Friday, August 29, 2008

Ethical Norms for Marketing

Marketers must do no harm. This means doing work for which they are appropriately trained or experienced so that they can actively add value to their organizations and customers. It also means adhering to all applicable laws and regulations and embodying high ethical standards in the choices they make.

Marketers must foster trust in the marketing system. This means that products are appropriate for their intended and promoted uses. It requires that marketing communications about goods and services are not intentionally deceptive or misleading. It suggests building relationships that provide for the equitable adjustment and/or redress of customer grievances. It implies striving for good faith and fair dealing so as to contribute toward the efficacy of the exchange process.

Marketers must embrace, communicate and practice the fundamental ethical values that will improve consumer confidence in the integrity of the marketing exchange system. These basic values are intentionally aspirational and include honesty, responsibility, fairness, respect, openness and citizenship.

American Marketing Association

Monday, August 25, 2008

Lean Management and Head Count Reduction

Don't bring in lean management to reduce head count in financial crisis periods.

Duing financial crisis, the best approach is to deal with any necessary headcount reductions first and then try lean methods.

James P Womack
Lean Enterprise Institute

In an interview in Mint, Campaign, 25 August 2008

Produce Good Managers

You have to produce good managers before you can produce good products.

James P Womack
Lean Management Institute

Interview published in Mint Campaign, 25 August 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008

Core Competence

A core competence is a combination of complementary skills and knowledge bases embedded in a group, or team, that results in the ability to execute one or more, critical processes to world-class standard.

Kevin P. Coyne, Stephen J.D. Hall, and Patricia Gorman Clifford, “Is Your Core Competence A Mirage”, The McKinsey Quarterly, Number 1, 1997.

Lean Thinking

What is the starting point of becoming lean?

The starting point is to acquire a completely new perception of what is value, and what is waste. I don't like the word waste because it is not horrible enough. I use the Japanese word muda. Muda sounds awful. You don't want muda. You need to acquire a new set of glasses-I call them muda glasses-that allows you to see all the way.

Daniel T. Jones, Author of the book, Lean Thinking,1996

In an interview published in Business Today (India), December 7-21, 1997, p.98.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Moral Common Sense

A. Avoid harming others
B. Respect the rights of others
C. Do not lie or cheat
D. Keep promises and contracts
E. Obey the law
F. Prevent harm to others
g. Help those in need
H. Be fair
I. Reinforce these imperatives in others

K.E. Goodpaster
Ethics in Management
Harvard Business School Press

Discussed in the article "Corporate Ethics and International Business: Some Basic Issues - Part I" by Klaus M. Leisinger, Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development, Hong Kong, June 2nd, 1994.

Dark Side of the MBA culture

"The "dark side" of the MBA culture is the attitude that demands bending the rules"

says Santa Clara's Hanson, who taught ethics at Stanford -- where, incidentally, one of the Enron board members, Robert Jaedicke was B-school dean from 1983 to 1990.

Where Can Execs Learn Ethics?
Business Week Online
13 June 2002

Ethics - Students

"Unless the entire faculty owns the ethics agenda, it's not going to work."

Kenneth Goodpaster
University of St. Thomas' elite College of Business

A statement in the article,
Corporate scandal as a teaching moment: business school aims to make ethics a flagship, not a fig leaf, of curriculum - Catholic Colleges And Universities - University of St. Thomas' College of Business

Business Ethics

"The workplace is a school for ethics,'' "Ethics education goes on throughout one's life and it's not over at any point; it keeps going all the way to the grave.''

Kenneth Goodpaster, Koch Endowed chair in business ethics at St. Thomas, said that faculty at universities and colleges must take "ownership'' of the importance of integrity. In addition, he said, people's success should not be measured solely by income level or ranking at a Fortune 500 company but rather by their ethical agenda.

Kenneth Goodpaster is author of the book, Ethics in Management, published by Harvard Business School Press in 1984.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Setbacks are a natural part of life

If you really believe what you're doing, you've got to persevere even when you run into obstacles. When I finished sulking (about the setback), I doubled my efforts and worked even harder. In a few months I had my old job back. Setbacks are a natural part of life, and you've got to be careful how you respond to them. If I had sulked too long, I probably would have got my self fired.

Lee Iacocca

Autobiography 1984

Using your time well

the ability fo concentrate and to use your time well is everything if want to succeed in business-or almost anywhere else, for that matter. Ever since college I've always worked hard during the week while trying to keep my weekends free for family and recreation. Except for periods of real crisis I've never worked on Friday night, Saturday or Sunday. Every Sunday ngiht I get the adrenalin going again by making an outline of what I want to accomplish during the upcoming week.

If you want to make good use of your time, you've got to know what's most important and then give it all you've got.

Lee Iacocca
An Autobiography 1984

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Knowledge Management - Practice based Espistemology

1. Knwoledge sharing/acquisition requires 'perspective making' and 'perspective taking'-developing an understanding of tacit assumptions.

2. knowledge sharing/acquisition through
-'rich' social interaction
-immersion in practice-watching and or doing.

3. Management role to facilitate social interaction.

Donald Hislop

Knowledge Management in Organizations
Oxford University Press

Knowledge Management - Objectivist Perspective

Convert tacit to explicit knowledge

Codification/capture of relevant knowledge

Collect knowledge in a central repository

Structure/systematize knowledge into discrete categories

Technology plays a key role

Data, Information, Knowledge

Data: Raw images, numbers, words, sounds etc., which result from observation or measurement

Information: Data arranged or organized into a meaningful pattern.

Knowledge: Means to analyse/understand information/data; belief about causality of events/actions, and provides the basis to guide meaningful action and thought.

Donald Hislop

Knowledge Management in Organizations
Oxford University Press


Epistemology is philosophy addressing the nature of knowledge. Concerned with questions such as: is knowledge objective and measurable? Can knowledge be acquired or is it experienced? What is regarded as valid knowledge and why?

Donald Hislop

Knowledge Management in Organizations
Oxford University Press

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mass Marketing

In mass marketing the seller engages in the mass production, mass distribution, and mass promotion of one product for all buyers.

The traditional argument for mass marketing is that it creates the largest potential market, which leads to the lowest costs, which in turn can translate into either lower prices or higher margins.

The proliferation of advertising media and distribution channels is making it difficult to practice "one size fits all" marketing (mass marketing).

Many companies are retreating from mass marketing and turning to micromarketing at one of four levels.

Segment marketing
Niche marketing
Local marketing
Individual marketing

Philip Kotler

Thursday, July 24, 2008


By personality, we mean a person’s distinguishing psychological characteristics that lead to relatively consistent and enduring responses to his or her environment.

Personality is usually described in terms of such traits as self-confidence, dominance, autonomy, deference, sociability, defensiveness, and adaptability.

Philip Kotler

Major factors influencing buying behavior

Cultural factors

Social class

Social factors

Reference groups
Roles and statuses

Personal factors

Age and status in the life cycle
Economic circumstances
Personality and self-concept

Psychological factors

Beliefs and attitudes

Philip Kotler

Marketing strategy

Market strategy specifies objectives and action plan for each of the following areas of marketing.

Target market


Product line


Distribution outlets

Sales force



Sales promotion

Philip Kotler

Major Classes of Growth Opportunities

Intensive growth

Market penetration
Market development

Integrative growth

Backward integration
Forward integration

Diversification growth

Concentric diversification
Horizontal diversification

Philip Kotler

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Competing on Resources

Competing on Resources. By: Collis, David J., Montgomery, Cynthia A., Harvard Business Review, 00178012, Jul-Aug2008, Vol. 86, Issue 7/8

Section: Best of HBR

• EDITOR'S NOTE: This influential 1995 article (originally published as "Competing on Resources: Strategy in the 1990s") introduced the resource-based view of the firm to practitioners hungry for a new approach to strategy. It brings together the strengths of Michael E. Porter's externally focused five-forces framework with those of the internally focused competing-on-capabilities view.

Choosing Strategies for Change

Choosing Strategies for Change.
By: Kotter, John P., Schlesinger, Leonard A.,
Harvard Business Review,
Jul-Aug 2008, Vol. 86, Issue 7/8

Section: Best of HBR

• EDITOR'S NOTE: A lot has changed in the world of management since 1979, when this article first appeared, but one thing has not: Companies the world over need to change course. Kotter and Schlesinger provide a practical, tested way to think about managing that change.

"IT MUST BE considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things." (Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince.)

Diagnosing Resistance

Parochial self-interest
Misunderstanding and lack of trust
Different assessments
Low tolerance for change

Dealing with Resistance

Education and communication
Participation and involvement
Facilitation and support
Negotiation and agreement
Manipulation and co-optation
Explicit and implicit coercion

John P. Kotter is the Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership, Emeritus, at Harvard Business School and the author of A Sense of Urgency, forthcoming from Harvard Business Press. Leonard A. Schlesinger has been named the 12th president of Babson College, in Babson Park, Massachusetts.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Customer Delivered Value and Customer Satisfaction

Customer delivered value is the difference between total customer value and total customer cost.

Total customer value is the bundle of benefits customers expect from a given product or service.

Total customer cost is the bundle of costs customers expect to incur in evaluating, obtaining, and using the product or service.

Customer satisfaction

Satisfaction is a person’s feelings of pleasure or disappointment resulting from comparing a product’s perceived performance (or outcome) in relation to his or her expectations.


