Winter 2005
Volume 46, Issue # 2



  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 15 min 

During the e-boom of the 1990s, academics, consultants, executives and investors alike claimed that e-procurement, and its increasingly central role in supply-chain management, would revolutionize how future business-to-business practices would take place: Efficiencies would be improved and procurement costs reduced; the flow of information along the supply chain enhanced; strategic


How Companies Turn Buzz Into Sales

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 4 min 

In recent years, firms have turned to non-traditional marketing campaigns to generate buzz about their products and services. Indeed, positive word-of-mouth is anecdotally cited as the secret behind such successes as Chrysler’s PT Cruiser and the revival of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.


What Quality Means Today

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 3 min 

Early in our careers, when we worked for the General Electric Co. in Schenectady, New York, there was no road map for a young manager desperately trying to find ways to lead. One had to experiment, employing various mechanisms such as motivational sessions, inventory control, budgetary control and information management.


Virtual Workspace Technologies

  • Read Time: 13 min 

Emerging technologies enable virtual and distributed teams to communicate – and innovate – more effectively.



The Entrepreneur’s Path to Global Expansion

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 22 min 

As entrepreneurs are considering international expansion earlier and earlier, it is crucial that they structure their ventures to anticipate and mitigate the tensions that can arise from the ongoing need to match perceived opportunities to available resources.


Managing Your Portfolio of Connections

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 21 min 

Traditionally, a company’s links to its customers, suppliers and other external parties have been based upon either arm’s-length transactions or socially embedded ties. Electronic technologies have enabled a third and more flexible option, dubbed “virtually embedded ties.”



In Praise of Cultural Bias

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 5 min 

Information and knowledge management models that exclude the influence of national and regional culture seriously undercut their potential effectiveness.


A Matrixed Approach to Designing IT Governance

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 24 min 

Throughout an organization, individuals make decisions daily that influence the need for and the value received from information technology. A simple one-page framework can help companies allocate IT decision rights and accountabilities so that individual IT decisions align with strategic objectives.


Memo to Marketing

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 11 min 

Marketing research must become a model for innovation rather than support the mere incremental administration of brands.


Achieving the Ideal Brand Portfolio

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 18 min 

Many companies’ brand portfolios have become bloated and obscured. A five-step approach can illuminate which brands should be supported, retired, repositioned or otherwise honed to bring greater clarity to the portfolio.



The Roots of Sustainability

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 9 min 

Many companies now offer slick “sustainability reports” along with their annual reports as indicators of their performance. The problem is that none of this espoused benevolence creates true sustainability. The root of this problem is neither business’s misunderstanding of what’s at stake nor corporate cynicism about the sustainability cause (though these may be contributing factors). The problem really stems from management’s failure to see unsustainability as a deep-seated systems failure.


Managing Corrosive Customers

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 3 min 

A restaurant patron berates a waiter for delivering the wrong entrée. A traveler cuts in line at an airline ticket counter and demands immediate service. A manager refuses to gather the documentation an outside consultant needs to provide services. As these examples suggest, the obnoxious customer has many faces.