Finding the Right Fit: Why Culture Is Key

Finding the perfect job might seem like a universal goal. Not necessarily, say IESE’s Yih-teen Lee and ESSEC’s Aarti Ramaswami, who argue that a lot depends on culture. By learning to recognize the sometimes invisible cultural influences on HR practices, global managers can better understand how to attract, select and retain talent in their organizations.

Choosing Between Acquisition or Joint Venture

Both international joint ventures (IJVs) and acquisitions facilitate the entry of companies into new markets and business domains. They also expose firms to significant risk. How do executives weigh decisions about which governance approach is best, particularly in emerging markets like China where information may be limited? A team of professors led a study to better understand how to make these strategic decisions.

The Secrets of Highly Efficient People

Why do some people outperform their peers by up to 40 percent? Why are some professionals more efficient at work than others? Why do some offer solutions, while others just complain and point fingers? IESE’s Pablo Maella analyzes the foundations of personal and organizational productivity through six variables.

Shedding New Light on Industry Shakeouts

Shakeouts are a common feature of nascent industries. IESE visiting professor Luís Cabral proposes a novel explanation for shakeouts based on sunk costs and technological uncertainty. Fearing they will back the wrong horse, firms initially invest conservatively, only expanding to their optimal capacity once the winning technology emerges, thereby triggering a shakeout.

How to Manage in Different Growth Contexts

The challenges of generating growth in low-growth contexts are very different from those of managing growth in high-growth contexts. A new article by IESE’s Julia Prats and Marc Sosna, together with R. Velamuri of CEIBS, offers a framework of four growth scenarios that firm units can use to map themselves, in order to identify the particular barriers they face and the actions needed to overcome … [ Read more ]

Remuneration Tips for a More Motivated Workforce

A variable remuneration scheme can create value or, if it is poorly designed and implemented, destroy it. When it discourages rather than motivates employees, not only do you fail to achieve the expected results, but you pay extra for something that is detrimental to the company. IESE’s Pablo Maella offers recommendations aimed at strengthening the incentive effect.

12 Planning Pitfalls to Avoid

Do you spend enough time planning strategy? Are the meetings you hold actually productive? Do you regularly track and review the results of your short- and long-term strategies, and change them when necessary? Alberto Fernández offers tips for avoiding 12 common pitfalls in strategic planning and follow-up.

Plugging the Globalization Knowledge Gap

The world may only be around 10-25 percent globalized, but to take advantage of the opportunities presented by semi-globalization, today’s firms demand more international business knowledge from graduates. To address the knowledge gap, IESE Prof. Pankaj Ghemawat has compiled the Globalization Note Series, covering the globalization of markets and firms, cultural differences, and ownership and governance around the world.

Why Marginalized Expats Make Great Global Leaders

Although some might think otherwise, “marginalized biculturals” — individuals who belong to more than one culture, yet do not identify strongly with any of them — can excel at global leadership. A new article by Stacey R. Fitzsimmons of Western Michigan University, IESE’s Yih-teen Lee and Mary Yoko Brannen of INSEAD explains how this much-overlooked group can make natural global leaders, and what this implies … [ Read more ]

How to Spot Innovation When You See It

Incentives for innovation can only be adequately designed if managers know what innovation is when they see it. IESE’s B. Sebastian Reiche and his colleagues set out to clarify the concept of innovation in their paper “Innovation as a Knowledge-based Outcome,” which offers a new, broader definition designed to help managers improve innovativeness and overall firm performance.

Irene Rosenfeld

In business, we tend to spend a lot more time thinking about the problems than the triumphs. People need to know that what they’re doing is making a difference, and that their leaders notice and appreciate their efforts.

Delivering Breakthrough Service and Growth

Mounting competition and ever-more demanding customers mean that companies must deliver exceptional service. While no service model is a guarantee of success, companies need to align strategic and operational issues with customer and employee needs. In their latest research, IESE professors Philip Moscoso and Alejandro Lago offer a clear model for turning service offerings into profit and growth.

Boosting Inter-Organizational Knowledge Transfer

The successful acquisition of knowledge across organizational boundaries is essential for innovation and creativity. In a new article, IESE’s Marco Tortoriello and his colleagues argue that organizations interested in mobilizing knowledge across formal boundaries must move beyond the simplistic version of “boundary spanners” (individuals who link different organizational units) toward a deeper understanding of the network relationships in which boundary spanners are embedded.

Seeking Common Ground in Multicultural Communication

In an increasingly multicultural age, communication between business people becomes increasingly tricky. An article coauthored by IESE’s Carlos Sánchez-Runde reveals how culture affects cognition and how companies can enhance their multicultural communication.

A 10-Year Stretch: Strategies for Early Growth

Early-stage companies play a vital role in developing the world’s latest innovations, as shown in a study presented at the 2011 World Economic Forum. Based on interviews with executives from such top companies as eBay and Microsoft, the study reveals that the similarities in early-stage companies around the globe are far greater than their differences.

Putting HR at the Heart of Business

It is generally accepted that financial and marketing policies have a decisive impact on a company’s bottom line. When it comes to HR policies, however, businesses often question their real value. In this article, Pablo Maella explains how an effective HR strategy can affect a company’s earnings, and offers tips on how to design such an approach.

Building a Creative Culture in an Organization

Does innovation depend on “Eureka!” moments, experienced only by a lucky few? Creativity and innovation may seem like moving targets, but building a culture that encourages systemic creativity in an organization is possible, as IESE’s Paddy Miller and Azra Brankovic explain.

Six Steps for Optimizing Personal Efficiency

While much attention is paid to the influence of external factors on worker efficiency levels, surprisingly little is paid to the role of individuals themselves. In his working paper, IESE’s Pablo Maella reminds us that a business is only as efficient as those working for it, and he suggests practical ways in which individuals can boost their levels of personal efficiency.

Everything You Need to Know Before Cutting Costs

Many executives demonstrate a great mastery when it comes to justifying increased spending, but have no methodology for saving. In his new book, IESE Prof. Ignacio Urrutia discusses the 10 common mistakes in cost cutting and offers practical advice on how to successfully cut back spending.

Do Private Labels Always Benefit the Supply Chain?

Private label products, or store brands, can bolster a store’s market share and positively impact retail sales. But what effect do private label products have on the supply chain? Is introducing a store brand always a good idea, or can it have detrimental effects as well? Marc Sachon and Víctor Martínez de Albéniz propose a model that can help retailers determine whether introducing a private … [ Read more ]