Three Characteristics for Sales Success

Successful salespeople need to have three characteristics: business intelligence (good IQ), the ability to create trust and rapport on a personal level (good EQ), and a good structure and methodology to the sales discussion (good execution, or XQ).

Lessons from the Master
Mike McCue.
Sales and Marketing Management. New York:
Mar/Apr 2008. Vol. 160, Iss. 2; p. 20

Guidelines for Alcohol Use in Business Settings

Alcohol facilitates relationship building, but harms the actual bargaining process.

Alcohol might be appropriate when the objective of an encounter is to develop a relationship or share information. Alcohol lowers inhibitions, encourages conversation, and causes individuals to feel closer to each other than they might otherwise. By encouraging disclosure, moderate use of alcohol can deepen and personalize formal business ties. And by encouraging a sense of closeness and mutual identification, it can help legitimize different points of view and reduce mistrust. It therefore might be appropriate when a primary objective is to develop a long-term relationship. Consequently, alcohol may be better suited for top decision-makers structuring the general framework of an agreement than for their subordinates who need to resolve the technical details of the deal. For similar reasons alcohol may facilitate agreement in particularly contentious negotiations such as when negotiators have reached an impasse.

Bargaining under the influence: The role of alcohol in negotiations
Maurice E Schweitzer, Jeffrey L Kerr.
The Academy of Management Executive.
May 2000. Vol. 14, Iss. 2;

Maurice E. Schweitzer is a visiting assistant professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. His background is in behavioral decision theory and his research focus is negotiations. He has studied the use of deception in negotiations, as well as factors that influence the negotiation process, including alcohol, physical attractiveness, and videoconference technology. Contact:

Jeffrey L Kerr is an associate professor in the School of Business at the University of Miami. His work focuses on strategic management and organization. Current research interests are in the areas of new organization design, competitive strategy in electronic commerce, and issues of strategy implementation. He currently serves as chair of the Management Consulting Division of the Academy of Management. Contact: jkerr@exchange.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Innovators squirrel away things they don't know how to use. Designers and sculptors collect photos and keep warehouses or cabinets full of things they can't use (yet). Painters and product developers keep sketchbooks. Innovators of all stripes keep "junk," as one designer called it, against the day when, leafing through a notebook or tidying a shelf, they have an "Aha!" moment.

Managers should support those tendencies—both by providing space for the collections and by endorsing the practice, instead of making it seem peripheral to "real" work.

Managers also shouldn't interfere by insisting on, say, an efficient storage system. Finding things too easily could mean missing an accidentally valuable idea.


Accidents lead to innovations. So, how do you create more accidents?

By Robert D. Austin, Lee Devin and Erin Sullivan

Dr. Austin is professor, managing creativity and innovation, at the Copenhagen Business School and an associate professor of technology and operations at Harvard Business School. Dr. Devin is a professor emeritus of theater and a senior research scholar at Swarthmore College. Dr. Sullivan is a senior research associate at the Harvard School of Public Health's Global Health Delivery Project.

Printed in Campaign, Mint, India dated 21 July 2008

Responsive Marketing and Creative Marketing

Some marketers draw a distinction between responsive marketing and creative marketing. A responsive marketer finds a stated need and fills it. A creative marketer discovers and produces solutions that customer did not ask for but to which they enthusiastically respond


The Marketing Concept - Kotler

The marketing concept

The marketing concept holds that the key to achieving organizational goals consists of being more effective than competitors in integrating marketing activities toward determining and satisfying the needs and wants of target markets.

The marketing concept rests on four pillars: target market, customer needs, integrated marketing, and profitability.

Target market: 

No company can operate in every market and satisfy every need. Nor can it always do a good job within one broad market.

Customer needs: 

Marketing is about meeting needs of target markets profitably.
The key to professional marketing is to understand their customers real needs and meet them better than any competitor can.

Integrated Marketing

When all the company’s departments work together to serve the customer’s interests, the result is integrated marketing.

Integrated marketing takes on two levels. First, the various marketing functions-sales force, advertising, product management, marketing research, and so on – must work together.

Second must be well coordinated with other company departments.

The company is doing proper marketing only when all employees appreciate their impact on customer satisfaction. To foster teamwork among all departments, the company carries out internal marketing as well as external marketing. External marketing is marketing directed at people outside the company. Internal marketing is the task of successfully hiring, training, and motivating employees who want to serve the customers well. In fact internal marketing must precede external marketing. It makes no sense to promise excellent service before the company’s staff is ready to provide excellent service.


The ultimate purpose of the marketing concept is to help organizations achieve their goals. In the case of private firms, the major goal is profit. (Marketing managers have to evaluate the profitability of all alternative marketing strategies and decisions and choose most profitable decisions for long-term survival and growth of the firm.)

For More detailed description
The Marketing Concept - Kotler in Management Theory Review Blog

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Concepts of Marketing that Business Units Hold

Business units even now hold one of the following concepts of marketing and manage their marketing activities accordingly.

The production concept

The production concept holds that consumers will favor those products that are widely available and low in cost. Managers of production-oriented organizations concentrate on achieving high production efficiency and wide distribution

The product concept

The product concept holds that consumers will favor those products that offer the most quality, performance, or innovative features. Managers in product oriented organizations focus their energy on making superior products and improving them over time.

The selling/sales concept

The selling concept holds that consumers, if left alone, will ordinarily not buy enough of the organization’s products. The organization must therefore undertake an aggressive selling and promotion effort.

The marketing concept

The marketing concept holds that the key to achieving organizational goals consists of being more effective tha competitors in integrating marketing activities toward determining and satisfying the needs and wants of target markets.

The societal marketing concept

The societal marketing concept holds that the organization’s task is to determine the needs, wants, and interests of target markets and to deliver the desired satisfactions more effectively and efficiently than competitors in a way that preserves or enhances the consumer’s and the society’s well-being.

Philip Kotler (Marketing Management, 9th Edition)

Kotler on Marketing Management

Marketing management takes place when at least one party to a potential exchange thinks about the means of achieving desired responses from other parties.

Definition of American Marketing Association

Marketing (Management) is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational goals.

Marketing management has the task of influencing the level, timing, and composition of demand in a way that help the organization achieve its objectives. Marketing management is essentially demand management.

Marketing managers manage demand by carrying out marketing research, planning, implementation and control.

Within marketing planning, marketers must make decisions on target markets, market positioning, product development, pricing, distribution channels, physical distribution, communication, and promotion.

Marketing work in the customer market is formally carried out by sales managers, salespeople, advertising and promotion manages, marketing researchers, customer service managers, product and brand managers, market and industry managers, and the marketing vice-president.

Philip Kotler (Marketing Management, 9th Edition)

Market, Marketer and Prospect


A market consists of all the potential customers sharing a particular need or want who might be willing and able to engage in exchange to satisfy that need or want.

Marketer and Prospect

When one party is more actively seeking an exchange than the other party, we call the first party a marketer and the second party a prospect. A marketer is some one seeking one or more prospects who might engage in an exchange of values. A prospect is someone whom the marketer identifies as potentially wiling and able to engage in an exchange of values.

Philip Kotler (Marketing Management, 9th Edition)

Relationship marketing - Kotler

Relationship marketing is the practice of building long-term satisfying relations with key parties—customers, suppliers, distributors—in order to retain their long-term preference and business.

The ultimate outcome of relationship marketing is the building of a unique company asset called a marketing network. A marketing network consists of the company and all of its supporting stakeholders: customers, employees, suppliers, distributors, retailers, ad agencies, university scientists, and others with whom it has built mutually profitable business relationships. Increasingly competition is not between companies but rather between whole networks, with the prize going to the company that has built better network.

The operating principle is: Build a good network of relationships with key stakeholders and profits will follow.

Philip Kotler (Marketing Management, 9th Edition)

Kotler - Product - Value

A product is anything that can be offered to satisfy a need or want. Offering and solution are synonyms to the product in marketing context.

A product of offering can consist of as many as three components: physical good(s), service(s), and idea(s).

Value is the consumer’s estimate of the product’s overall capacity to satisfy his or her needs.

Value is “the satisfaction of customer requirements at the lowest possible cost of acquisition, ownership, and use. (DeRose)

Philip Kotler (Marketing Management, 9th Edition)

Kotler - Needs - Wants - Marketers

A human need is a state of deprivation of some basic satisfaction. People require food, clothing, shelter, safety, belonging, and esteem. These needs are not created by society or by marketers. They exist in the very texture of human biology and the human condition.

Wants are desires for specific satisfiers of needs. Although people’s needs are few, their wants are many. They are continually shaped and reshaped by social forces and institutions, including churches, schools, families and business corporations.

Demands are wants for specific products that are backed by an ability and willingness to buy them. Companies must measure not only how many people want their product but, more importantly, how many would actually be willing and able to buy it.

Marketers do not create needs. Marketers, along with other societal influences, influence wants. Marketers influence demand by making the product appropriate, attractive, affordable, and easily available to target consumers.

Philip Kotler (Marketing Management, 9th Edition)

Kotler - Marketing – definition

Marketing is a social and managerial process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating, offering, and exchanging products of value with others.

Kotler - Technology - Marketing Opportunity

Alert marketers see technology as producing an endless stream of opportunities. Yet taking advantage of technology entails waling a thin line: Companies must avoid jumping in too soon (before the market is ready) or too late (after the market has been conquered).

