Summer 2000
Volume 41, Issue # 4

Access the full Table of Contents below.
Issues archive

Saturn's Supply-Chain Innovation: High Value in After-Sales Service

  • Read Time: 23 min 

Few companies can match Saturn’s after-sales service for efficient supply-chain management and satisfied customers. This case study details the thinking that turned supply-chain innovation into brand loyalty.

Fast Venturing: The Quick Way to Start Web Businesses

  • Read Time: 37 min 

A new approach to starting new lines of business, fast venturing, taps operational partners — incubators or professional-services firms — as well as outside investors. Using outside partners is more promising, say the authors, than creating new ventures inside an established company, where too often, strong incentives are lacking and company traditions or politics get in the way.

Outsourcing Innovation: The New Engine of Growth

  • Read Time: 41 min 

Innovation today calls for the complex knowledge that only a broad network of specialists can offer. The most effective companies, however, keep core-competence activities in-house, outsourcing the rest to best-in-world suppliers. The author discusses the multiple challenges of successful outsourcing.

The Silent Killers of Strategy Implementation and Learning

  • Read Time: 34 min 

Six silent killers of strategy implementation exist in most companies, but too many managers avoid confronting them. Leaders need to face these killers if they and their organizations are to learn and succeed.

Finding Sustainable Profitability in Electronic Commerce

  • Read Time: 33 min 

The author argues that to sustain a competitive advantage, Web retailers must align their strategies with the product characteristics and buying practices of customers in their market segment. He divides the dot-com retail market into four segments on the basis of the type of good sold and describes the strategies needed to succeed in each.


Four Smart Ways to Run Online Communities

  • Read Time: 33 min 

Few Internet ideas have proved more potent than “online communities” — networked groups of people engage in many-to-many interactions. The authors studied 15 online communities to determine how to best establish and maintain such communities. They developed a framework that identifies three activities central to the success of every online community: member development, asset management and community. The authors illustrate these lessons in case studies of four kinds of online communities.

Information Orientation: People, Technology and the Bottom Line

  • Read Time: 32 min 

In this article, the co-authors show that senior managers view strong IT practices, competent management of information, and good information behaviors as components of one higher-level idea — “Information Orientation” or “IO” — which measures a company’s capabilities to effectively manage and use information. IO is also a predictor of business performance. The authors compare two retail banks to illustrate the differences between high- and low-IO companies.