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MIT Sloan Management Review

MIT Sloan Management Review Spring 2018

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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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MIT Sloan Management Review
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4 Edities

in deze editie

2 min.
the trouble with tweets

An interesting thing happens to ideas when they are rightsized for Twitter. The tweet takes over — and becomes a substitute for — the larger idea it is meant to introduce. In a way, the headline becomes the story. This phenomenon is particularly evident when the idea behind the tweet is in any way nuanced or controversial. In the world of management ideas, questioning the value of corporate culture meets both of these criteria. I wrote a column for MIT SMR in the summer 2017 issue called “The End of Corporate Culture as We Know It.” My basic argument was that the traditional, monolithic, “the way we do things around here” version of corporate culture was on its way to extinction. The column provoked lively and smart conversation. Many readers disagreed with my…

3 min.

Lifting the Veil of Secrecy You can’t blame job seekers for wanting to know as much as possible about what a company is like before they accept a job offer. How do employees like working there? What do they say about the culture? What is the CEO like as a leader? In the old days, job candidates had to sniff out information on their own. Today, many people looking for jobs consult Yelp-like reviews on the website Glassdoor.com. In a recent article in The New Yorker, writer Lizzie Widdicombe explores the genesis of Glassdoor Inc., from its early days focusing mostly on tech startups and consulting firms to today (when it reportedly has more than 33 million reviews of more than 700,000 companies). The benefits for job hunters and employees are clear: Among…

8 min.
how emotion-sensing technology can reshape the workplace

As companies search for new ways to improve performance, some executives have begun paying attention to developments in emotion-sensing technologies (ESTs) and software fueled by artificial emotional intelligence. Although we are still in the early days, research shows that these technologies, which read such things as eye movements, facial expressions, and skin conductance, can help employees make better decisions, improve concentration, and alleviate stress. While important privacy issues need to be addressed, the opportunities are significant. Consider the technology developed by Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. and ABN AMRO Bank N.V., both based in Amsterdam, to reduce trading risk in financial markets. Research has shown that traders in heightened emotional states will overpay for assets and downplay risk, a condition known as “auction fever” or “bidding frenzy.” To address this problem, the…

9 min.
the secret to successful knowledge seeding

Online user communities can help harness the knowledge and collective wisdom of a company’s customers and complementors around the globe. These networks can gather input for new product development, reduce the cost of customer support, and facilitate the sharing of platform-related knowledge and practices. But how should companies best establish and manage them? SAP SE, a leading enterprise software company with headquarters in Walldorf, Germany, was among the earliest companies to unlock the potential of social media to address the need for customer engagement and support. Realizing that it could not keep up with the demand for customer support through its traditional in-house channels, it established the SAP Community Network in 2003 to let partners, customers, and solution providers help one another. This virtual community includes a network of well-defined online…

6 min.
your company doesn’t need a digital strategy

It seems that the whole business world is talking about digital transformation these days — and it’s pretty clear that most are missing the point. As sexy as it is to speculate about new technologies such as AI, robots, and the internet of things (IoT), the focus on technology can steer the conversation in a dangerous direction, because when it comes to digital transformation, digital is not the answer. Transformation is. Technology doesn’t provide value to a business. It never has (except for technology in products). Instead, technology’s value comes from doing business differently because technology makes it possible. E-commerce is not about the internet — it’s about selling differently. Analytics is not about databases and machine learning techniques — it’s about understanding customers better, or optimizing maintenance processes, or helping doctors…

5 min.
capturing value from free digital goods

Scientists refer to portions of the universe that they know exist but can’t easily measure as “dark matter.” As direct measurement is difficult, they study the indirect gravitational effects or galaxy rotation speeds to understand the phenomenon. Similarly, in the digital economy a broad range of “dark” elements are free and essentially limitless, and traditional tools can’t measure them. One of the best-known examples of this phenomenon is Wikipedia. People use Wikipedia at no charge, and the content is created primarily by contributions from volunteers. Because no money changes hands (except for donations to help pay for technical infrastructure and office staff), Wikipedia has almost no direct impact on gross domestic product (GDP). Moreover, because Wikipedia has replaced physical and digital encyclopedias that people paid for, it has likely had a…