Philip Kotler (Marketing Management, 9th Edition)

Kotler - Trends in Marketing

1. A growing emphasis on quality, value, and customer satisfaction.
2. A growing emphasis on relationship building and customer retention.
3. A growing emphasis on managing business processes and integrating business functions.
4. A growing emphasis on global thinking and local market planning.
5. A growing emphasis on building strategic alliances and networks.
6. A growing emphasis on direct and online marketing.
7. A growing emphasis on services marketing.
8. A growing emphasis on high-tech industries
9. A growing emphasis on ethical marketing behavior

Philip Kotler (Marketing Management, 9th Edition)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Customers and Employees Drive Profit in Service Chains

Putting the Service-Profit Chain to Work.
By: Heskett, James L., Jones, Thomas O., Loveman, Gary W., Sasser, Jr., W. Earl, Schlesinger, Leonard A.,
Harvard Business Review,
Jul-August 2008, Vol. 86, Issue 7/8

Best of HBR

• HBR EDITOR'S NOTE: This article sets out a simple, elegant, and ultimately tough-minded way to build profitability in a service business. Originally published in 1994, it offers as much today as it did then and is a perennial best seller.

The service-profit chain establishes relationships between profitability, customer loyalty, and employee satisfaction, loyalty, and productivity. The links in the chain (which should be regarded as propositions) are as follows: Profit and growth are stimulated primarily by customer loyalty. Loyalty is a direct result of customer satisfaction. Satisfaction is largely influenced by the value of services provided to customers. Value is created by satisfied, loyal, and productive employees. Employee satisfaction, in turn, results primarily from high-quality support services and policies that enable employees to deliver results to customers.

CEOs of exemplary service companies emphasize the importance of each employee and customer.

(We can intrepet the above sentence as in service companies each employee and each customer is equally very very important.

Customer Loyalty Drives Profitability and Growth
Customer Satisfaction Drives Customer Loyalty
Value Drives Customer Satisfaction

Employee Productivity Drives Value
Employee Loyalty Drives Productivity
Employee Satisfaction Drives Loyalty
Internal Quality Drives Employee Satisfaction

Leadership Underlies the Chain's Success


James L. Heskett is a Baker Foundation Professor, Emeritus, of Harvard Business School, in Boston, and a coauthor, with W. Earl Sasser, Jr., and Joe Wheeler, of The Ownership Quotient: Putting the Service-Profit Chain to Work for Unbeatable Competitive Advantage, forthcoming from Harvard Business Press. Thomas O. Jones is the president of eLanes, in Andover, Massachusetts. Gary W. Loveman is the CEO of Harrah's Entertainment, in Las Vegas. W. Earl Sasser, Jr., is a Baker Foundation Professor at Harvard Business School. Leonard A. Schlesinger has been named the 12th president of Babson College, in Babson Park, Massachusetts.

The Finance Function in a Global Corporation

The Finance Function in a Global Corporation.
By: Desai, Mihir A.,
Harvard Business Review,
Jul-Aug 2008, Vol. 86, Issue 7/8

HISTORICALLY, the finance functions in large U.S. and European firms have focused on cost control, operating budgets, and internal auditing.

But as corporations go global, a world of finance opens up within them, presenting new opportunities and challenges for CFOs. Rather than simply make aggregate capital-structure and dividend decisions, for example, they also have to wrestle with the capital structure and profit repatriation policies of their companies' subsidiaries.

Capital budgeting decisions and valuation must reflect not only divisional differences but also the complications introduced by currency, tax, and country risks. Incentive systems need to measure and reward managers operating in various economic and financial settings.

Managing Risk Globally
The existence of an internal capital market also broadens a firm's risk-management options. For example, instead of managing all currency exposures through the financial market, global firms can offset natural currency exposures through their worldwide operations. Let's say a European subsidiary purchases local components and sells a finished product to the Japanese market. Such operations create a long position in the yen or a short position in the euro. That is, those operations will become stronger if the yen appreciates and weaker if the euro appreciates. This exposure could be managed, in part, by offsetting exposures elsewhere in the group or by having the parent borrow in yen so that movements in the yen asset would be cancelled by movements in the yen liability.

A global finance function must do three things well:

Establish the appropriate geographic locus of decision making.

Create a professional finance staff that rotates globally.

Codify priorities and practices that can be adapted to local conditions.

Mihir A. Desai ( is a professor at Harvard Business School in Boston.

Deploy, innovate, and propagate - Technology

Investing in the IT That Makes a Competitive Difference.
By: McAfee, Andres, Brynjolfsson, Erik,
Harvard Business Review,
Jul-Aug 2008, Vol. 86, Issue 7/8

To survive, or better yet thrive, in this more competitive environment, the mantra for any CEO should be, "Deploy, innovate, and propagate": First, deploy a consistent technology platform. Then separate yourself from the pack by coming up with better ways of working. Finally, use the platform to propagate these business innovations widely and reliably. In this regard, deploying IT serves two distinct roles -- as a catalyst for innovative ideas and as an engine for delivering them. Each of the three steps in the mantra presents different and critical management challenges, not least of which have to do with questions of centralization and autonomy.

Andrew McAfee ( is an associate professor at Harvard Business School in Boston. He is the author of "Mastering the Three Worlds of Information Technology" (HBR November 2006) and has a blog at

Erik Brynjolfsson ( is the Schussel Family Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the director of MIT's Center for Digital Business in Cambridge, Massachusetts. More of the author's research is available at

Long tail

Should You Invest in the Long Tail? By: Elberse, Anita, Harvard Business Review, 00178012, Jul-Aug2008, Vol. 86, Issue 7/8

One school of thought represented by the economists Robert Frank and Philip Cook, in their 1995 book The Winner-Take-All Society argues that broad, fast communication and easy replication create dynamics whereby popular products become disproportionately profitable for suppliers, and customers become even likelier to converge in their tastes and buying habits. The authors offer three reasons for their view: First and foremost, lesser talent is a poor substitute for greater talent. Why, for example, would people listen to the world's second-best recording of Carmen when the best is readily available? Thus even a tiny advantage over competitors can be rewarded by an avalanche of market share. Second, people are inherently social, and therefore find value in listening to the same music and watching the same movies that others do. Third, when the marginal cost of reproducing and distributing products is low -- as it certainly is with goods that can be digitized -- the cost advantage of a brisk seller is huge. Frank and Cook were elaborating on the economist Sherwin Rosen's earlier work describing the "superstars" effect, in which a field's few top performers pull ever further away from the pack. According to this line of thought, hits will keep coming -- to the increasing detriment of also-rans.

Although that thesis continues to hold sway, another idea has emerged in recent years -- presented just as persuasively, and proposing the opposite. The "long tail" theory took shape in an article by Chris Anderson, editor of Wired magazine, which grew into the 2006 book The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More. The book's subtitle puts the strategic implications in a nutshell. Now that consumers can find and afford products more closely tailored to their individual tastes, Anderson believes, they will migrate away from homogenized hits. The wise company, therefore, will stop relying on blockbusters and focus on the profits to be made from the long tail -- niche offerings that cannot profitably be provided through brick-and-mortar channels.


Anita Elberse ( is an associate professor of business administration in the marketing unit at Harvard Business School. Her article "How Markets Help Marketers" appeared in the September 2005 issue of HBR.

Four basic emotional needs, or drives,

Employee Motivation. By: Nohria, Nitin, Groysberg, Boris, Lee, Linda-Eling, Harvard Business Review, 00178012, Jul-Aug2008, Vol. 86, Issue 7/8

Our synthesis of the research suggests that people are guided by four basic emotional needs, or drives, that are the product of our common evolutionary heritage. As set out by Paul R. Lawrence and Nitin Nohria in their 2002 book Driven: How Human Nature Shapes Our Choices, they are the drives to acquire (obtain scarce goods, including intangibles such as social status); bond (form connections with individuals and groups); comprehend (satisfy our curiosity and master the world around us); and defend (protect against external threats and promote justice). These drives underlie everything we do.

The drive to acquire. We are all driven to acquire scarce goods that bolster our sense of well-being. We experience delight when this drive is fulfilled, discontentment when it is thwarted. This phenomenon applies not only to physical goods like food, clothing, housing, and money, but also to experiences like travel and entertainment -- not to mention events that improve social status, such as being promoted and getting a corner office or a place on the corporate board. The drive to acquire tends to be relative (we always compare what we have with what others possess) and insatiable (we always want more). That explains why people always care not just about their own compensation packages but about others' as well. It also illuminates why salary caps are hard to impose.

The drive to bond. Many animals bond with their parents, kinship group, or tribe, but only humans extend that connection to larger collectives such as organizations, associations, and nations. The drive to bond, when met, is associated with strong positive emotions like love and caring and, when not, with negative ones like loneliness and anomie. At work, the drive to bond accounts for the enormous boost in motivation when employees feel proud of belonging to the organization and for their loss of morale when the institution betrays them. It also explains why employees find it hard to break out of divisional or functional silos: People become attached to their closest cohorts. But it's true that the ability to form attachments to larger collectives sometimes leads employees to care more about the organization than about their local group within it.

The drive to comprehend. We want very much to make sense of the world around us, to produce theories and accounts -- scientific, religious, and cultural -- that make events comprehensible and suggest reasonable actions and responses. We are frustrated when things seem senseless, and we are invigorated, typically, by the challenge of working out answers. In the workplace, the drive to comprehend accounts for the desire to make a meaningful contribution. Employees are motivated by jobs that challenge them and enable them to grow and learn, and they are demoralized by those that seem to be monotonous or to lead to a dead end. Talented employees who feel trapped often leave their companies to find new challenges elsewhere.

