MIT Sloan Management Review Spring 2021

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
kr 99,43
kr 542,77
4 Utgaver

i denne utgaven

2 min
on ideals and innovation

Any sports writer will tell you that a great rivalry makes for a good story. But you also need a good story to make a great rivalry. Only when we have projected our ideals and our fears onto the adversaries, casting them as heroes or villains, do we truly care who wins the game. The rivalry between the U.S. and China for economic dominance commands attention because of its massive significance for our own economy, but it also carries a compelling narrative: Each nation is the global standard-bearer for a distinct set of ideals. In this issue, economic historian Carl Benedikt Frey views that rivalry through the lens of culture and discusses how it has influenced the two countries’ comparative advantages. While he leaves aside questions of dueling ideologies, I think…

10 min
work without jobs

Leaders need a new operating system for work — one that better supports the high degree of organizational agility required to thrive amid increasingly rapid change and disruption, and that better reflects the fluidity of modern work and working arrangements. In our last two books, we’ve argued that this new system must enable leaders and workers to increasingly — and continually — deconstruct jobs into more granular units such as tasks, and that it must identify and deploy workers based on their skills and capabilities, not their job descriptions.1 Deconstructing work is essential to implementing new options for sourcing, rewarding, and engaging workers, and to understanding and anticipating how automation might replace, augment, or reinvent human work. The rapid evolution of work is making it increasingly urgent for leaders, workers, organizations, and…

7 min
how temporary assignments boost innovation

Just as digitalization and automation are transforming the shop floor, they are changing the role of front-line manufacturing employees. Workers increasingly create value not only by performing their core duties but by contributing to broader organizational objectives such as competitiveness and innovation as well. Those with creativity and aptitude for problem-solving have proved particularly valuable: Their front-line perspectives often generate promising process improvements and business opportunities that would not have been apparent to managers. As a result, front-line innovation has become one of the largest sources of sustained competitive advantage in manufacturing industries. At leading companies, up to 75% of annual productivity gains can be traced back to bottom-up ideas from non-R&D employees.1 While front-line innovation is common, the ways in which managers can most effectively support it are not well…

8 min
redesigning the post-pandemic workplace

The world has experienced widespread disruption over the past year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the successful development and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine, the timeline for when the so-called next normal will arrive is clearer. Leaders should begin to take steps to consider what the workplace will look like when it arrives. There is no going back to the prepandemic workplace. Organizations and individuals have had no choice but to discover new ways of working. Many have reported successfully implementing years’ worth of digital transformation plans over the course of a few months. For example, mortgage loan company Freddie Mac implemented remote building inspection, and many health care providers pivoted rapidly to telemedicine. Even companies that needed to maintain a significant colocated workplace used digital innovations to…

9 min
what leaders get wrong about data-driven decisions

If you were to ask any major CEO about good management practices today, data-driven decision-making would invariably come up. Companies have more data than ever, but many executives say their data analytics initiatives do not provide actionable insights and produce disappointing results overall.1 In practice, making decisions with data often comes down to finding a purpose for the data at hand. Companies look for ways to extract value from available data, but that doesn’t necessarily mean data analysts are answering the right questions. It’s also not a safeguard against the influence of preexisting beliefs and incentives. The solution is simple: Instead of finding a purpose for data, find data for a purpose. We call this approach decision-driven data analytics. ‘Data-Driven’ Often Means Answering the Wrong Question We’ll use some fictional companies to make our…

10 min
how leaders can optimize their teams’ emotional landscapes

Emotions have been running high. The disruptive events that had the world’s attention in 2020 — a global pandemic, climate-related disasters, economic uncertainty, and social discontent — led employees to bring a higher level of emotionality to work. Such behavior clashes with the culturally ingrained norm that an appropriate “professional” demeanor minimizes the expression of feelings. Given that last year’s challenges will continue to confront us in 2021, this disconnect will have ongoing repercussions. Research on emotional suppression suggests that it has long-term costs and that, if stifled, feelings will erupt in counterproductive ways.1 For that reason, leaders can no longer avoid taking an active role in architecting emotional landscapes — the collective composition of employee sentiments. The “mood of the room” directly influences how employees make sense of situations, tasks,…