- Research Feature
- Read Time: 43 min
Successful virtual offices require radical new approaches to evaluating, educating, organizing, and informing workers.
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Why do companies frequently make bad investment decisions and continue to blunder, even after the weaknesses in their capital budgeting analyses are evident? Because, say the authors, they don’t integrate capital budgeting into their overall strategy. To address this, the authors present a framework for dynamic capital budgeting that can help managers make intelligent investment decisions with a long-term strategy in mind.
When companies downsize, managers need to consider how to bolster their employees’ morale in order to maintain productivity and engender flexibility. The authors propose a four-stage approach — gleaned from interviews and surveys — that will mitigate worker mistrust and disempowerment and will, they say, help build a better company.
Making an explicit link between people’s personal needs and business goals can be a catalyst for changing work practices. In the end, both the company and the employees benefit.
Are managers today less loyal to their companies? If so, can companies counter this trend? To retain loyal managers, companies must nurture an apolitical culture that places high priority on meeting career needs.
Why are some companies able to remain vital, even after extensive reengineering, while others flounder and fail? The answer, according to these authors, lies in a company’s ability to rejuvenate its employees by establishing a behavioral context with four characteristics — discipline, support, trust and stretch. The authors show how companies like Intel and 3M have been able to renew themselves by creating an environment in which people are the most important resource.
What can the plant manager at a Japanese soy sauce producer teach us about reengineering? In this case study, the authors describe Toshio Okuno’s five techniques for managing major changes in his company. By focusing first on changing people’s attitudes toward change and encouraging them to be creative, Okuno brought about significant improvements in processes and results. And the managers and workers, rather than reengineering consultants, began to propose ideas for change. Okuno’s techniques work as an integrated system that allow his company to innovate continuously and present many lessons for making change fun.
THE PRODUCTION-LINE APPROACH TO SERVICE IS BEING CHALLENGED BY AN EMPLOYEE EMPOWERMENT APPROACH. DESPITE ITS GROWING POPULARITY, many managers are still uncertain about empowerment’s impact. The authors describe the returns a company can expect from empowering service employees, which include a number of favorable business results, but new management challenges as well.
With the decline of some well-established firms, the diminishing competitive power of many companies in a burgeoning world market, and the need for organizational renewal and transformation, interest in organizational learning has grown. Senior managers in many organizations are convinced of the importance of improving learning in their organizations.
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