Image courtesy of Shell.

Winter 2012
Volume 53, Issue # 2


Making the Most of What You Have

  • Read Time: 1 min 

If you’re like many managers today, you probably wish you had additional resources. Maybe you can’t hire as many people as you think your organization needs — or perhaps you think you could seize new opportunities if you only had a bigger budget.

Image courtesy of Kennametal.

How to Identify New Business Models

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 16 min 

Companies traditionally pursue growth by investing heavily in product development so they can produce new and better offerings; by developing consumer insights so they can satisfy customers’ needs; or by making acquisitions and expanding into new markets. This article identifies a fourth method: “business model experimentation,” or using thought experiments to quickly and inexpensively examine new business model possibilities.

Image courtesy of Shell.

Six Principles of Effective Global Talent Management

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 23 min 

Although organizations must pay attention to things like recruiting and performance management, competitive advantage in talent management doesn’t just come from identifying key activities and then implementing “best practices.”

Rather, successful companies subscribe to six key principles: 1) alignment with strategy, 2) internal consistency, 3) cultural embeddedness, 4) management involvement, 5) balance of global and local needs and 6) employer branding through differentiation.


Image courtesy of Flickr user K.Costin Photography.

The Manager’s Guide to IT Innovation Waves

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 21 min 

The relentless advance of information technology today means that a key task of the business manager now is to cope with one wave of IT innovations after another. At any given time, an executive is likely to feel more or less inundated by a current wave, unsure of what all the commotion is about, unable to avoid the topic in conversation and yet suspicious that the latest “killer app” may be mostly hype. Is there a better way?

Image courtesy of Flickr user jurvetson.

Improving Environmental Performance in Your Chinese Supply Chain

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 27 min 

Multinational corporations are under growing pressure to make sure their contractors and subcontractors in China meet environmental standards. Yet traditional approaches to ensuring environmental, health and safety compliance, such as checklist audits, have proved problematic. This article recommends that organizations work closely with suppliers, providing incentives for identifying, disclosing and addressing problems and establishing collaborative relationships with NGOs and industry groups.

Image courtesy of IBM.

Winning the Race With Ever-Smarter Machines

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 25 min 

The capabilities of computers are now improving so quickly that concepts can move from the realm of science fiction into everyday life in just a few years, rather than a lifetime. Rapid advances in information technology — computer hardware, software and networks — are yielding applications that can do anything from answering game show questions to driving cars. But to gain true leverage from these ever-improving technologies, companies need new processes and business models.


Is It Time to Rethink Your Manufacturing Strategy?

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 7 min 

Since the mid-1990s, many companies have outsourced or offshored their manufacturing operations. For most, one crucial enabling factor was cheap oil: Long supply lines were economically feasible because transportation costs were relatively low. Hence, companies emphasized reducing manufacturing costs through (1) offshoring or outsourcing; (2) plant rationalization; and (3) consolidating distribution centers and warehouses to reduce inventory levels and minimize fixed facility costs.


Image courtesy of Flickr user utpal.

Should Top Management Relocate Across National Borders?

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 6 min 

International relocations of entire corporate headquarters are rare. But the relocation of top management team members is happening more and more. For instance, a desire to be close to its major global customers led Halliburton Co., an international oil services group, to relocate the company’s CEO from Houston to Dubai. But there are strategic costs and benefits of such decisions. Deciding which option to pursue depends on the strength and interplay of the relocation drivers and barriers.

Image courtesy of Apple Inc.

Why Dominant Companies Are Vulnerable

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 7 min 

Research has shown that several factors influence a company’s ability to retain market leadership. However, one factor has largely been ignored: the psychological forces that drive decisions consumers make and, specifically, the degree to which people feel they have choices. Once people have learned a company’s technology interface, they become more efficient using that interface and are often reluctant to switch to products requiring new skills or allowing limited transfer of current skills.

Image courtesy of Flickr user kfergos.

Sustainability Nears a Tipping Point

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 16 min 

This year, more survey respondents say sustainability is on their company’s management agenda. Not all companies have found ways to profit from their sustainability efforts — but those that have share some interesting characteristics.

Image courtesy of Flickr user luc legay.

How to Get Your Messages Retweeted

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 18 min 

Many companies are trying to leverage the power of Twitter to connect with customers and promote their brands and products. This article identifies factors that increase the likelihood of “retweeting” so that a company’s tweets will be shared with recipients’ networks.

There are several practices that don’t work well. The most important to avoid is blatant hard-sell messages. Twitter may be better suited for building brands than for building markets for new offerings.