Winter 2011
Volume 52, Issue # 2

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Image courtesy of Hyundai Mortor Co.

What Happens When You Outsource Too Much?

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 15 min 

With complex products such as automobiles, integration is a key element of performance. That means managers must understand which activities and competencies they can safely outsource and which they need to keep.

Courtesy of IBM.

Putting It Together: How to Succeed in Distributed Product Development

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 23 min 

The increase in outsourcing and offshoring of complex work has resulted in innovation efforts that require coordination across cultural, geographic and legal boundaries. If that coordination is mishandled, companies can find themselves needing to make multimillion- or even billion-dollar changes. The complexity of the task makes midcourse corrections likely. Managers must anticipate and adapt their processes in order to reduce risk and, ultimately, cost.

Courtesy of Flickr user Jinho.Jung

Bringing Open Innovation to Services

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 16 min 

Services comprise more than 70% of aggregate gross domestic product and employment in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries. As a result, both individual companies and entire economies face the challenge of how to innovate in services. One suggestion: Companies should both organize their innovation processes to be more open to external knowledge and ideas and also let more of their ideas and knowledge flow to the outside when not being used internally.


Image courtesy of Flickr user rishibando.

The 5 Myths of Innovation

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 25 min 

This article explores the process of innovation in 13 global companies. Many of the standard arguments for how to encourage innovation were confirmed, but some surprises were uncovered as well. The article organizes its key insights around five persistent “myths” that continue to haunt the innovation efforts of many companies. The five myths are: (1) The Eureka Moment; (2) Built It and They Will Come; (3) Open Innovation Is the Future; (4) Pay Is Paramount; and, (5) Bottom Up Innovation Is Best.


Are You Giving Globalization the Right Amount of Attention?

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 7 min 

Too little — or too much — attention from head office executives can cause problems in a company’s global operations. Research with senior executives in 135 multinational companies found that management of executive attention can have a significant impact on the performance of global companies and that relatively few companies seemed to optimize global attention. Most seemed to either spend too little or too much time and mental effort on global issues.