MIT Sloan Management Review

MIT Sloan Management Review Spring 2020

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 Nummer

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21 min
the future of platforms

The world’s most valuable public companies and its first trillion-dollar businesses are built on digital platforms that bring together two or more market actors and grow through network effects. The top-ranked companies by market capitalization are Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet (Google’s parent company), and Amazon. Facebook, Alibaba, and Tencent are not far behind. As of January 2020, these seven companies represented more than $6.3 trillion in market value, and all of them are platform businesses.1 Platforms are also remarkably popular among entrepreneurs and investors in private ventures. When we examined a 2017 list of more than 200 unicorns (startups with valuations of $1 billion or more), we estimated that 60% to 70% were platform businesses. At the time, these included companies such as Ant Financial (an affiliate of Alibaba), Uber, Didi Chuxing,…

12 min
education, disrupted

Employers are confronting sizable skills gaps in all parts of their operations, at all levels, and they can’t seem to fill them by simply hiring new people. In today’s tight labor market, there are about 7 million open jobs for which companies are struggling to find qualified candidates because applicants routinely lack the digital and soft skills required to succeed. In the face of rapid technological changes like automation and artificial intelligence, helping employees keep pace is challenging. And companies are wrestling with how to retain top talent — a critical differentiator in a hypercompetitive environment. No wonder a staggering 77% of chief executives report that a scarcity of people with key skills is the biggest threat to their businesses, according to PwC’s 2017 CEO survey. As a result, companies can…

14 min
the 11 sources of disruption every company must monitor

Recently I advised a large telecommunications company on its long-term strategy for wireless communications. The company was understandably concerned about its future. A half-dozen new streaming TV services were in the process of being launched, and bandwidth-hungry online gaming platforms were quickly attracting scores of new players. Possible regulatory actions seemed to be lurking around the corner, too. Changes like these meant disruptions to the company’s existing business models, which hadn’t materially evolved since the dawn of the internet age. As a result, the company worried that it might be facing an existential crisis. To get in front of the risk, its senior leaders wanted to dispatch a cross-functional team to produce a three-year outlook analyzing which disruptive forces would affect the company and to what degree. It was no simple…

16 min
disruption 2020: an interview with clayton m.christensen

In the decades since Clayton M. Christensen first shared his Theory of Disruptive Innovation with the world, his thinking has led to the creation of billions of dollars of revenue, hundreds of companies, and an entirely new paradigm for how industry entrants upend established giants. Karen Dillon — Christensen’s longtime collaborator and guest editor of this special issue of MIT Sloan Management Review — had a chance to sit down with him before his death in January to learn how he had refined his thinking, what the future of innovation looked like through that lens, and what questions he was still wrestling with. This is an edited version of their conversation. MIT Sloan Management Review : Over the years, the phrase disruptive innovation has come to mean all manner of things…

16 min
a crisis of ethics in technology innovation

Cambridge Analytica has become a household name, synonymous with invasion of privacy.Its controversial entanglement with Facebook was a wake-up call about how we share information online. Of course, Cambridge Analytica is gone now, and Mark Zuckerberg has survived so far. But the fallout for Facebook feels never-ending: the initial stock drop, the congressional testimony, a record-breaking $5 billion fine from the Federal Trade Commission, a class-action suit approved by a federal judge,1 and another uncomfortable grilling in Congress. The Facebook scandal is a cautionary tale for executives and consumers alike. But the lesson is much bigger than one about so-called fake news. The hasty reconstruction of value chains around new technologies is introducing and exacerbating ethical concerns across industries. It’s a free-for-all race as companies compete to impress users with new…

1 min
management on the cutting edge

Leading in the Digital World By Amit S. Mukherjee The definitive book on leadership in the digital era: why digital technologies call for leadership that emphasizes creativity, collaboration, and inclusivity. Designed for Digital By Jeanne W. Ross, Cynthia M. Beath and Martin Mocker Practical advice for redesigning “big, old” companies for digital success, with examples from Amazon, BNY Mellon, LEGO, Philips, USAA, and many other global organizations. See Sooner, Act Faster By George S. Day and Paul J. H. Schoemaker How organizations can anticipate threats, spot opportunities, and act faster when the time is right; with rich examples including Adobe, MasterCard, and Amazon. mitpress.mit.edu/management…