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MIT Sloan Management Review

MIT Sloan Management Review Winter 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.
decision making in the digital age

Business executives today have access to far more data than any previous generation of managers, and that transforms the way many business decisions are made. WE LIVE IN AN AGE of data abundance. Business executives today have access to far more data than any previous generation of managers, and that transforms the way many business decisions are made. As Erik Brynjolfsson, the Schussel Family Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School, pointed out recently at a forum on big data in manufacturing, “If Henry Ford had tried to be a data-driven guy, it would have been very hard — because most of the data wasn’t available.” But now such information is widely available, and executives want to use it. Our new survey on data analytics finds that managers feel a sense…

2 min.
on the web

Is Your Company Ready For an Increasingly Digital Future? Many companies are not finding it easy to effectively achieve “digital transformation” — in other words, to use emerging digital technologies such as social media, mobile, analytics or embedded devices to enable major business improvements. “Most companies struggle to get clear business benefits from new digital technologies,” according to a new report by MIT Sloan Management Review and Capgemini Consulting titled “Embracing Digital Technology.” Managers do see change in their future: A full 78% of survey respondents said implementing digital transformation is either already critical to their organizations or will become so within the next two years. Read the report here: http://sloanreview.mit.edu/projects/embracing-digital-technology/ Managing Social Media Strategy for 2,000 Brands Nestlé is using a digital leadership training program called the Digital Acceleration Team to spread…

1 min.
explore. discover. succeed.

The MIT Sloan Management Review website makes finding information to support your business goals easier than ever. The topic-based navigation and improved search will help you find articles by subject, content type, date and more, in the areas you most want to explore. Our modern design makes for an easy reading experience, with great photography and detailed graphics that illuminate new ideas. And all subscribers have access to the entire archive — over 25 years of content — perfect for digging deep into an issue that’s critical to your business. Visit sloanreview.mit.edu, and see why MIT SMR is still the first resource for the best in today’s management perspectives. sloanreview.mit.edu…

2 min.
quick takes

“ Relationships between companies and their suppliers and customers frequently break down, not because they don’t create value but because of disputes over what is seen as an attempt by the other side to capture an unfair share of value.” (From Martínez-Jerez, “Rewriting the Playbook for Corporate Partnerships,” page 63.) “One reason managers may not realize the expected gains from IT outsourcing is that they narrowly focus on only their IT costs.” (From Han and Mithas, “The Real Savings From IT Outsourcing,” page 16.) “Separate visual symbols used as logos tend to be more effective than brand names at creating a sense of emotional connection with consumers .” (From Park et al., “The Power of a Good Logo,” page 10.) “Coming up with creative ideas on demand is only part of the answer.…

7 min.
the power of a good logo

Think about legendary brands such as McDonald’s, Apple, Aflac, Michelin and Starbucks, and one of the first spontaneous associations is often with the brand logo: the golden arches, bitten apple, Aflac duck, Michelin man or Starbucks mermaid. Red Bull’s two red charging bulls in front of a yellow sun differentiate it from numerous competing brands and signify the brand’s promise to provide energy. Differentiating your brand from others is critically important to business survival. So is communicating the benefits of your brand. Our research suggests that brand logos offer a viable, albeit often neglected, means to help brand managers achieve these tasks. We found that the logo of a brand can be an integrator of the marketing efforts of the brand, a reflector of such effort and the icon of what…

10 min.
acquisitions that make your company smarter

On paper, the match between the two companies looked like a good fit. The larger business (which we will call InfraSolutions, not its real name) specialized in managing IT infrastructures. The smaller (which we’ll call Mictech, not its real name) specialized in developing such infrastructures. InfraSolutions executives admired Mictech’s approach to project development.“We want to do projects the way they [Mictech] did projects,”said the CEO of InfraSolutions. A year after acquiring Mictech, however, the InfraSolutions team still had not learned Mictech’s secrets. Instead, InfraSolutions’ employees continued to stick to their old way of doing projects. InfraSolutions’ experience is far from unique. What had gone wrong for InfraSolutions is similar to what goes wrong for most companies that acquire companies in order to integrate knowledge-based resources. Many such knowledge-based acquisitions fail to…