Winter 1994
Volume 35, Issue # 2

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The Case for an Off-Balance-Sheet Controller

  • Read Time: 9 min 

ORGANIZATIONAL PERFORMANCE IS INCREASINGLY TIED TO INTANGIBLE ASSETS SUCH AS CORPORATE CULTURE, CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS, and brand equity. Yet controllers, who monitor and track firm performance, traditionally concentrate on tangible, balance-sheet assets such as cash, plants and equipment, and inventory. The authors argue that controllers can have an important role in tracking and analyzing off-balance-sheet resources. Here they envision this new role and its place in the organization.

The Corporate Bank

  • Read Time: 35 min 

CORPORATE BANKS ARE IDEALLY SUITED FOR THE NEW FINANCIAL ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH TRADE BARRIERS WILL FALL AND NATIONAL financial markets will open to capital transfers, borrowing, and investment. The author discusses the history of corporate banks, their structure, their functions, their links with subsidiaries, performance assessment, and the benefits and risks of setting up a corporate bank.


Point/Counterpoint: NUMMI vs. Uddevalla

  • Read Time: 28 min 

WHICH MODEL FOR THE LABOR-INTENSIVE PRODUCTION OF STANDARDIZED PRODUCTS — THE JAPANESE LEAN PRODUCTION MODEL REPRESENTED BY NUMMI or the holistic alternative represented by Uddevalla — is really the best organizational design to support learning? The author revisits Paul Adler and Robert Cole’s article from the Spring 1993 issue of Sloan Management Review and presents his own side of the debate. Adler and Cole’s rejoinder appears at the end of the article.

Negotiating with "Romans" -- Part 1

  • Read Time: 28 min 

The author presents strategies for negotiating with people from other cultures in a framework based on each party’s level of familiarity with the other’s culture and the extent to which they can explicitly coordinate their strategies. These factors determine the subset of strategies that are realistically feasible for an individual manager. Part 2 (HBSP product number xxxx) (Reprint 3537 in the Spring 1994 issue) describes a methodology for choosing among these strategies.