Winter 2011
Volume 52, Issue # 2

Image courtesy of Hyundai Mortor Co.

What Happens When You Outsource Too Much?

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 15 min 

With complex products such as automobiles, integration is a key element of performance. That means managers must understand which activities and competencies they can safely outsource and which they need to keep.

Courtesy of IBM.

Putting It Together: How to Succeed in Distributed Product Development

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 23 min 

The increase in outsourcing and offshoring of complex work has resulted in innovation efforts that require coordination across cultural, geographic and legal boundaries. If that coordination is mishandled, companies can find themselves needing to make multimillion- or even billion-dollar changes. The complexity of the task makes midcourse corrections likely. Managers must anticipate and adapt their processes in order to reduce risk and, ultimately, cost.

Courtesy of Flickr user Jinho.Jung

Bringing Open Innovation to Services

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 16 min 

Services comprise more than 70% of aggregate gross domestic product and employment in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries. As a result, both individual companies and entire economies face the challenge of how to innovate in services. One suggestion: Companies should both organize their innovation processes to be more open to external knowledge and ideas and also let more of their ideas and knowledge flow to the outside when not being used internally.


Image courtesy of Flickr user rishibando.

The 5 Myths of Innovation

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 25 min 

This article explores the process of innovation in 13 global companies. Many of the standard arguments for how to encourage innovation were confirmed, but some surprises were uncovered as well. The article organizes its key insights around five persistent “myths” that continue to haunt the innovation efforts of many companies. The five myths are: (1) The Eureka Moment; (2) Built It and They Will Come; (3) Open Innovation Is the Future; (4) Pay Is Paramount; and, (5) Bottom Up Innovation Is Best.


How to Develop a Successful Technology Licensing Program

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 6 min 

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (left) and Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles (right) at advanced battery maker A123 Systems.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Office of Governor Patrick.


Copyright © 2010 Jonathan L.S. Byrnes

Increasing Profits, Sans Pain

  • Interview
  • Read Time: 3 min 

Jonathan Byrnes, Senior Lecturer at the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics.

Imagine if you could make your organization more profitable — without the substantial pain that often accompanies significant cost-cutting.