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Featured Operations Articles

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Mastering the Market Intelligence Challenge

Multinationals need to start viewing market intelligence as a strategic asset in emerging markets.

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How Blockchain Will Change Organizations

Frontiers |

Blockchain technology offers a way to transfer not just information, but value.

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What Makes a Supply Chain Sustainable?

A sustainable supply chain requires more than just following the law, undertaking audits, or increasing transparency.

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Partnerships and Alliances

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Engaging With Startups in Emerging Markets

Partnering with emerging-market startups is easier if four key factors can be addressed.

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Competing Through Joint Innovation

The Chinese telecom company Huawei has used strategic partnerships to gain ground in Europe.

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How to Manage Alliances Strategically

A strategic framework that eliminates faulty assumptions can help make alliances successful.

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Navigating the Patent Minefield Through Consortia

Tech consortia help reduce patent risk, but managers must weigh the pros and cons for innovation.

Expanding Globally

Harnessing the Best of Globalization

September 13, 2016 | William R. Kerr

Globalization offers significant opportunities, yet most companies approach key decisions haphazardly. Although the complexity of globalization means managers rarely can fully analyze a global business opportunity before they need to act, the basic tensions in global business models are straightforward. A simple analysis of global ventures along these dimensions can help entrepreneurs develop clearer expectations and decision-making processes.

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Supply Chain Management

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Service Automation

A New Approach to Automating Services

September 13, 2016 | Mary C. Lacity and Leslie P. Willcocks

Early adopters of software robots exemplify how companies generate tangible benefits via service innovations in three ways: (1) by developing an approach to service automation supported by top management, (2) by initiating effective processes that deliver value to customers and employees, and (3) by building enterprise-wide skills and capabilities. Managers interested in capturing the benefits of service automation need to pursue all three avenues.

Project Management

How Executive Sponsors Influence Project Success

In each stage of a project’s life cycle, two or three behaviors have significant impact on the project’s likelihood for success. These behaviors, by the executive who is sponsoring the project, ensure effective partnerships with project managers and require a great deal of informal dialogue. They include setting performance goals, establishing priorities, ensuring quality and capturing lessons learned.

Accelerating Projects by Encouraging Help

How can companies get employees to pull together to meet project deadlines? It turns out that establishing psychological safety and promoting cooperative behavior can be just as important as good planning. This case study of management innovation at Roto Frank, a German company that produces hardware for industrial and residential windows and doors, highlights the difficulties of project planning and execution — and the benefits of building a positive feedback cycle.

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