Winter 2002
Volume 43, Issue # 2

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Issues archive

Building Competitive Advantage Through People

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 23 min 

Forget capital; it‘s relatively easy to obtain. The scarce, sought-after strategic resource is expertise, which comes in the form of employees. With people in ascendancy over capital, say the authors, it is time to recall what a company actually is: a social institution designed to engage people in the achievement of a valuable and meaningful purpose.



Strategy as Improvisational Theater

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 19 min 

Using the metaphor of improvisational theater, the author lays out six elements of strategic improvisation that executives can apply to transform their organizations into experimental arenas. Companies that engage in such continual improvisation are better equipped to explore highly threatening disruptive technologies and embrace radical change.


Changing the Channel: A Better Way To Do Trade Promotions

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 24 min 

The authors examine the theoretical and practical problems associated with trade promotions, and they explain how the right kind of deal can be created — a transparent system that generates mutual trust and provides benefits to both manufacturers and retailers. The key is proper implementation of what is thus far a little understood tool: the pay-for-performance trade promotion, in which retailers get rewarded according to how much they sell, not how much they buy.


Weird Ideas That Spark Innovation

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 18 min 

Managers don”t have to be told that to innovate they need to embrace drastically different practices from the ones they use for routine work. So why don”t they do it? According to the author, when business leaders see what innovation actually requires, they often recoil. In this article, Sutton has developed eight techniques to move teams and companies from working by rote to innovating.


Adding Value in the Boardroom

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 7 min 

The most effective boards have highly knowledgeable directors, the information they need to make decisions and, most important, the power to act.



Do CEOs Matter?

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 3 min 

The question isn’t whether CEOs determine their companies’ fate, but under what circumstances they have the most power to do so.



The Lessons of Kyoto

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 3 min 

The longer the United States, other industrialized nations and the developing world head down different policy tracks on global warming, the harder it will be to achieve the coordination necessary for effective action.