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Winter 2008
Volume 49, Issue # 2

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Competing Against Low-Cost Countries

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 2 min 

Foreign competition has become a fact of life in industrialized countries. But the nature of that competition is changing, as new entrants increasingly arrive from countries with dramatically lower costs.

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Does Corporate Governance Matter?

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 3 min 

There is a time and a place when corporate governance has little influence over performance, say two researchers at New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business, because competitive forces cut away at management fat.

Holger M.

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What Was Obvious No Longer Is

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 2 min 

U.S. patent law says that you can’t patent an invention that is “obvious.” However, in the 2007 case KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc. et. al., the Supreme Court raised the standard for showing that an invention is not obvious and is therefore worthy of a patent.

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What Strategy Is Not

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 3 min 

In today’s world, it seems, people want to characterize every utterance and action as strategic — as if the simple addition of the adjective elevates the importance and quality of the thinking.

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Being in the “Out” Crowd

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 4 min 

Many large multinational corporations are hardly a model of organizational efficiency, with the right hand frequently not knowing what the left is doing. A valuable solution developed at one location fails to spread to other sites struggling with a similar problem, so they continually have to reinvent the wheel.

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The Benefits of City Locations

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 4 min 

Process improvements don’t grow on trees, say three business school professors, but they might be native to cities.Take productivity-boosting intranets, for example, the private Internet capabilities that enable companies to improve information sharing and collaboration within a company.

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When Supplier Partnerships Aren’t

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 24 min 

Dual accountability between a buyer and its strategic suppliers, through tools such as a Two-Way Scorecard, is a new and tangible approach to improving supply chain relationships.

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Enabling Bold Visions

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 27 min 

A CEO’s new vision often blurs into an indistinct image once the initial blitz is over. To ensure that the vision is more than just a daydream, companies should follow a five-phase model that some organizations have used successfully to avoid disaster or complacency.

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Institutionalizing Innovation

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 25 min 

Building an engine that produces a steady stream of innovative growth businesses is difficult, but companies that are able to do it differentiate themselves from competitors.

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Implementing a Learning Plan to Counter Project Uncertainty

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 22 min 

For any breakthrough innovation project, specific objectives are often unclear or highly malleable, and the paths to them are murky. Rather than feign a certainty that doesn’t exist, project managers need a systematic, disciplined framework for turning uncertainty into useful learning that keeps the project tacking on a successful course.

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When Bad People Rise to the Top

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 15 min 

Surprisingly often, executives with impressive track records are mysteriously transformed into corrupt and tyrannical monsters once they become CEOs. What danger signals do these individuals exhibit, and what measures can be taken to reduce the likelihood of hiring them?

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How Companies Become Platform Leaders

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 25 min 

Under the right circumstances, companies of any size can grow to become platform leaders. And particular business and technology decisions can help platform-leader wannabes achieve their goals.