Summer 1994
Volume 35, Issue # 4


Computer-Aided Architects: A Case Study of IT and Strategic Change

  • Read Time: 34 min 

Changes in business strategy usually precede structural adaptation, according to predominant theories, with strategy causing a realignment of a firm’s management processes.1 While there has been some debate on the degree of strategic choice,2 this is the dominant view, both descriptively and normatively.


Creativity in Decision Making with Value-Focused Thinking

  • Read Time: 26 min 

The author feels that decision making should focus on “value-focused thinking” — clearly defining and structuring fundamental values in terms of objectives, and using these to guide and integrate decision making. He explains techniques for creating improved alternatives for decision problems and for identifying better decision opportunities, illustrating these through their application at Conflict Management, Inc.


The New Dynamics of Global Manufacturing Site Location

  • Read Time: 36 min 

The past twenty years have seen the development of a global marketplace in almost all major industries. Since 1962, worldwide exports have increased from 12 percent to more than 30 percent of world GNP,1 totaling $3.5 trillion in 1992.2


Strategic Outsourcing

  • Read Time: 40 min 

By strategically outsourcing and emphasizing a company’s core competencies, managers can leverage their firm’s skills and resources for increased competitiveness. The authors suggest ways to determine what those core competencies are and which activities are better performed externally. They assess the relative costs and risks of “making” or “buying” and present methods for containing risks while enjoying the benefits from their dual approach.


The Limits of “Lean”

  • Read Time: 16 min 

Japanese competitiveness in a number of industries is the result of a combination of factors.



Customer Satisfaction Fables

  • Read Time: 12 min 

In the 1980s, U.S. manufacturers turned to quality as a way to create competitive advantage and sustain customer loyalty. The 1990s are emerging as the era for customer satisfaction in service industries.


If We Build It, They Will Come: Designing Information Systems That People Want to Use

  • Read Time: 45 min 

Building an information system that works is an activity that is far from certain. Even experts sometimes run afoul of the technical and project management challenges in system development — a fact underscored by American Airlines and its partners’ recent failure to deliver the Confirm travel reservation system.


Planning for a Restructured, Revitalized Organization

  • Read Time: 33 min 

Most of us have come to equate the term “restructuring” with layoffs. The reason is simple: during restructurings, management’s focus is typically on developing severance and incentive packages to reduce employee head count.