Harmful management practices should be treated like corporate viruses by eradicating the conditions that foster them.
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While MIT SMR seeks to publish new research-based ideas across a wide range of management topics, we are taking a particular interest in work that explores the role of technology in transforming the practice of management. Even as we have been witnessing digital technology’s organizational impact for several decades, it’s our belief that we are on the crest of a new wave of change that will force leaders to fundamentally rethink the way their companies function and produce value.
Peter Drucker defined the work of business leaders by three principal tasks: delivering financial results, making work and workers productive, and managing a company’s social impacts. Technological advances have transformed — and continue to transform — the world in myriad ways since Drucker published that definition in 1974. But technology hasn’t changed Drucker’s tasks. Instead, it is giving rise to new and better ways of executing them. This new column aims to help you identify big ideas and new tactics at the intersection of technology and management.
How do managers “decide how to decide”? Boards and management teams often try to gain consensus, but that’s not always the best course. Research offers insights into when consensus building is the right way to go and when it isn’t — and how leaders can determine the best form of decision making for a given situation. “By prompting a rule on how the decision will be made — by unanimity, majority or delegation — you can significantly influence what will be decided,” note the authors.
Twenty-two of the fifty top management thinkers in the world have published their work in MIT Sloan Management Review. The 2013 list comes from thinkers50.com. List members published in MIT SMR include Clayton Christensen, Rita Gunther McGrath, and Julian Birkinshaw.
“In an unpredictable world, trying to be right can lead managers terribly astray.” So write Rita Gunther McGrath and Ian C. MacMillan in their new article in MIT Sloan Management Review.
At many companies, intellectual property has become an area of focus. Research shows that top-management involvement in IP strategy is associated with better IP performance.
Growth is not perpetual, and its continued pursuit can be costly, especially for large, mature companies. Instead, say the authors, smart managers should acknowledge the natural limits of their company‘s path to growth and consider viable alternatives.
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