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MIT Sloan Management Review

MIT Sloan Management Review Fall 2013

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.

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United States
MIT Sloan Management Review
4 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
beyond the organization

WHEN YOU HEAR the term “business leader,” there’s a natural tendency to think of someone leading a business — and all of the talent and knowledge within that organization. However, business executives today often need to harness the energy not just of the talented people within an organization, but of those outside of it as well. In this issue of MIT Sloan Management Review, a number of authors explore various aspects of leading beyond organizational boundaries. As part of our special report on leveraging external innovation, Alan MacCormack, Fiona Murray and Erika Wagner examine the phenomenon of corporations using innovation contests to attract the best ideas from beyond their organizations. They write: “Companies are searching for better ways to identify and exploit novel solutions. Increasingly, they are discovering that many of…

2 min.
on the web

New Report on Social Business “Passing the peak of faddishness” is how one interviewee assesses where social business is today, in a new report produced by MIT Sloan Management Review in collaboration with Deloitte. The report, “Social Business: Shifting Out of First Gear,” discusses topics such as the market drivers for business use of social media and social collaboration tools, struggles with social business and strategies for getting top management buy-in. “Businesses that are making the greatest progress toward becoming a socially connected enterprise focus rigorously on four interrelated areas: leading a social culture, measuring what matters, keeping content fresh and changing the way work gets done,” notes the report. Read or download the report at: sloanreview.mit.edu/shifting-social-business What Digital Transformation Means for Business Mobile computing, analytics, cloud computing and sensor-driven autonomous machines are…

3 min.
the richard beckhard memorial prize

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 renamed the Richard Beckhard Memorial Prize after his death…

2 min.
quick takes

“When the leader and team become immersed in the details of planning and delivery , the purpose of the project frequently fades from view.” (From Brown et al., “The Question Every Project Team Should Answer,” page 49.) “Although successful new entrants and established companies respond differently in the face of industry convergence, the choices managers make are fortunately not etched in stone. They can be reversed.” (From Hacklin et al., “Strategic Choices in Converging Industries,” page 65.) “Traditional approaches to generating new ideas — most notably large corporate R&D labs staffed with world-class talent — are expensive and often produce disappointing results.” (From MacCormack et al., “Spurring Innovation Through Competitions,” page 25.) “What’s more, foot-dragging on decisions, along with counterproductive debates about how to get things done or which data are ‘right,’ can…

7 min.
does your company seem socially irresponsible?

There are significant differences between how company executives and the general public judge negative corporate behavior. Failure to understand and predict these differences can be costly to a business. Public perceptions of corporate irresponsibility are formed from judgments of three core pieces of information: 1) a harmful effect, 2) an innocent victim and 3) a culpable organization. We have developed a model that describes how these perceptions of harm, innocence and culpability are shaped in subjective, yet predictable, ways. By explaining how these perceptions form, the model can be used to help predict and even influence perceptions. (Our model is described in greater detail in a paper we published in the April 2012 issue of the Academy of Management Review titled “Understanding Attributions of Corporate Social Irresponsibility.” See “Related Research.”) The effect…

4 min.
developing tomorrow’s global leaders

Large global companies today are increasingly led not so much by an individual or even a single team, but by an ensemble of leaders. Consisting of the top one or two percent of executives and experts, ensembles bridge a host of differences — in language, culture, time zones, experience and more. They also make it easy for groups of leaders to configure themselves according to the task at hand. How are human resource executives at global companies preparing for a future that includes such diverse leadership groups? To find out, we surveyed 197 HR executives from global companies in 2012. We defined global companies as those operating in four or more countries across two or more continents. The companies we surveyed met these criteria, and they represented a wide variety of…