The drive to defend. We all naturally defend ourselves, our property and accomplishments, our family and friends, and our ideas and beliefs against external threats. This drive is rooted in the basic fight-or-flight response common to most animals. In humans, it manifests itself not just as aggressive or defensive behavior, but also as a quest to create institutions that promote justice, that have clear goals and intentions, and that allow people to express their ideas and opinions. Fulfilling the drive to defend leads to feelings of security and confidence; not fulfilling it produces strong negative emotions like fear and resentment. The drive to defend tells us a lot about people's resistance to change; it's one reason employees can be devastated by the prospect of a merger or acquisition -- an especially significant change -- even if the deal represents the only hope for an organization's survival. So, for example, one day you might be told you're a high performer and indispensable to the company's success, and the next that you may be let go owing to a restructuring -- a direct challenge, in its capriciousness, to your drive to defend. Little wonder that headhunters so frequently target employees during such transitions, when they know that people feel vulnerable and at the mercy of managers who seem to be making arbitrary personnel decisions.

Each of the four drives we have described is independent; they cannot be ordered hierarchically or substituted one for another. You can't just pay your employees a lot and hope they'll feel enthusiastic about their work in an organization where bonding is not fostered, or work seems meaningless, or people feel defenseless. Nor is it enough to help people bond as a tight-knit team when they are underpaid or toiling away at deathly boring jobs. You can certainly get people to work under such circumstances -- they may need the money or have no other current prospects -- but you won't get the most out of them, and you risk losing them altogether when a better deal comes along. To fully motivate your employees, you must address all four drives.

Nitin Nohria ( is the Richard P. Chapman Professor of Business Administration, and Boris Groysberg ( is an associate professor, at Harvard Business School in Boston. Linda-Eling Lee ( is a research director at the Center for Research on Corporate Performance in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Innovation steps

Finding a Higher Gear.
By: Stewart, Thomas A., Raman, Anand P.,
Harvard Business Review,
Jul-Aug 2008, Vol. 86, Issue 7/8

The HBR Interview with Anand G. Mahindra

The CEO of India's Mahindra & Mahindra is transforming the group from national champion to global corporation in an unconventional way

What are the key success factors for fostering innovation at M&M?

[HBS professor] Stefan Thomke helped us get a head start.

At the last Blue Chip conference, in Kuala Lumpur, we came up with five elements that would foster innovation in the group.

One, innovation has to start with insights about the customer. Without identifying a need, you can't come up with new products or processes.

Two, great products today have great designs. Look at Apple's iPhone, for instance, which is my favorite product.

Three, you have to encourage experimentation. You must hire people who don't listen to you, which I always seem to do! You have to create a sandbox where people can play -- and fail, often and early. The organization must celebrate failure.

Four, unlike Xerox PARC's inventions, innovations must add value to the company's bottom line.

Five, you need to have a sales plan. No innovation sells itself; companies have to find ways of packaging and marketing it.

So you need insight, design, experimentation, added value, and sales plans for innovation, and -- I love using acronyms -- the first letters of those elements spell IDEAS. That captures the essence of what M&M will do to create a culture of innovation.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Imperative of Learning - Neglect of learning by Organizations

The Competitive Imperative of Learning.
By: Edmondson, Amy C., Harvard Business Review,
Jul-Aug 2008, Vol. 86, Issue 7/8

My research identifies a different approach to execution -- what I call execution-as-learning -- that promotes success over the long haul.

People don't have enough time to learn.

An exclusive focus on execution-as-efficiency leads companies to delay, discourage, or understaff investments in areas where learning is critical. It's a given that switching to a new approach can lower performance in the short run. The fastest hunt-and-peck typist must endure a short-term hit to performance while learning to touch-type, just as the tennis player suffers initially when shifting to a new, better serve. These are the costs of learning, which has its payoff in future performance. Managers who overemphasize results can subtly discourage technologies, skills, or practices that make new approaches viable.

When a major telecommunications firm launched the technologically new digital subscriber line (DSL) internet service in the late 1990s, it set ambitious production targets that failed to take the need for learning into account. The staff did not have sufficient time to work out how to implement new software and hardware that had to operate with customers' not always up-to-date personal computer equipment: The result was a customer service nightmare.

Amy C. Edmondson ( is the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School in Boston. Her most recent previous HBR contribution was the March 2008 article "Is Yours a Learning Organization?" coauthored with David A. Garvin and Francesca Gino.

High-commitment, High-performance leadership

The Uncompromising Leader. By: Eisenstat, Russell A., Beer, Michael, Foote, Nathaniel, Fredberg, Tobias, Norrgren, Flemming, Harvard Business Review, 00178012, Jul-Aug2008, Vol. 86, Issue 7/8

Leaders of high-commitment, high-performance organizations refuse to choose between people and profits

CEOs who take the commitment of their employees for granted risk destroying the social fabric of their organizations: While they move in one direction, the rest of the organization stays stuck or, worse, heads the opposite way.

HCHP leaders, however -- through intense, focused, and dogged day-to-day involvement with their people and operations -- manage to hold the center. They almost personally create the link between the people who do the work and the performance they must deliver.

The CEOs we studied did so by combining four strategies.

First, they earned the trust of their organizations through their openness to the unvarnished truth.

Second, they were deeply engaged with their people, and their exchanges were direct and personal; employees in the companies we studied had a particularly close connection with the CEO and were seldom surprised to meet him or her.

Third, having earned legitimacy and trust, these CEOs were able to mobilize their people around a focused agenda.

Finally, while they were all strong individuals, these senior leaders realized that they could succeed only as part of a committed leadership team, and they devoted considerable efforts to building their firm's collective leadership capabilities.

Russell A. Eisenstat ( is a former faculty member at Harvard Business School in Boston. Michael Beer ( is a professor of business administration emeritus at Harvard Business School and chairman of the TruePoint Center for High Commitment and High Performance. Nathaniel Foote ( is a former partner with McKinsey & Company. Tobias Fredberg ( and Flemming Norrgren ( are on the faculty of the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. Eisenstat, Foote, Fredberg, and Norrgren are all fellows of the TruePoint Center as well as consultants at TruePoint Partners, whose mission is to help leaders build high-commitment, high-performance institutions.

Excelling at Critical Tasks - Critical for Career Success

Reaching Your Potential.
By: Kaplan, Robert S.,
Harvard Business Review,
Jul-Aug 2008, Vol. 86, Issue 7/8

Excelling at Critical Tasks

It's very difficult to succeed if you don't excel at the tasks that are central to your chosen enterprise. That sounds painfully simple, but many executives fail to identify the three or four most important activities that lead to success in their job or business.

One measure of character is the degree to which you put the interests of your company and colleagues ahead of your own. Excellent leaders are willing to do things for others without regard to what's in it for them. They coach and mentor. They have the mindset of an owner and figure out what they would do if they were the ultimate decision maker. They're willing to make a recommendation that would benefit the organization's overall performance, possibly to the detriment of their own unit. They have the courage to trust that they will eventually be rewarded, even if their actions may not be in their own short-term interest.


Robert S. Kaplan ( is the acting president and CEO of Harvard Management Company and a professor of management practice at Harvard Business School in Boston. He is also a former vice chairman of the Goldman Sachs Group.

HBR Grads in HR

Why Did We Ever Go Into HR?
By: Breitfelder, Matthew D., Dowling, Daisy Wademan,
Harvard Business Review,
Jul-Aug 2008, Vol. 86, Issue 7/8

A career in human resources isn't the typical destination of a Harvard MBA. We're supposed to be employed as strategy consultants or investment bankers or, in the true spirit of the degree, general managers.

Daisy - Interesting HR assignment

With a British colleague, I'm scouting potential action-learning projects for the top 100 vice presidents at Goldman Sachs. The projects involve groups of six to eight VPs who tackle current business challenges. The aim is to develop their ability to lead complicated initiatives across business and geographic lines and, at the same time, generate real (read: P&L) value for the firm.

Matthew D. Breitfelder ( is the vice president for management and leadership development at MasterCard Worldwide. He is based in Purchase, New York.

Daisy Wademan Dowling ( is a vice president of human capital management strategy at Lehman Brothers, in New York City, and the author of Remember Who You Are: Life Stories That Inspire the Heart and Mind (Harvard Business School Press, 2004). The authors received their MBAs from Harvard Business School in 2002.

HBR Case Study on Market Research - July-August 2008

The Sure Thing That Flopped.
By: Zaltman, Gerald, Zaltman, Lindsay, Sturgess, Donna J., Lee, Alex, Fujikawa, Yoshinori, Carbone, Lewis,
Harvard Business Review,
Jul-Aug 2008, Vol. 86, Issue 7/8

All the market research said that TF's NextStage stores couldn't miss. What went wrong?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Organizational Learning-Exploitative and Exploratory

Why do intelligent organizations do dumb things?

According to Stewart Clegg, of the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, the answer may be that organizations are guilty of too much cleverness and not enough intelligence. In a recently published essay,

Clegg cautions organizations against falling prey to the lure of short-term gain through clever strategies, rather than choosing a more intelligent path leading to long-term sustainability.

