productivity

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Winning the Race With Ever-Smarter Machines

The capabilities of computers are now improving so quickly that concepts can move from the realm of science fiction into everyday life in just a few years, rather than a lifetime. Rapid advances in information technology — computer hardware, software and networks — are yielding applications that can do anything from answering game show questions to driving cars. But to gain true leverage from these ever-improving technologies, companies need new processes and business models.

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Why Some Companies Benefit More from IT Investments than Others

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On average, investments in information technology are associated with greater productivity for companies -- but why do some companies get greater productivity benefits from IT than others? That was one of the questions MIT Sloan Professor Erik Brynjolfsson addressed at a presentation at the MIT Center for Digital Business today.

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Understanding informal decision networks

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Business use of “social network analysis” is in the news — and is a topic featured in the Winter 2009 issue of MIT Sloan Management Review.

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The controversial performance review

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Are performance reviews passé? At the very least, they are a hot discussion topic  --  judging from reactions to the lead story in this week's edition of Business Insight, which we at SMR produce in collaboration with The Wall Street Journal.

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New ideas from lean times

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Today's Wall Street Journal features an article that highlights a subtle but interesting difference in management style between Toyota Motor Corp. and Detroit's Big Three. Toyota in the U.S. currently finds itself with excess capacity for models such as pickup trucks.

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Should Business Care About Obesity?

Obesity in the United States has reached crisis proportions. Is this yet another societal problem to be loaded onto the shoulders of business leaders? For several reasons, the answer is yes — and some companies are already showing what can be done to turn the tide.

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Generating Premium Returns on Your IT Investments

Although IT portfolio management has been a best practice for some time now, many companies are still getting returns from IT investments that are below their potential. New studies show that a measurable premium can be gained by implementing a set of interlocking business practices and processes, collectively called “IT savvy.”

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The Decline and Dispersion of Marketing Competence

In many organizations, the corporate marketing function has lost budget, head count, influence and confidence, resulting in strategic consequences that run deeper than many senior managers may realize. The question is not how to rebuild the marketing center, but how to disperse marketing competenceacross the organization.

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E-Procurement

During the e-boom of the 1990s, academics, consultants, executives and investors alike claimed that e-procurement, and its increasingly central role in supply-chain management, would revolutionize how future business-to-business practices would take place: Efficiencies would be improved and procurement costs reduced; the flow of information along the supply chain enhanced; strategic

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