- Research Highlight
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A new report reveals that companies with significant levels of employee control systematically underperform.
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The term “competitive cognition” refers to the framework with which a manager organizes and retains knowledge about competitors and directs information acquisition and usage. It is the process by which managers make sense of the market environments in which they compete.
Companies too often vacillate in their commitment to internal corporate venturing activities, leading to less than optimal outcomes. Executives need to better understand — and manage — the factors that drive cyclicality in internal corporate venturing.
Companies that continue to take a tactical, short-term approach to communicating with key constituencies will find it increasingly difficult to compete. Developing an integrated, strategic approach to communications will be critical to success.
Companies that are having trouble filling board positions should consider a new type of director: well-established professionals who devote all of their work, time and energies to corporate board activities.
Employees with deep motivation, strong commitment, unquestioned loyalty and widely shared values can have drawbacks. Much has been written about the upside of deep commitment, but employers need to be wary of workers who identify too much with the company. Overidentification, says the author, may lead to an ends-justifies-the-means outlook, unethical actions, substitution of personal needs for company goals and resentment when the company doesn’t meet employees’ expectations.
When companies act dishonestly, the psychological costs outweigh any short-term gains. Dishonesty ultimately decreases repeat business and increases worker turnover and employee theft. Degradation of a company’s reputation, adverse effects on employee values and increased surveillance of workers through expensive new systems eat at an organization’s health. The authors offer proof that honesty is still the best policy.
The increasingly common practice of migrating business processes overseas to locales such as India, the Philippines and China is often seen as a negative phenomenon that suppresses domestic job markets. On the contrary, says the author, offshoring is a critical component of next-generation business design, a dynamic process of continually identifying how to deliver superior value to customers and shareholders.
A generation of managers is obsessed with the idea of dramatic, turbulent change. This is misguided hype, say the authors. Drawing on management literature, history and company examples such as IBM, General Electric and British Airways, they contend that a sensible framework for change must recognize the subtle interplay of its various forms as well as the importance of stability and continuity.
When a certain U.S. multinational corporation sought to adopt a global policy on employee mobility, it convened a yearlong symposium with representatives from units worldwide. Through a format that encouraged brainstorming and in-depth discussion, a consensus gradually emerged that enabled executives to reduce mobility classifications from eight to two.
Vertical “command and control” sabotages organizations that need bottom-up innovation to be competitive. Yet organizational integration is increasingly essential. New research shows how technology is helping cutting-edge companies meet the challenge by integrating horizontally.
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