Clegg suggests that competitive advantage is gained through two distinct kinds of organizational learning-exploitative and exploratory. How these are handled within organizations, and which form of learning is given precedence, is largely a matter of the organizational power structure.

Exploitative learning, which has its foundations in classical management, suggests that the detailed prescription of tasks is the best basis for production efficiency. This approach to learning is best accomplished through explicitness of rules and routines. Exploitative learning is most effective when a rule-enabling setting is achieved, where continuous improvement develops through the structuring of desire, understanding, and trust. Ideally, workers share with management a desire for continuous improvement.

Exploratory learning, on the other hand, allows for complex searches, innovation, variation, risk-taking and more relaxed controls, providing flexibility, investments in learning, and the creation of new capabilities. Distant time horizons and uncertain benefits are valued.

Clegg argues that a critical managerial dilemma is how to manage the relationship between exploratory and exploitative learning. An emphasis on exploitative learning and the necessary explicitness of rules may restrict experimentation and crush innovation. Steadfast attention to task accomplishment can be punitive and stifling. At worst, it can threaten the survival of the organization, as increasingly outmoded processes are slavishly and uncritically adhered to.

On the other hand, an overemphasis on exploratory learning is also not optimal

Clegg, S. 1999. Globalizing the intelligent organization: Learning organizations, smart workers, (not so) clever countries and the sociological imagination. Management Learning, 30 (3): 259-280.

Toyota Way 2001

'The 'Toyota Way 2001' is an expression of the values and conduct guidelines that all employees should embrace -- this is the basic philosophy for working at Toyota' (Toyota Labour Union, 2001: 3).

The two pillars of the 'Toyota Way' are 'wisdom and kaizen (continuous improvement)' and 'respect for human nature'. The first has the following three components:

Challenge -- following a dream, upholding a vision, challenging with courage and creativity.

Improvement -- the continual pursuit of evolution and innovation, a ceaseless quest for improvement.

Genchi genbutsu -- 'to thoroughly understand a situation, go and see for yourself'; grasp essentials, come to swift agreement, make a decision and pursue implementation wholeheartedly.

The second pillar comprises the following two factors:

Respect -- respect for others, honestly striving for mutual understanding and fulfilling mutual responsibility.

Teamwork -- nurturing talent and gathering together individual abilities.

Toyota Production Systems: The 'Toyota Way' and Labour-Management Relations
Masaki Saruta. Asian Business & Management. Houndmills: Dec 2006. Vol. 5, Iss. 4;

Faculty of Management, Chukyo University, 101-2 Yagoto Honmachi, Showa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi-ken 466-8666, Japan. E-mail:

Career Blues - Career Engagement

What are the Career Blues?

The career blues are marked by a loss of enthusiasm for work, a loss of a sense of purpose in work, and an emotional flatness regarding work that affect the use of time and talents, energy and effort, and aspirations and attitude while at work. People suffering the blues have lost their desire to go to work, view work as drudgery, and have no clear sense of how work adds value to their lives. They are going through the motions at work, and are uninterested, unenthusiastic, and unengaged.

Career Engagement

The opposite of the career blues is career engagement. People engaged with their careers are enthusiastic about their work, have a sense of satisfying purpose in what they are doing, and are able to draw on and continuously renew that sense. They effectively utilize most of their time, talent, and energy. They give an honest, focused effort in the pursuit of fulfilling personal aspirations. People engaged in their work enjoy it and invest in it.

Clinical Depression

Are the career blues different from depression? Clinical depression has become a major health concern, and is largely underreported in the workplace. As a significant contributing factor to lost work productivity, time, and even suicide, clinical depression is a health factor to which executives and organizations need pay more attention. One management observer recently reported that in a large high-tech company, "20 percent of the IT department showed signs of clinical depression."15 The article, "An Executive Guide to Workplace Depression," by Joseph Kline, Jr., and Lyle Sussman in this issue gives more insight on this challenging problem.

The career blues are not clinical depression; rather they represent a milder malaise in which one has lost one's sense of purpose in work. While the career blues may develop into depression, they are less severe and more easily dealt with.

Managing one's relationship to work can have a positive effect on the career blues, while clinical or biochemically based depressions need professional medical treatment.

Beating the career blues
James G Clawson, Mark E Haskins. The Academy of Management Executive. Briarcliff Manor: Aug 2000. Vol. 14, Iss. 3;

James G. Clawson is a professor of business administration at The Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Virginia. He teaches in the MBA, doctoral, and executive education programs, and has published numerous articles and books, most recently, Level Three Leadership. He consults with a variety of organizations on leadership, careers, and leading change. He has a DBA from Harvard University. Contact: Jim

Mark E. Haskins is a professor of business administration at The Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Virginia. He has worked for Arthur Young & Co. He is the coauthor of three textbooks and coeditor of The CFO Handbook. His interests include collaboration and international financial reporting. He has a Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University. Contact: HaskinsM@Darden.

They Preach, But Do not Practice

All organizations now routinely say, "People are our greatest asset." Yet few practice what they preach, let alone truly believe it.

-Peter Drucker

Drucker. P. 1992. The new society of organizations. Harvard Business Review, 5: 95-105.

Partial correction of Taylorist separation of roles in the factory

Modifications are made to standard operations and the 'Work standard sheet' and such modifications are mostly made within the organization of the shopfloor. The routine process for modifying the 'Work standard sheet' at shopfloor level in Japanese companies is the submission of a kaizen proposal by members of the shopfloor work-group, followed by revision of the formal document on the basis of that proposal. Taking this process into account, Fujimoto maintains that kaizen in Japan involves the development of industrial engineering techniques in a bottom-up manner, with the participation of all of the company's employees, and he therefore terms the techniques used in Japanese companies 'whole-company industrial engineering' (Fujimoto, 2001: 149-152).

Fujimoto, T. (2001) Seisan Manegimento Nyumon I (Production Management I), Tokyo: Nihonkeizai Shinbunsha.

Japanese Production Management and Improvements in Standard Operations: Taylorism, Corrected Taylorism, or Otherwise?
Yutaka Tamura. Asian Business & Management. Houndmills: Dec 2006. Vol. 5, Iss. 4; pg. 507

Yutaka Tamura : School of Business Administration, Tohogakuen University, 3-11, Heiwagaoka, Meito-Ku, Nagoya 465-8515, Japan. E-mail:

I have to mention at this point that Taylor in his Shop Management has clearly written that worker'suggestions have to be considered during the standard process development as well as afterwards. I shall give the reference for this statement.


Human Integration, Organizational Integragtion

Integration Management of Western Acquisitions in Japan
Fabian J Froese, Leif E Goeritz. Asian Business & Management. Houndmills: Mar 2007. Vol. 6, Iss. 1;

In addition, employee resistance -- in other words, failed human integration -- can be seen as the main reason why organizational integration was not achieved. Unlike Birkinshaw et al. (2000) and Buono and Bowditch (1989), the findings of this study indicate that human integration is a prerequisite for organizational integration. Without human integration, only limited organizational integration can be achieved. Organizational and human integration cannot be separated from each other in an Asian context. Scholars have frequently noted that building trust and relationships is of the utmost importance when engaging in business with Asian counterparts (eg Oikawa and Tanner, 1992; Cullen et al. , 1996). Business and human relations might be separate in a Western context, as implicitly stated by Birkinshaw et al. (2000), but in an Asian context these concepts seem to be strongly interwoven.


Fabian J Froese: Graduate School of Asia Pacific, Waseda University, Nishi-Waseda Bldg. 7F, 1-21-1 Nishi-Waseda, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-0051, Japan. E-mail:

Leif E Goeritz
German Centre for Industry and Trade Beijing Co. Ltd, Landmark Tower 2, Unit 1111, 8 North Dongsanhuan Road, 100004 Beijing, People's Republic of China

Birkinshaw, J., Bresman, H. and Hakanson, L. (2000) 'Managing the post-acquisition integration process: how the human integration and task integration processes interact to foster value creation', Journal of Management Studies 37 (3): 395-425.

Buono, A.F. and Bowditch, J.L. (1989) The Human Side of Mergers and Acquisitions , San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Cullen, J., Johnson, J.L., Sakano, T. and Takenouchi, H. (1996) 'Setting the stage for trust and strategic integration in Japanese-US cooperative alliances', Journal of International Business Studies 27 (5): 981-1004.

Oikawa, N. and Tanner, J.F. (1992) 'The influence of Japanese culture on business relationships and negotiations', Journal of Services Marketing 6 (3): 67-75.

Workplace Depression

An executive guide to workplace depression
Joseph Kline Jr, Lyle Sussman. The Academy of Management Executive. Briarcliff Manor: Aug 2000. Vol. 14, Iss. 3;

What is Major Depression?

Major depression is a serious and frequently chronic mood disorder characterized by one or more major depressive episodes in the absence of mania or hypomania. The disorder is better known to the general public by the term clinical depression.

Diagnosis of depression

The diagnosis of major depression requires the presence of five signs and symptoms, including either a depressed mood or markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all or most activities. Additional signs and symptoms must be present from a list that includes marked psychomotor retardation or agitation (slowed or agitated movements, for example); significant appetite or weight change; significant changes in sleep; fatigue or loss of energy; problems thinking, concentrating, or deciding; feelings of worthlessness; excessive or inappropriate guilt; and thoughts of death or suicide. Finally, the signs and symptoms must be present for at least two consecutive weeks. Because it takes time for depressed individuals to actually recognize that they are depressed and need help, it is extremely rare for a patient to be evaluated before this twoweek period has elapsed.

