- Research Highlight
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Different experiences and points of view don’t, by themselves, make work groups more productive. The important factor is how people interrelate.
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The more companies outsource, the more they approach virtual organization, with knowledge centers interacting through mutual interest and electronic systems. To mitigate the risks associated with reduced authority, companies must develop “best in world” capabilities, leverage the capabilities of others and innovate constantly. The author shows how to slash innovation cycle times and costs by 60%-90% and develop the full potential of intellectual outsourcing.
A platform is a collection of components, processes, knowledge, people, and relationships shared by a set of products, allowing companies to efficiently develop differentiated products and to better meet customer needs. The authors describe the benefits and challenges of platform planning, presenting three underlying ideas, a method for planning a new product platform, and recommendations for managing the process.
Commitment and competence are embedded in how each employee thinks about and does his or her work and in how a company is organized to accomplish work. This intellectual capital is, according to the author, a firm’s only appreciable asset. He outlines three ways to build employee commitment and five tools for increasing competence in a firm, site, business and plant.
Scholars and observers from disciplines as disparate as sociology, economics, and management science agree that a transformation has occurred — knowledge is at center stage.1 Knowledge is information combined with experience, context, interpretation, and reflection.
Companies frequently mismanage their dealings with suppliers and miss many opportunities to reduce costs. Perhaps it’s time to reexamine purchasing, reestablish some tension in buyer-supplier relationships, and leverage the free market.
What has led to the development of Japan’s particular method of subcontracting? Theories that have attempted to explain Japanese subcontracting have critical shortcomings. A combination of political, economic, technological, and strategic factors has resulted in subcontracting’s growth and survival.
Management practices have undergone many innovations. Companies have been down-sized, delayered, and hollowed out. Newly trained and empowered employees have implemented many innovative practices including continuous improvement, reengineering, just-in-time manufacturing, and total quality management. Outsourcing and exclusive supply relationships now allow organizations to focus on core activities.M
While outsourcing might be attractive for some parts of a value center, it is not a substitute for crafting a strategy to leverage IT resources for business success. An effective strategy framework recognizes four interdependent sources of value from IT resources and the approaches for managing each source.
To improve service, companies must use multiple research approaches among different customer groups to ensure that they are hearing what customers are saying and responding to their suggestions.
The three communities of executives, engineers, and operators do not really understand each other very well. A lack of alignment among the three groups can hinder learning in an organization.
A firm decided to redesign its research and development process. Because the effort was critical to its success, the firm applied two parallel approaches to the process. One was a classical reengineering effort in which a small group of managers and consultants designed a radically different way to do research.
IBM is making a comeback. Although many observers had counted the company out — “It’s a dinosaur, an implosion, a wreck,” various commentators said — its revival was probable, even predictable, because cycles of decline and revitalization have been the company’s pattern through many decades.P
Few companies around the world have not tried to reinvent themselves — some more than once —during the past decade. Yet, for every successful corporate transformation, there is at least one equally prominent failure.
“Be first to market” is one of the most enduring principles in business theory and practice. But the authors point out that many pioneer companies have failed, whereas most current market leaders were not pioneers. In analyzing why this is so, the authors found that market leaders embody five factors that are critical to success.
Breezy Services Company, a medium-sized service provider, was in trouble.1 New entrants threatened its domination of particular market segments, and competitors attacked its customer base.
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