Partnerships & Alliances

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Rewriting the Playbook for Corporate Partnerships

In fast-changing markets, some companies are developing flexible, adaptive strategic partnerships to leverage the resources of both customers and suppliers. Incentive arrangements focus partners on joint value creation, and companies are sharing information extensively to solve problems together. These partnerships make the most sense when the product or service is of strategic importance to the customer, when the vendor has superior expertise and when there is uncertainty in the relationship.

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Bringing Sustainability Metrics to Purchasing Decisions

When hotel chain Hilton Worldwide looked at supply chain sustainability, it lacked tools to help weigh sustainability factors. Hilton partnered with sustainability consultant BSR to create the Center for Sustainable Procurement. In this interview with MIT SMR’s David Kiron, Hilton’s VP of supply management William Kornegay and Eric Olson of BSR discuss how the initiative evolved.

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Outsourcing Business Processes for Innovation

Although many organizations initiate business process outsourcing to reduce costs or acquire new skills, it can evolve into much more. Sometimes, service providers deliver substantial long-term improvements to the client’s operating efficiency and strategic performance. But these improvements seldom happen unless clients and providers implement a process that combines acculturation across organizations, a method for generating ideas, adequate funding and a system for managing change.

Image courtesy of Blue4green.

What You Can Learn From Your Customer’s Customer

Innovative companies fund internal research and development to gain an edge in the marketplace. They also work closely with suppliers to offer greater functionality and performance for their customers. However, some critical new product insights don’t come from suppliers and customers working together but from the customer’s customers. Drawing on numerous examples from technology companies, this article explores the various ways parties can collaborate so that everyone benefits.

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Free Article

“Let Me Come Right Out and Say It: You Cheat”

  • Blog
  • Read Time: 3 min 

”As long as we cheat by only a little bit, we can benefit from cheating and still view ourselves as marvelous human beings,” writes behavioral economist Dan Ariely in his new book “The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie To Everyone — Especially Ourselves.”

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Free Article

Bringing New Ideas to Fruition

  • Blog

It's not always easy to bridge the gap between academic research and the business world. Two recent articles offer perspectives on different aspects of the process:

TURNING IDEAS INTO START-UPS. A recent New York Times article highlights university "idea incubators" -- such as MIT's Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation -- that help professors bring their innovations to market.  Notes The New York Times:

"M.I.T.

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Collaborating With the Right Partners

“Not invented here” has become an outdated mind-set in the modern corporation, as shrinking product life cycles and rapid technological evolution have opened corporate attitudes toward external research and development partners. Yet three business school professors conclude that companies should be careful when selecting the partners with whom they collaborate.C

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The High Cost of Political Influence

“Political influence may come at the cost of lower productivity,” explains Anders Olofsgård, a senior fellow at the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics at the Stockholm School of Economics. “Politicians are expecting something in return from you. One way to pay back politicians is through jobs. So you may be locked into keeping higher employment than you otherwise might be.” Olofsgård and co-author Raj M. Desai, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, argue that bloated staffs are no bargain for any company.

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How To Make Strategic Alliances Work

Research shows that the most successful strategic alliances are in companies that have a dedicated function specifically assigned to oversee alliances. Such companies more readily solve problems related to the four key alliance-management elements — knowledge management, external visibility, internal coordination and accountability.

Showing 1-20 of 24