Difficulty in concentrating may be one of the most prominent symptoms in affected workers. A depressed employee may be unable to think clearly, process information well, or contribute effectively in groups. Turner extends the list of job-related signs of depression to include decreased productivity, morale problems, lack of cooperation, safety problems, accidents, absenteeism, complaints of constant fatigue, complaints of unexplained aches and pains, and alcohol and drug abuse.

How common is major depression? According to the National Comorbidity Survey, a landmark epidemiological study of 8,098 15- to 54-year-olds, major depression is the second most common mental illness in the United States, after alcoholism. Almost 13 percent of men and 21 percent of women will experience at least one episode of major depression during their lifetimes.

The likelihood of an individual's having a major depressive episode in any 12-month period-known as the 12-month prevalence-is about eight percent for men and 13 percent for women.


Joseph Kline, Jr., is a board-certified psychiatrist at NorthKey Community Care in Covington, KY. He received his Ph.D. in physiology and biophysics, and M.D., and an M.B.A. with distinction, all from the University of Louisville. He practices community psychiatry and conducts research on mental illness in the workplace, difficult employees, burnout, and the application of the theory of constraints to health-care organizations. Contact:

Lyle Sussman is a professor of management at the University of Louisville. His research on communication, employee coaching and counseling, and executive development has appeared in leading academic and practitioner journals. He has conducted seminars in Canada, Mexico, Europe, and the Far East. His applied management books, Smart Moves and Smart Moves for People in Charge, have been translated into 13 languages. Contact:
Curveball Strategies to Fool the Competition.
By: Stalk, Jr., George,
Harvard Business Review,
Sep 2006, Vol. 84, Issue 9

Success in the marketplace is ultimately achieved by winning customers, not by defeating competitors.

One way to throw competitors off balance is to mask high performance so rivals fail to see your success until it's too late.

George Stalk, Jr., ( is a senior vice president with the Boston Consulting Group and the author of numerous books and articles, including, with Rob Lachenauer, "Hardball: Five Killer Strategies for Trouncing the Competition" (HBR April 2004). He is based in Toronto.

Anxieties of Superior Performers

How to Keep A PLAYERS Productive.
By: Berglas, Steven,
Harvard Business Review,
Sep2006, Vol. 84, Issue 9

A players are the people with the "right stuff." They are the most fiercely ambitious, wildly capable, and intelligent people in any organization. Yet despite their veneer of self-satisfaction, smugness, and even bluster, a significant number of your spectacular performers suffer from a lack of confidence.

The psychologist Alfred Adler, the man who brought inferiority and superiority complexes into our everyday language, offered an explanation almost 100 years ago. Adler argued that the most fundamental human need is for superiority, a need that arises from universal feelings of inferiority experienced by us all in early childhood when we are helpless and dependent on others. If we manage these feelings appropriately, we go on to lead well-adjusted lives. But if powerful authority figures thwart our efforts to overcome these feelings, then complexes develop, causing narcissistic grandiosity that can linger for the rest of our lives.

Adler asserted that if a person suffers either from an inferiority or a superiority complex (which for Adler were opposite sides of the same coin), then whatever he achieves it will never be enough. As I once heard it put: "Some people go through life feeling superior; others go through life feeling like worms. Narcissists go through life feeling like superior worms."

One might assume that A players' feelings of superiority are a tremendous boon to them since, among other things, these feelings help them to communicate enormous self-confidence to others. But the plight of the overachiever who feels like a superior worm is that he must live with the constant anxiety that he might in fact be inferior to others. Only when you can help your stars address their inflated senses of superiority can they begin to deal with underlying issues of poor self-worth.

Managing Complementors

By: Yoffie, David B., Kwak, Mary,
Harvard Business Review,
Sep2006, Vol. 84, Issue 9

While in-depth analysis of competitors and suppliers is de rigueur in formulating strategy, surprisingly few companies pay much attention to firms that sell complementary products and services

The first step in managing complementors is to develop a deep understanding of their economics, their strategies and goals, their existing capabilities, their incentives for cooperation, and any potential areas of conflict.

Managing with cultural differences

Rethinking Political Correctness. By: Ely, Robin J., Meyerson, Debra E., Davidson, Martin N., Harvard Business Review, 00178012, Sep2006, Vol. 84, Issue 9

When people treat their cultural differences - and the conflicts and tensions that arise from them - as opportunities to seek a more accurate view of themselves, each other, and the situation, trust builds and relationships become stronger.

Robin J. Ely ( is an associate professor of organizational behavior at Harvard Business School in Boston; she coauthored "Making Differences Matter: A New Paradigm for Managing Diversity" (HBR September-October 1996). Debra E. Meyerson ( is an associate professor of education and organizational behavior at Stanford University's School of Education and (by courtesy) Graduate School of Business in California and the author of Tempered Radicals: How People Use Difference to Inspire Change at Work (Harvard Business School Press, 2001). Martin N. Davidson ( is an associate professor of leadership and organizational behavior at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

Creating Shareholder Value

10 Ways to Create Shareholder Value.
By: Rappaport, Alfred,
Harvard Business Review,
September 2006, Vol. 84, Issue 9

Do not manage earnings or provide earnings guidance.
Make strategic decisions that maximize expected value, even at the expense of lowering near-term earnings.
Make acquisitions that maximize expected value, even at the expense of lowering near-term earnings.
Carry only assets that maximize value.
Return cash to shareholders when there are no credible value-creating opportunities to invest in the business.
Reward CEOs and other senior executives for delivering superior long-term returns.
Reward operating-unit executives for adding superior multiyear value.
Reward middle managers and frontline employees for delivering superior performance on the key value drivers that they influence directly.
Require senior executives to bear the risks of ownership just as shareholders do.
Provide investors with value-relevant information.

Trusting and be trusted

The Decision to Trust.
By: Hurley, Robert F.,
Harvard Business Review,
September 2006, Vol. 84, Issue 9

Roughly half of all managers don't trust their leaders. That's what I found when I recently surveyed 450 executives of 30 companies from around the world.

This article presents a model with ten factors that sheds light on how the decision to trust is made.

Robert F. Hurley ( is a professor of management at Fordham University in New York.

HBR Case Study Septermber 2006

By: Beeson, John, Rowe, John W., Reilly, Edward, Conger, Jay A., Ready, Douglas A., Jordan, Michael,
Harvard Business Review,
September 2006, Vol. 84, Issue 9

Edward Bennett is a talented CEO with a lot on his plate. But he's not getting any younger, and his board can't get him engaged in succession planning

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


By: Levitt, Theodore,
Harvard Business Review,
October 2006, Vol. 84, Issue 10


Levitt carried his practical approach to his tenure as Harvard Business Review’s eighth chief editor, from 1985 to 1989. He was at the same time one of HBR’s most intellectual and most populist editors. He understood that the magazine’s main purpose was to serve as a kind of sophisticated translation, clarifying authors’ raw-–and sometimes rough-–ideas for impatient, time-pressed readers. In both his writing and his editing, he epitomized HBR’s standard of tireless practical engagement with ideas.

Advertising: "The Poetry of Becoming"
March–April 1993

The Case of the Migrating Markets
July–August 1990

After the Sale Is Over…
September–October 1983

The Globalization of Markets
May–June 1983

Marketing Intangible Products and Product Intangibles
May–June 1981

Marketing Success Through Differentiation--of Anything
January–February 1980

Marketing When Things Change
November–December 1977

The Industrialization of Service
September–October 1976

Dinosaurs Among the Bears and Bulls
January–February 1975

Marketing Tactics in a Time of Shortages
November–December 1974

The Managerial Merry-Go-Round
July–August 1974

Production-Line Approach to Service
September-–October 1972

The Morality (?) of Advertising
July-–August 1970

The New Markets--Think Before You Leap
May–June 1969

Why Business Always Loses
March–April 1968

The Johnson Treatment
January-–February 1967

Innovative Imitation
September–October 1966

Branding on Trial
March-–April 1966

Exploit the Product Life Cycle
November–December 1965

When Science Supplants Technology…
July–August 1963

Creativity Is Not Enough
May–June 1963,
republished August 2002

M-R Snake Dance
November–December 1960

Marketing Myopia
July–August 1960, republished
September–October 1975 and July–August 2004

Cold-War Thaw
January–February 1960

The Dangers of Social Responsibility
September–October 1958

The Changing Character of Capitalism
July–August 1956

Can Science Be a Business?

Can Science Be a Business? Lessons from Biotech.
By: Pisano, Gary P.,
Harvard Business Review,
October 2006, Vol. 84, Issue 10

Biotech has not delivered on its promise because the industry's structure--much of it borrowed from Silicon Valley--is flawed. Businesses engaged in advancing basic science as a core activity need a new design

Financially, biotech still looks like an emerging sector. Despite the commercial success of companies such as Amgen and Genentech and the stunning growth in revenues for the industry as a whole, most biotechnology firms earn no profit. Nor is there evidence that they are significantly more productive at drug R&D than the much maligned behemoths of the pharmaceutical industry.

Gary P. Pisano ( the Harry E. Figgie, Jr., Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School in Boston.

