Organizational Structure

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Social Business: Flat or Hierarchical? A Surprising Answer

The most effective social businesses of the future may start to look more like organizations that long predate modern corporations — so-called “loosely coupled” organizations such as military, education and religious institutions.

These organizations remain deeply hierarchical, argues Gerald C. Kane, but these hierarchies operate differently than modern corporations, pushing decision-making capabilities down to people who can better deal with conditions on the ground.

Louis XIV of France

Inside the World of the Project Baron

In industrial sectors such as consulting, advertising, filmmaking, software, architecture, engineering and construction, most individual businesses, by definition, are “project-based firms.” This article proposes the term “baronies” to describe the organizational units that direct the projects within project-based firms, and highlights the roles that barons play in three basic types of project-based firms: dominions, tight federations and loose federations.

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014-Operations-500
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Understanding the ‘Bullwhip’ Effect in Supply Chains

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Today's Wall Street Journal  has a noteworthy front-page article about the "bullwhip" effect, as it is starting to play out in businesses as the economy recuperates. What's the bullwhip effect? The WSJ article explains: "This phenomenon occurs when companies significantly cut or add inventories.

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The Practice of Global Product Development

Best practice in product development (PD) is migrating from local collaboration to global collaboration. Global product development (GPD) represents a transformation for business, and it applies to a range of industries. The objective of this article is to present frameworks that can help companies address strategic and tactical issues when considering GPD. The concepts have been developed through discussions with more than 100 companies in 15 countries in North America, Europe and Asia.

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Overcoming innovation hurdles

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What’s one of the challenges to successful management or process innovation in an existing business? The array of organizational structures that are designed to keep current processes running smoothly.

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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02-Operations-500
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Innovation in organizational structure

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We're used to thinking about innovation in technology, in products or services, or even in management methods or business models. But in a recent article in strategy+business, Marjorie Kelly highlights a type of innovation that is less commonly discussed: innovation in corporate structure, ownership and governance.

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