flows.


The Great Expectations Effect

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 3 min 

The textbook approach to satisfying customers is simply to give the people what they want — and a little bit more. The trick, then, is to know what it is that customers want.



Predicting Customer Choices

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 14 min 

Vanishing mass markets, the proliferation of products and services and new technologies are requiring many companies to redefine their beloved core business doctrine: “Give customers what they want.