This article was adapted from Science Business: The Promise, the Reality, and the Future of Biotech, to be published by Harvard Business School Press in November 2006.
By: Garvin, David A., Levesque, Lynne C.,
Harvard Business Review,
October 2006, Vol. 84, Issue 10

Corporate entrepreneurship is a risky proposition.

New ventures set up by existing companies face innumerable barriers, and research shows that most of them fail. Emerging businesses seldom mesh smoothly with well-established systems, processes, and cultures. Yet success requires a blend of old and new organizational traits, a subtle mix of characteristics achieved through what we call balancing acts. Unless companies keep those opposing forces in equilibrium, emerging businesses will flounder.

Corporations must perform balancing acts in three areas: strategy, operations, and organization.

For companies that wish to succeed with corporate entrepreneurship, the lesson is simple: Success is not an either-or proposition. New businesses should be nurtured through a series of balancing acts that combine entrepreneurship and disciplined management, short-and long-term thinking, and established and new processes.

David A. Garvin (, the C. Roland Christensen Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School in Boston, has authored or coauthored 11 previous articles in Harvard Business Review.

Lynne C. Levesque ( a Boston-based consultant and researcher.

Strategies for Platform Management (Media and Investment Banks)

By: Eisenmann, Thomas, Parker, Geoffrey, Alstyne, Marshall W. Van,
Harvard Business Review,
October 2006, Vol. 84, Issue 10

Companies in industries such as banking, and media make money by linking markets from different sides of their customer networks--audiences and advertisers (by media), for example. The distinct character of these business demands a new approach to strategy.

1 Challenge: Pricing the Platform
2 Challenge: Winner-Take-All Dynamics
3 Challenge: The Threat of Envelopment

1. See Geoffrey Parker and Marshall W. Van Alstyne, "Two-Sided Networks: A Theory of Information Product Design," Management Science (2005) and Jean-Charles Rochet and Jean Tirole, "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets," Journal of the European Economic Association (2003).

Thomas Eisenmann ( an associate professor at Harvard Business School in Boston.

Geoffrey Parker ( an associate professor at Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business in New Orleans.

Marshall W. Van Alstyne ( an associate professor at Boston University’s School of Management and a visiting scholar at MIT’s Center for eBusiness in Cambridge, Massachusetts

THE HBR INTERVIEW with Stanford's James March October 2006

By: Coutu, Diane,
Harvard Business Review,
October 2006, Vol. 84, Issue 10

THE HBR INTERVIEW with Stanford's James March

If a manager asks an academic consultant what to do and that consultant answers, then the consultant should be fired. No academic has the experience to know the context of a managerial problem well enough to give specific advice about a specific situation. What an academic consultant can do is say some things that, in combination with the manager’s knowledge of the context, may lead to a better solution. It is the combination of academic and experiential knowledge, not the substitution of one for the other, that yields improvement.

The Tools of Cooperation and Change

The Tools of Cooperation and Change.
By: Christensen, Clayton M., Marx, Matt, Stevenson, Howard H.,
Harvard Business Review,
October 2006, Vol. 84, Issue 10

Managers can use a variety of carrots and sticks to encourage people to work together and accomplish change. Their ability to get results depends on selecting tools that match the circumstances they face

THE PRIMARY TASK OF MANAGEMENT is to get people to work together in a systematic way.

It’s a complicated job, and it becomes much more so when managers are trying to get people to change, rather than continue with the status quo. Even the best CEOs can stumble in their attempts to encourage people to work together toward a new corporate goal.

The tools of cooperation can be grouped into four major categories: power, management, leadership, and culture.

"Power tools" are such as fiat, force, coercion, and threats.

"Management tools" include training, standard operating procedures, and measurement systems.

"Leadership tools":Vision, charisma, salesmanship, role modelling, financial incentives, control systems

"Culture tools": Tradition, rituals, folklore, religion, democracy

As MIT’s Edgar Schein wrote in Organizational Culture and Leadership, culture is "a pattern of shared basic assumptions that was learned by a group as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and, therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems." In organizations with strong cultures, people instinctively prioritize similar options, and their common view of how the world works means that little debate is necessary about the best way to achieve those priorities. Companies with strong cultures in many ways can be self-managing.


Clayton M. Christensen ( the Robert and Jane Cizik Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School in Boston.

Matt Marx ( a doctoral student at Harvard Business School.

Howard H. Stevenson ( the Sarofin-Rock Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and the vice provost for Harvard University Resources and Planning. He is also the chairman of the board for Harvard Business School Publishing.

The Four-Tiered Structure of Markets in Emerging Economies

Emerging Giants.
By: Tarun Khanna, Krishna G. Palepu,
Harvard Business Review,
October 2006, Vol. 84, Issue 10

The Four-Tiered Structure of Markets

In developing countries, the markets for finished goods (products) and raw materials (factors of production) can be broken up into four distinct components.

Global tier

At the apex of the market pyramid is the global tier. In the product market, this section consists of consumers who want offerings to have the same attributes and quality that products in developed countries have and are willing to pay global prices for them. In the talent market, this tier consists of top-notch managers, such as newly minted graduates from the Indian Institutes of Management, who demand global-level salaries.

Glocal tier

Immediately below that is the glocal tier. In the product market, this tier consists of consumers who demand customized products of near-global standard and are willing to pay a shade less than global consumers do. An example would be Chinese and Indian executives who prefer to stay in a Shangri-La or Taj hotel rather than at a Four Seasons. In the talent market, this section consists of high-quality managers who will work only for local companies even if the pay is a little less than it would be at multinational corporations.

Local tier

Consumers in the local tier are happy with products of local quality and at local prices. In the talent market, managers in this section will put up with less-than-world-class working conditions as long as they are paid higher-than-average salaries.

Bottom tier

The bottom of the market consists of people who can afford only the least expensive products.

Multinational corporations typically compete for consumers and talent only in the global tier. Meanwhile, smart local companies, which dominate the local tier, move into the glocal tier and also create breakthrough products for the bottom segment as economies liberalize. These businesses often become emerging giants.

Tarun Khanna ( the Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at Harvard Business School in Boston. Krishna G. Palepu ( the Ross Graham Walker Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. They are coauthors of three previous HBR articles, including "Strategies That Fit Emerging Markets" (June 2005).

Sleep Deficit is a Performance Killer

Sleep Deficit: The Performance Killer.
By: Fryer, Bronwyn,
Harvard Business Review,
October, 2006, Vol. 84, Issue 10

A Conversation with Harvard Medical School Professor Charles A. Czeisler

Sleep is a stranger to many managers. Research by leading scientists shows just how dangerous that problem is.

Businesses need an educated workforce; ironically, school is interfering. The current high school schedule in the U.S., which typically begins around 7:20 AM, threatens the neurological development and health of adolescents, whose homeostatic drive operates differently from adults’. Most teens experience a delayed sleep phase, in which melatonin is released around 11 PM-–an hour later than in most adults. Students who finally go to sleep by midnight and wake at 6 experience a chronic sleep deficit, which disrupts their ability to learn and puts them and you at risk on the roads. In the U.S., researchers and sleep advocates are now working closely with school districts, communities, and educators to change school start times so that students can get more sleep.

Case Study HBR October 2006

What Serves the Customer Best?
By: Nunes, Paul F., Driggs, Woodruff W., Harman, David, Rayport, Jeffrey F., Dull, Stephen, Scafido, Joe,
Harvard Business Review,
October 2006, Vol. 84, Issue 10

Glenmeadie is investing heavily in the front end of its business, enhancing its interactions with customers. But that's drawing resources away from the product innovation that might keep them happy in the long run

Three categories of IT Systems

TOOL KIT: Mastering the Three Worlds of Information Technology.
By: McAfee, Andrew,
Harvard Business Review,
November 2006, Vol. 84, Issue 11

There are three categories of IT, each of which provides different organizational capabilities–and demands very different kinds of management interventions

The Three Categories of IT

Function IT (FIT)
Network IT (NIT)
Enterprise IT (EIT)

EIT's primary capabilities include the following:

• Redesigning business processes. EIT gives managers confidence that employees will execute processes correctly.

• Standardizing work flows. Once companies identify a complementary business process, they can implement it widely and reliably along with the EIT.

• Monitoring activities and events efficiently. EITs can allow managers to get an accurate and up-to-date picture of what's happening throughout the enterprise, often in something close to real time.

Andrew McAfee ( is an associate professor at Harvard Business School in Boston. Visit his blog at

Monday, July 14, 2008

How Well-Run Boards Make Decisions


How Well-Run Boards Make Decisions.
By: Useem, Michael,
Harvard Business Review,
November 2006, Vol. 84, Issue 11

To ensure sufficient board and committee involvement in key decisions, some companies are creating fixed calendars of topics for review.

Some corporations spell out the types of decisions that the board, not management, should make.

Michael Useem ( is the William and Jacalyn Egan Professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School in Philadelphia and the director of its Center for Leadership and Change Management. He is also the author of The Go Point: When It's Time to Decide (Crown Business, 2006).

Corporate Involvment in Disaster Relief

Disaster Relief, Inc.
By: Thomas, Anisya, Fritz, Lynn,
Harvard Business Review,
November 2006, Vol. 84, Issue 11

CEOs must make two decisions concerning the form and structure of their company's involvement with relief agencies.

First, do they want primarily to give philanthropic donations, or do they want to engage in efforts to improve the aid delivery process at a more systemic level?

Second, do they want to foster a deep partnership with a single agency, or do they want to pool their resources with other companies to extend their impact to more aid agencies by joining one of several recently established consortiums?

