Summer 2021 Editorial Preview

This issue of MIT SMR offers up important solutions for achieving success in critical areas of management. Read the full lineup below.

Content subject to change.

Special Report: Equality in the Enterprise

This special report aims to deepen understanding of the challenges posed by equity initiatives, and provide tools and insights to help leaders address them.

Fighting Backlash to Systemic Change

Understanding the real reasons why racial equity initiatives provoke opposition can help you lead employees through cultural transformation.

— Rosalind M. Chow (Carnegie-Mellon University), L. Taylor Phillips (New York University), Brian S. Lowery (Stanford University), and Miguel Unzueta (UCLA)

Why Putting on Blinders Can Help Us See More Clearly

Even if your organization doesn’t have a “blinding” policy for hiring and other people evaluations, it’s possible to reap some of the benefits.

— Sean Fath (Cornell University’s ILR School), Richard P. Larrick (Fuqua School of Business at Duke University), Jack B. Soll (Fuqua School of Business at Duke University), and Susan Zhu (Gatton College of Business and Economics)

Cultivating an Inclusive Culture Through Personal Networks

Analyzing employees’ network connections can show whether under-represented groups are being effectively integrated into the organization.

— Rob Cross (Carnegie-Mellon University), Kevin Oakes (New York University), and Connor Cross (UCLA)

Articles Featured in the Summer Issue

How Organizational Change Disrupts Our Sense of Self

Leaders can better manage large-scale transformation by helping employees adapt to new identities rather than new tasks.

— Hal Gregersen (MIT Sloan School of Management) and Roger Lehman (INSEAD)

How to Bring ESG Into the Quarterly Earnings Call

Stop treating environmental, social, and governance strategies as a sidebar and integrate them into regular financial reporting.

— Brian Tomlinson (CECP), Tensie Whelan (NYU Stern School of Business), and Kevin Eckerle (NYU Stern School of Business)

Flatten the Demand Curve

Peaks and valleys in demand can drive out-of-control costs. New research suggests a better way to manage them.

— William Schmidt (Cornell University), Nikolay Osadchiy (Emory University), and Jing Wu (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Get More Ideas From the Crowd

These five techniques for writing problem statements can improve results from crowdsourced challenges.

— Claudia Kubowicz Malhotra (University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School), Arvind Malhotra (Kenan-Flagler Business School), and Barry L. Bayus (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

The Price Leaders Pay for Cutting Ethical Corners

Asking employees to take questionable shortcuts can hurt their motivation and their performance.

— Isaac H. Smith (Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Business), Maryam Kouchaki (Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management), and Justin Wareham (Meinders School of Business at Oklahoma City University)

The Courage to Be Candid

It takes a surprising amount of bravery for employees to point out ways the organization can learn and improve. Leaders can make it easier for people to speak up.

— Jim Detert and Evan Bruno (both from University of Virginia Darden
School of Business)

Accelerating Supply Chain Scenario Planning

The pandemic showcases a need to make slow-moving supply chains nimbler. Using data and collaborating with partners on scenario planning can empower companies to adapt.

— Nitin Joglekar (Questrom School of Business at Boston University and the journal Production and Operations Management) and Shardul Phadnis (Malaysia Institute for Supply Chain Innovation and MIT Global SCALE Network)

Turbulent Times Demand Dynamic Rules

Circumstances can change rapidly in an uncertain world; organizational rules should be designed to change along with them.

— David R. Hannah (Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University), Christopher D. Zatzick (Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University), and Jan Kietzmann (Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria)

Volunteerism as a Tool for Talent Development

The idea of fostering learning through service is surprisingly controversial. Employers should plan carefully.

— Amanda Shantz (Trinity Business School) and Kiera Dempsey-Brench (Trinity College Dublin)

The Practices That Set Learning Organizations Apart

Companies committed to building workforces equipped for the future apply seven key principles to training and development.

— David G. Collings and John McMackin (both from Dublin City University Business School)

The Overlooked Partners That Can Build Your Talent Pipeline

Companies that tap community-based nonprofits can develop better long-term skill strategies and enlarge their local talent pools.

— Nichola J. Lowe (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

Rethinking Industry’s Role in a National Emergency

The shortcomings of the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile must be remedied before the next large-scale public health emergency. Here’s how.

— ManMohan S. Sodhi (City University of London) and Christopher S. Tang (UCLA Anderson School of Management)

Why Good Arguments Make Better Strategy

Creating consistently great strategies demands formal processes, constructive debate, and logical rigor.

— Jesper B. Sørensen and Glenn R. Carroll (both from Stanford University)

Why Brand Culture Matters to Retail Strategy

New research finds that when consumers value a brand’s cultural richness, they prefer in-store shopping to online.

— Jonathan Z. Zhang (Colorado State University College of Business)

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