Management & Organization

Creating a Culture of Self-Starters

Companies in which employees feel empowered to solve problems on their own, rather than simply follow rules, outperform peers where that doesn't happen — and employees at such companies feel a sense of self-mastery, which improves morale. But can you create such a culture — and, if so, how? There are at least two paths to building a company of self-starters, suggests new research by Smith School professor Hui Liao. Read more...

Jack Dorsey, Two-Timing CEO (of Twitter and Square)

Twitter's new CEO, Jack Dorsey, is wasting no time in making changes. This week the social networking company laid off 336 people, or 8 percent of its workforce. In his spare time, Dorsey will continue running Square, which offers software and credit card readers to retailers. How can one person serve as CEO to two companies? Smith School management professor Paulo Prochno says there are precedents. Read more...

'Core Competence' Lessons from Apple, Microsoft

"Core competence (as a bedrock management principle) is dead," Fast Company proclaimed in 2013. But at least one Forbes writer disagreed. “It has not died," he wrote. "It has loosened up." In an apparent nod to Forbes, a writer for "Expanding Opportunities: A Resource Guide for Maryland's Small, Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses," recently approached Smith School professor Anil K. Gupta to give strategy lessons from a "core competence" perspective. Read more...

In a Driverless Future, Which Companies Will Thrive (or Die)?

In Tokyo this week, Toyota put journalists in a modified Lexus GS equipped with self-driving technology. On its own, the car entered a highway, drove for a bit and navigated an off-ramp. Toyota was signaling that it wasn't ceding the field to Google, Uber, Apple or any of the other American tech companies that have made it a goal to dominate the next automotive era. Smith School professors David A. Kirsch and Brent Goldfarb offer some thoughts on how the industry will be disrupted. Read more...

The Myth of 'Disruptive Innovation'

Is the influential theory of "disruptive innovation" bunk? Or to put it in a less specific and blunt way: Are businesses — and business professors — too quick to accept as fact theories that aren't supported by rigorous data? Both propositions are true, says Smith School professor Brent Goldfarb, who made that provocative case in a major presentation at the Academy of Management conference last month in Vancouver, British Columbia. Read more...

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