We've outlined four approaches executives can take to join forces with relief organizations.

Single-Company Philanthropic Partnerships
Multicompany Philanthropic Partnerships
Single-Company Integrative Partnerships
Multicompany Integrative Partnerships

Each has its own set of pros and cons, although as a general rule the more deeply a firm engages with partners, the greater the potential for widespread change.

It's easy to see why the image of a relief worker carrying a sack of grain packs an emotional wallop, but the behind-the-scenes work of process enhancement is just as crucial in humanitarian efforts.

Maintaining a commitment to systemic improvement between disasters, though less glamorous, will reduce suffering far more than a donation made after the fact. The sooner executives realize this, the better positioned the world will be to respond to global catastrophes.

Rapid Experimentation

By: Roberto, Michael A., Bohmer, Richard M. J., Edmondson, Amy C.,
Harvard Business Review,
November 2006, Vol. 84, Issue 11

Why do companies have a natural inclination to misread ambiguous threats?
Factors at three levels – human cognition, group dynamics, and organizational culture – interact in ways that predispose companies to respond with less than appropriate intensity when signals of future harm are murky.

Evaluating ambiguous threats often requires rapid experimentation.

Rapid experimentation is exploratory experimentation.

In his book Learning in Action, Harvard Business School professor David Garvin explains that exploratory experiments are creative and iterative, and "designed for discovery, 'to see what would happen if.'" Investigators collect and interpret feedback rapidly and then design new trials.


Michael A. Roberto ( is the Trustee Professor of Management at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island, and the author of Why Great Leaders Don't Take Yes for an Answer (Wharton School Publishing, 2005).

Richard M. J. Bohmer ( is a physician and an associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School in Boston.

Amy C. Edmondson ( is the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School. For a multimedia preview of this material, visit

Managing Customer Introduced Variability

BREAKING THE TRADE-OFF Between Efficiency and Service.
By: Frei, Frances X.,
Harvard Business Review,
November 2006, Vol. 84, Issue 11

Customers introduce variability to service operations in no fewer than five ways, so it is critical to sort out which type is causing mischief before designing interventions.

Arrival variability.
Request variability.
Capability variability.
Effort variability.
Subjective preference variability.

The four strategic responses are: classic accommodation, classic reduction, low-cost accommodation, and uncompromised reduction.

An example of an uncompromised reduction approach:

A company can greatly reduce the impact of variability on its operating environment without compromising the service experience by targeting customers on the basis of variability type. If, for example, a college fears that admitting students of varying intellectual capabilities will complicate its operations, it can choose only students whose standardized test scores fall within a narrow band. The students get the benefit of a tailored curriculum without the school's having to support more than one.

Frances X. Frei ( is an associate professor of business administration in the Technology and Operations Management unit at Harvard Business School in Boston.

Managing Multicultural Teams

Managing Multicultural Teams.
By: Brett, Jeanne, Behfar, Kristin, Kern, Mary C.,
Harvard Business Review,
Nov 2006, Vol. 84, Issue 11

Four categories of issues that cause difficulties in Managing Multicultural Teams.

direct versus indirect communication;
trouble with accents and fluency;
differing attitudes toward hierarchy and authority; and
conflicting norms for decision making.

Four Strategies
The most successful teams and managers we interviewed used four strategies for dealing with these challenges:
adaptation (acknowledging cultural gaps openly and working around them),
structural intervention (changing the shape of the team),
managerial intervention (setting norms early or bringing in a higher-level manager), and
exit (removing a team member when other options have failed).


Jeanne Brett is the DeWitt W. Buchanan, Jr. , Distinguished Professor of Dispute Resolution and Organizations and the director of the Dispute Resolution Research Center at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Illinois.

Kristin Behfar is an assistant professor at the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California at Irvine.

Mary C. Kern is an assistant professor at the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College in New York.

Management Mistakes that Stifle Innovators

Innovation: The Classic Traps.
By: Kanter, Rosabeth Moss,
Harvard Business Review,
Nov 2006, Vol. 84, Issue 11

Innovation Hurdles

Strategy Mistakes: Hurdles Too High, Scope Too Narrow

Process Mistakes: Controls Too Tight

Structure Mistakes: Connections Too Loose, Separations Too Sharp

Skills Mistakes: Leadership Too Weak, Communication Too Poor

Innovation Remedies

Strategy remedy: Widen the search, broaden the scope.

Process remedy: Add flexibility to planning and control systems.

Structure remedy: Facilitate close connections between innovators and mainstream businesses.

Skills remedy: Select for leadership and interpersonal skills, and surround innovators with a supportive culture of collaboration.


Rosabeth Moss Kanter is the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School in Boston. She is a frequent contributor to HBR and was the editor from 1989 to 1992.

Management of Learning

How to Manage Urban School Districts.
By: Childress, Stacey, Elmore, Richard, Grossman, Allen,
Harvard Business Review,
November 2006, Vol. 84, Issue 11

To help leaders of urban school systems develop and implement a management model, 12 faculty members from Harvard Business School and Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2003 launched the Public Education Leadership Project (PELP).

Strategy for teaching and learning. At the heart of the framework is the instructional core – a term we use to describe the critical teaching and learning that goes on in the classroom. In order to improve student achievement, a district office must continuously strengthen this core by increasing teachers' skills and knowledge, engaging students in learning, and ensuring that the curriculum challenges students academically.

In education, however, most external forces pull public school districts away from their focus on student achievement. Thus, a district must develop strategy from the inside out and begin at the nucleus of its organization: teaching and learning.

Urban school districts must establish a culture of collaboration, high expectations, and accountability.


Stacey Childress ( is a lecturer at Harvard Business School in Boston, where she studies the entrepreneurial efforts of leadership teams in urban districts, charter schools, and other enterprises in education.

Richard Elmore ( is the Gregory R. Anrig Professor of Educational Leadership at Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he researches the effects of federal, state, and local education policy on schools.

Allen Grossman ( is the MBA Class of 1957 Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School, where he researches leadership and management in public education and the issues of managing multisite nonprofit organizations.

Grossman and Elmore are cochairs of Harvard’s Public Education Leadership Project.

HBR Case Study November 2006

The Reign of Zero Tolerance. By: Gerson, Ben, Parker, Janet, Volokh, Eugene, Halloran, Jean, Cherkasky, Michael G., Harvard Business Review, 00178012, Nov2006, Vol. 84, Issue 11

Actions that damage a company and its employees should be stamped out, everyone would agree. But should the people responsible be stamped out, too?

Innovation and Invention

Innovation refers to a process that begins with a novel idea and concludes
with market introduction. Invention by itself is not an innovation.

John Freeman
Jerome S. Engel
Models of Innovation: Startups and Mature Corporations

Academic Response Subsequent to Porter on Strategy

Academics also responded to this new approach to strategy in at least four
important ways.

First, scholars such as Anita McGahan extended Porter’s concepts
through extensive empirical research that broadly supported Porter’s concepts.

Second, a former student of Porter’s, Richard Rumelt, focused strategy
away from industry characteristics toward the characteristics of individual firms.
He found that the industry-level differences highlighted in the five forces model
were actually less predictive of firm profitability than were differences between
firms within a single industry.

Third, a related stream of scholarship called the resource-based view of the firm looked within firms to identify the sources of superior firm profitability, and it isolated ownership of certain key resources as the locus of competitive advantage, rather than the Porterian view of a firm’s position in its market and its value chain.

Finally, a fourth stream examined the role of economic complements to the firm’s own assets. Controlling key complementary assets afforded firms a comparative advantage, which facilitated entry into new industries.

Henry W. Chesbrough
Melissa M. Appleyard

Open Innovation and Strategy

Branded innovations

Branded innovations can potentially help advance a business in three
distinctive ways.

▪ They can create or improve the offering, making it more differentiated
and more attractive. In this context, the innovation can be represented by
a branded or sub-branded product or by a branded feature, ingredient, or

▪ They can create a new subcategory to change what customers are buying.
The branding challenge is to manage perceptions of the subcategory and
to influence which brands are relevant to it.

▪ They can affect perceptions of the organization or corporate brand with
respect to innovativeness in order to make it respected, to give it energy,
and/or to make its new product offerings more credible.

In each of these roles, the ability of the innovation to achieve its potential
impact will be enhanced if it is branded, assuming that the innovation merits
branding and that the brand strategy is well conceived and executed.

David Aaker
Innovation: Brand It or Lose It

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Andersson and Pearson's analysis of workplace incivility

Andersson and Pearson's analysis of workplace incivility is useful because it departs from the notion that workplace aggression consists of single acts, and shows how thoughtless utterances may indeed be the beginning of a violent confrontation. They acknowledge the difficulty with researching and developing measures of incivility,

They propose that a work environment characterized by uncivil behaviors can make workers miserable and lead to high turnover and lower productivity. They caution supervisors to scrutinize their own verbal and nonverbal behaviors in the presence of employees and urge human resource professionals to work with line managers to address issues in the workplace that might trigger rude behaviors and create an environment of hostility and interpersonal conflicts.

Can we all get along? The interpersonal challenge at work
Clive Muir.
The Academy of Management Executive.
Nov 2000. Vol. 14, Iss. 4;

Original paper

Andersson, L., & Pearson, C. 1999. "Tit for tat? The spiraling effect of incivility in the workplace." Academy of Management Review, 24: 452-471.