Winter 2017 Issue
Volume 58, Issue # 2

Access the full Table of Contents below.
Issues archive
advertisement

Special Report: Keeping Up With Emerging Markets

Competing Through Joint Innovation

The Chinese telecom company Huawei has used strategic partnerships to gain ground in Europe.

The Next Wave of Business Models in Asia

Many Asian startups are competing on business model innovation and new technology rather than cost.

Mastering the Market Intelligence Challenge

Multinationals need to start viewing market intelligence as a strategic asset in emerging markets.

Engaging With Startups in Emerging Markets

Partnering with emerging-market startups is easier if four key factors can be addressed.

Please Go Away (and Spend More Time Somewhere Else)

Rapid changes at all levels of society and technology are upon us. Seemingly stable business and social environments aren’t immune. Whether it’s technology, policy, or broader socioeconomic forces, the transformation of your organization and your role in it are all but inevitable. One suggestion for responding: Get outside your standard routine and engage with the changes.

Columns

Organizing for New Technologies

Responding to disruptive technologies may mean changing your company’s organizational structure.

advertisement

Features

Frontiers

Exploring the Digital Future of Management

advertisement

How Blockchain Will Change Organizations

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 12 min 

Blockchain technology has the potential to transform how businesses are organized and managed. It allows companies to eliminate transaction costs and use outside resources as easily as internal resources. The implications for areas such as accounting, contract negotiation and enforcement, sales and marketing, and capital investment are myriad. Companies should start exploring how this technology could impact their industry and processes.

Sustainability Lessons From the Front Lines

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 23 min 

While most executives recognize the need to develop more sustainable business models, putting this goal into practice has been a challenge. Too many initiatives are stymied by a set of common obstacles. By recognizing how executing sustainability initiatives differs from typical change management, corporate leaders can promote more lasting gains in sustainable business development.

The Next Wave of Business Models in Asia

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 12 min 

The first wave of innovation from emerging markets in Asia has been predicated on the replication of existing business models at lower cost. The second wave, which could be even more disruptive than the first, fundamentally reimagines various facets of the business model to find new, often digitally enabled, ways in which resources and processes can be leveraged. Such companies identify creative ways for partners, stakeholders, and customers to be involved in value creation and capture.

Mastering the Market Intelligence Challenge

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 24 min 

A shortage of reliable information is common in emerging markets. Because such markets are heterogeneous, the sources and methods for market intelligence require modification before they can be transferred from one emerging market to another. Market intelligence is thus best viewed and managed as a strategic asset that multinationals should invest in keeping up to date.

Why Your Company Needs Data Translators

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 8 min 

When it comes to putting data to use, communication — or rather, lack of it — between the data scientists and the executive decision makers can cause problems. The two sides often don’t speak the same language and may differ in their approach to and respect for data-based decisions. Given these challenges, organizations may need to call upon a “data translator” to improve how data is incorporated into decision making processes.

advertisement

Engaging With Startups in Emerging Markets

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 14 min 

For large multinationals, forging effective partnerships with emerging-market startups is complicated. Traits that make startups attractive as partners also make it hard for large companies to engage with them. Looking at startups in India, China, and South Africa, researchers identify key factors inhibiting emerging market partnerships and offer strategies for addressing them.

Organizing for New Technologies

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 6 min 

When faced with an emerging technology, many companies have trouble responding — not because they don’t recognize how it impacts their business, but because they have difficulty managing the uncertainty around the new technology’s competitive viability. And when the technology significantly disrupts the company’s existing business, it can create structural impediments to pursuing opportunities.

Warding Off the Threat of Disruption

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 6 min 

In a fast-changing digital landscape, companies shouldn’t wait too long to reconfigure their offerings — but they also should be wary of moving to an untested technology too soon. Monitoring trends in related industries and identifying high-potential startups for acquisition helps to ensure appropriate timing for business model changes.

Winning the Digital War for Talent

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 9 min 

Competition for digitally savvy talent has never been higher, but companies’ methods for acquiring and keeping the skilled employees they need are outmoded. Whether they want to develop capabilities in employees or tap on-demand talent markets — or some mix of both — human resources directors need to experiment with new talent management models.

advertisement

Which Features Increase Customer Retention?

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 16 min 

Companies have an incentive to design goods and services with customer retention in mind. Unfortunately, they often add expensive features to their offerings without knowing whether or how much they will increase retention — and adding too many features can actually decrease customer satisfaction with products after customers have used them.

The Downside to Full Board Independence

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 5 min 

High-profile accounting and corporate governance scandals have resulted in significant changes in the structure of corporate boards of directors, in particular the development of independent boards in which the CEO is the only employee director. The downside: Independent board members may not understand the business well enough to make optimal strategic decisions.

When Employees Don’t ‘Like’ Their Employers on Social Media

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 21 min 

When employees are not fans or supporters of the company’s products on social media, it sends an ambiguous message and could deprive the company of potential supporters. Employers can counter this by encouraging their “digital native” employees to become brand ambassadors for the company.

How to Develop a Great Digital Strategy

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 7 min 

As companies recognize how important a digital strategy has become, they find themselves torn between different strategic options. The first decision is to choose between a customer engagement or a digital solutions strategy. Which to pursue depends on existing capabilities and competitive direction — but companies should avoid trying to do both.

Competing Through Joint Innovation

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 18 min 

Even as multinationals struggle to make inroads in emerging markets, companies from those markets are finding ways to compete in Europe and the U.S. A case in point is Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications company, which has used strategic partnerships to gain ground in Europe. Huawei’s overseas expansion closely resembles the strategy the company used to build its position in China: Start at the perimeter and work toward the center.

advertisement

What Executives Get Wrong About Cybersecurity

  • Interview
  • Read Time: 11 min 

Cyberattacks are in the news. All kinds of organizations — ranging from Target Corp. and Bangladesh Bank to the Democratic National Committee in the United States — have fallen victim to them in recent years. MIT cybersecurity expert Stuart Madnick explains some of the biggest cybersecurity risks businesses face today — and what executives should do to decrease their companies’ vulnerabilities.

Please Go Away (and Spend More Time Somewhere Else)

  • Opinion & Analysis
  • Read Time: 2 min 

Rapid changes at all levels of society and technology are upon us. Seemingly stable business and social environments aren’t immune. Whether it’s technology, policy, or broader socioeconomic forces, the transformation of your organization and your role in it are all but inevitable. One suggestion for responding: Get outside your standard routine and engage with the changes.

Why Big Data Isn’t Enough

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 13 min 

There is a growing belief that sophisticated algorithms paired with big data will find relationships independent of any preconceived hypotheses. But in businesses that involve scientific research and technological innovation, this approach is misguided and potentially risky, as spurious correlations and “noise” may lead analysts astray.