MIT Sloan Management Review Fall 2019

MIT Sloan Management Review leads the discourse among academic researchers, business executives and other influential thought leaders about advances in management practice, particularly those shaped by technology,  that are transforming how people lead and innovate. MIT SMR disseminates new management research and innovative ideas so that thoughtful executives can capitalize on the opportunities generated by rapid organizational, technological and societal change.

United States
MIT Sloan Management Review
$16.89(Incl. tax)
$92.16(Incl. tax)
4 Issues

in this issue

3 min
what we publish, and why

Usually, the editor’s letter in MIT SMR tees up one or more of the ideas explored in a given issue. This one is different. This time, I’ll talk about what we look for when we consider articles for publication. Of course, that’s top of mind for the subject matter experts who want to reach our audience. But it’s also important to share our approach with the business leaders and managers who turn to us for insight. After all, you’re the best judges of whether we’re accomplishing what we set out to do. So here, in a nutshell, are the kinds of contributions we pursue: 1. Ideas that will help managers navigate an increasingly digital world. True to our MIT Sloan roots, we’re keenly interested in the impact of technology on management: the challenges…

3 min

High-Profile Jitters Over AI So far, artificial intelligence has been widely viewed as a potential game changer for probing problems and making complex decisions. It’s well known, for example, that, powered by AI, DeepMind Technologies’ AlphaZero trained itself in 2017 to beat the best chess players in the world. It accomplished this feat in less than 24 hours, not by copying and tweaking the strategies of chess masters but by designing and executing new moves that others found counterintuitive. But as AI finds its way into more and more facets of modern life, there are a lot of unknowns: How will it affect the various ways people think and interact with one another — and, more worrisome, how will it affect civilization? In a recent Atlantic article (“The Metamorphosis,” August 2019), former U.S.…

2 min
the 2019 richard beckhard memorial prize

THIS YEAR’S AWARD goes to the fall 2018 MIT SMR article “Building an Ethically Strong Organization” by Catherine Bailey and Amanda Shantz. The article examines why persistent unethical conduct occurs and what managers can do about it, a topic that the judges felt was especially relevant today in the wake of several recent cases of large-scale corporate misconduct, with a significant number of business leaders under fire. Bailey, a professor of work and employment at King’s Business School at King’s College London, and Shantz, an associate professor in human resource management and organizational behavior at Trinity Business School at Trinity College Dublin, studied corporate ethical behavior through field research that included surveys, interviews, focus groups, and in-depth case studies of five organizations in the United Kingdom. They found that an organization’s…

1 min
richard beckhard

One of the founders and architects of the field of organizational development, professor Richard Beckhard was a member of the MIT Sloan School of Management faculty for more than 20 years. A longtime friend of MIT Sloan Management Review, Beckhard was known for his efforts to help organizations function in a more humane and high-performing manner and to empower people to be agents of change. His books include Organizational Development: Strategies and Models; Organizational Transitions: Managing Complex Change; Changing the Essence: The Art of Creating and Leading Fundamental Change in Organizations; and his autobiography, Agent of Change: My Life, My Practice. The prize was established in 1984 by the faculty of the MIT Sloan School of Management upon professor Beckhard’s retirement, and it was renamed the Richard Beckhard Memorial Prize after his…

6 min
pioneering approaches to re-skilling and upskilling

In the new world of work, we may not know for sure which jobs will be destroyed and what will be created, but one thing is clear: Everyone, whatever their age, will at some point have to spend time either re-skilling (learning new skills for a new position) or upskilling (learning current tasks more deeply). In every job, workers will have new technologies to learn and new personal relationships to navigate as those roles fit and refit into a changing economic landscape. Embracing this idea requires a real sense of agency on the part of individuals. Each of us needs to be both motivated and prepared to put in the effort toward making learning a lifetime priority. That’s a good first step, but it will work only if corporations step up to…

9 min
avoiding the pitfalls of customer participation

Companies pay a lot of attention to customer participation — getting customers to play an ongoing role in the business by providing suggestions and ideas on its products and services. Whether this feedback takes place through surveys, comment cards, online forms, or other means, studies have pointed to the advantages of encouraging such dialogue.1 It can create a bond that enhances customer loyalty and even a willingness to pay higher prices.2 However, it also has downsides that many senior executives are not aware of. Indeed, our research, which included interviews and roundtable discussions with 87 executives and 276 employees in a range of service industries, found that enthusiasm for customer participation wanes the closer one gets to the company’s front lines.3 When customers are encouraged to speak up, front-line employees can…