- Research Feature
- Read Time: 18 min
Managers have been inundated with advice on the dos and don’ts of laying off employees. But the truth is that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to downsizing.
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As increasing numbers of employees work remotely, companies need to find effective ways to manage internal communication and social interaction, and also to provide these employees with opportunities to become more visible.
The editors of the MIT Sloan Management Review are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Richard Beckhard Memorial Prize, awarded to the authors of the most outstanding MIT SMR article on planned change and organizational development published from Fall 2007 to Fall 2008.
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.
Companies are experimenting with new business models, from examples like MinuteClinic, a pioneer in low-cost retail health care that treats everyday ailments inside a drugstore, to Joost.com, an innovator in Web-based TV operated by Joost Technologies B.V. of the Netherlands. But genuinely new business models are hard to come by. Companies are therefore on the lookout for new forms of competitive advantage. One emerging possibility is the idea that a company’s management model can become a source of advantage.
A comprehensive analytic framework can provide a common language for discussing decisions and values with colleagues, helping to build a culture that better integrates the organization’s values into staff decision making.
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.
Companies have a number of internal and external conflict-resolution resources at their disposal. In addition, they should consider creating the new role of board ombudsman to mediate disagreements.
Many executives talk about the need for greater flexibility and adaptability from their companies. But the truth is that most businesses have organized themselves in ways that inherently discourage change.
Departing employees leave with more than what they know; they also take with them critical knowledge about who they know. That information needs to be a part of any knowledge-retention strategy.
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