Management Processes

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Are CEOs Getting the Best From Corporate Functions?

At too many large companies, corporate functions like HR and IT don’t get enough strategic direction from the CEO. The result of this undermanagement is mixed performance. While some corporate functions fulfill their roles highly effectively and win praise from the heads of operating units, most do not. Without sufficient guidance, corporate functions can become — often unintentionally — self-serving.

Julian Birkinshaw

Rethinking Management

Most executives spend a reasonable amount of time thinking about the business model for their organization. But how much time do they spend considering the company’s management model? In his book “Reinventing Management,” Julian Birkinshaw urges businesspeople to give more thought to management models. In a Q&A, Birkinshaw explains why management has been “corrupted” over the last 100 years, and what should change.

Courtesy of SAP.

How to Manage Virtual Teams

Based on an investigation of the performance of 80 software development projects with varying levels of dispersion — members in different cities, countries or continents — this article asserts that virtual teams offer tremendous opportunities despite their greater managerial challenges.

In fact, dispersed teams outperformed their colocated counterparts when they had the appropriate processes in place. Those processes can be classified in two categories: task-related and socio-emotional.

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Reflecting on the Strategy Process

Some of the greatest failings of strategic management, the authors say, occur when managers take one point of view too seriously. Ideas and practices that originate from collaborative contacts between organizations, from competition and confrontation, from recasting of the old, and from the sheer creativity of managers are driving the evolution of strategic management today.

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Surfing the Edge of Chaos

Every decade or two, a big idea in management thinking takes hold and becomes widely accepted. The next big idea must enable businesses to improve the hit rate of strategic initiatives and attain the level of renewal necessary for successful execution. Scientific research on complex adaptive systems has identified principles that apply to living things, from amoebae to organizations. Four principles relevant to strategic work at Royal Dutch/Shell are outlined.

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