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Viewpoint What Executives Need to Learn

Executives who understand their work in terms of a flow of information are still a very small minority. Most of us continue to use computers primarily to do things we have always done - that is, to crunch numbers. Information - which means the right knowledge to take effective action - is still...

Corporate Management of a Major Crisis

The way a company manages a major crisis can literally spell the difference between life and death - both for the immediate victims of the crisis and for the company itself. Over the past decade, several major crises have had severe environmental, health, and safety consequences, as well as drastic...

Alliances for Competitive Advantage: Why, When, and How

For better or worse, alliance formation soared during the 1980s as corporations united for competitive advantage. While many alliances have been highly successful, others have ended bitterly, and some should never have been formed in the first place. In today's world, it is important to understand...

Planning for Chaos: A Scenario Approach to the Oil Market

No one can forecast oil prices. Yet a sharp change in oil prices can radically alter business conditions for a very large number of companies. In the early 1980s, automobile companies, iron and steel companies, airlines, marine transportation companies, and ultimately financial institutions all...

Redefining the Corporation

In recent years, a great many corporations have been reshaping - or at least attempting to reshape - themselves, with varying degrees of success. In North America, at least, the 1980s could easily end up being called the Decade of Downsizing. Reasons for this trend include deregulation, volatile...

How the Japanese Manage Risk

Americans hear so much about Japan as the success story of the international economy, they sometimes forget that the Japanese have economic problems of their own. Japan has its declining industries such as steel and its low-wage competitors such as South Korea and Taiwan. And in an era of fast-...

Political and Economic Forces Shaping the Business World

Historians and social scientists do better looking backward than looking forward. Economists, for example, have predicted seven of the last two recessions. Once something has happened, however, we can usually explain why it was inevitable.

From Uncertainty to Risk: Reducing the Guesswork in R&D

The R...

The New Business Topography

Once again we are embarked on a period of turbulent change, when it seems that the established order is dissolving, familiar guideposts disappearing, and our traditional frames of reference out of date. The very topography in which business is conducted is shifting beneath our feet. Change of this...

Viewpoint The Other Germany: An Open Door to Europe and...

"With German unification apparently imminent, there is a danger that Americans will adopt a passive attitude towards commercial relations with the German Democratic Republic (GDR). European and Japanese firms, however, are not waiting for unification, but are moving quickly and decisively to take...