Summer 2001
Volume 42, Issue # 4

Access the full Table of Contents below.
Issues archive

Innovation: Location Matters

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 24 min 

Innovation has become the defining challenge for global competitiveness. The authors show the degree to which location matters for successful innovation at the global technology frontier. Such locational advantages help to explain an apparent paradox of globalization: Ideas and technologies that can be accessed at a distance cannot serve as a foundation for competitive advantage.


Innovation by User Communities: Learning From Open-Source Software

  • Read Time: 15 min 

Manufacturers, not users, traditionally have been considered the most logical developers of innovative products. But user innovation communities present a great advantage over the manufacturer-centered development systems that have been the mainstay of commerce. When products that user communities develop compete head-to- head against products developed by manufacturers — Apache against Microsoft’s and Netscape’s server software, for example — the former seem capable of beating the latter handily in the marketplace.


Not All VCs Are Created Equal

  • Read Time: 15 min 

Raising capital for new ventures may have suffered a setback when the dot-com bubble burst, but that has not impeded the flow of bright ideas that cry out for funding. A panel of venture-capital experts met at MIT to discuss venture capital today. The panel discussion offers practical insights not only into what entrepreneurs should look for in a VC firm, but also what venture capitalists seek from startups.



Profits and the Internet: Seven Misconceptions

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 22 min 

The Internet has created new markets, customers, products and modes of conducting business. The authors explain why seven popular strategies are not the path to profitable growth and provide thoughtful guidelines for avoiding misconceptions and taking a sensible approach to business on the Internet.


Building an Effective Global Business Team

  • Read Time: 24 min 

How can companies reverse the generally weak performance of faltering global teams? The authors‘ survey of 58 senior executives from five U.S. and four European multinational organizations reveals the corrosive effects of a number of cross-cultural impediments. The authors elaborate on how carefully crafting a cross-border team‘s charter, composition and process work holistically to increase the odds of success.


How To Make Strategic Alliances Work

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 18 min 

Research shows that the most successful strategic alliances are in companies that have a dedicated function specifically assigned to oversee alliances. Such companies more readily solve problems related to the four key alliance-management elements — knowledge management, external visibility, internal coordination and accountability.



Commitment Counts

  • Read Time: 4 min 

When starting a high-tech company, be aware that organizations based on commitment do better than those founded on engineering or star power.



Improving Quality Just in Time

  • Read Time: 3 min 

Lower inventory levels not only boost efficiency, they also improve quality —especially when combined with training.


Information Systems Go Global

  • Read Time: 3 min 

For best results, a multinational corporation should design its information systems to reflect its global business strategy.