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MIT Sloan Management Review

MIT Sloan Management Review Summer 2014

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.
innovation and china

THERE IS NO QUESTION that China has had an impressive record of economic growth in recent years.“Within just one generation, China has transformed itself from an economically impoverished and politically unstable country to the second-largest economy in the world,” observes Yasheng Huang of the MIT Sloan School of Management in his article “What’s Next for the Chinese Economy?” in this issue’s special report on business in China. But Huang argues that the growth model that China has followed so successfully now needs to change and evolve. China, he writes, needs political and economic reforms — including better protection for intellectual property — in order to develop an economy that relies more on technology and innovations created domestically and less on low-cost labor and investments in fixed assets. Other articles in this issue…

1 min.
on the web sloanreview.mit.edu

Preparing Analytics for a Strategic Role The way health care is billed in the U.S. system is part of the reason costs are so high. WellPoint, one of the largest providers of health-care benefits and insurance in the United States, aims to use analytics to change its provider payment system. The company’s goal: to promote a health-care payment system based on value, not the volume of services. This data and analytics case study takes an in-depth look at how WellPoint has been working with physicians and IT staff to pursue this new approach. Read the case study here: sloanreview.mit.edu/preparing-analytics-for-a-strategic-role The Multiplier Effect of Social Business Tools B. Bonin Bough oversees social media for brands such as Oreo cookies, Ritz crackers and Cadbury chocolates — big consumer brands with lots of activity in the…

2 min.
quick takes

“Although the concept of simultaneous engineering is simple, many companies have found it hard to implement in practice because of barriers such as unwillingness by engineers to release information early and difficulties in coordinating multidisciplinary teams.” (From Williamson and Yin, “Accelerated Innovation: The New Challenge From China,” page 27.) “Without a framework with which to convert the mass of user-generated content into knowledge, the business value of social media stays hidden in plain sight.” (From Mount and Garcia Martinez, “Rejuvenating a Brand Through Social Media,” page 14.) “Can China avoid the middle-income trap and grow at a sustained rate for another decade or more ? The answer is yes, but only if the country undertakes significant reforms, especially political reforms.” (From Huang, “What’s Next for the Chinese Economy”? page 35.) “The absence of…

10 min.
what businesses can learn from sports analytics

Sports analytics are all the rage now. The Moneyball story about the Oakland A’s use of analytics has made its way into the collective consciousness, and the appetite for more knowledge about the field has steadily increased year by year. The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, for example, has grown from about 175 attendees in its first year in 2007 to more than 2,000 in 2014. Called the “Super Bowl of sports analytics” and “TED talks in cleats,” the conference has catalyzed academics, professional and college teams, and the press to focus much more heavily on analytics to understand various aspects of sports performance and business. Almost every professional baseball team now has at least one professional quantitative analyst on staff, and many basketball, football and soccer teams do, too.…

9 min.
rejuvenating a brand through social media

Today’s managers understand the potential of social media engagement for generating business value. With each click, comment, “like” or post, consumers leave vital pieces of information — in effect, virtual footprints — that can be aggregated to generate new insights for brand management and engagement. However, companies often lack the right tools to guide them in this process. Without a framework with which to convert the mass of user-generated content into knowledge, the business value of social media stays hidden in plain sight. One exception is Nestlé, which has developed a strong capacity to manage its social space and extract useful insights from the voluminous data created via social media. To gain insights into how Nestlé has learned to capture this value, for a year we followed Nestlé UK’s campaign to…

11 min.
bridging the sustainability gap

Several recent studies point to the increasing number of companies that are translating their sustainability strategies into financial gains and competitive strength. Leading companies are generating sales growth with new environmentally conscious products and services, identifying eco-efficiencies that help them to trim costs and finding ways to better manage risk in a world of pollution challenges, natural resource limits and shifting opportunities for competitive advantage. Nonetheless, most mainstream investors remain unconvinced that sustainability leadership translates into profits and marketplace success. Despite rising importance on the corporate agenda, sustainability — at least as currently understood and measured — interests only a small niche of investors. While some evidence exists linking sustainability leadership to market outperformance, most mainstream investors discount these findings and remain on the sustainability sidelines. Public companies and global stock…