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Manufacturing Management

Over the past decade, we have heard a lot about the perilous decline of manufacturing in the United States. Yet a review of key indices, adjusted for inflation, reveals an altogether different picture. For instance, hourly output has been rising at almost 5 percent a year for the past three years....

Doing More With Less: Improving Environmental Management Productivity

In recent years many companies have made impressive gains in strengthening their environmental, health, and safety (EHS) management. But they have also seen their EHS costs increase dramatically – to as much as 4 percent of sales and even more. As a result, EHS budgets have joined other once–sacred...

Reengineering Revisited: Achieving Seamlessness

Some people assume that reported failures in business process redesign (BPR), also known as reengineering, sound its death knell. We see such predictions as grossly premature. BPR will be with us indefinitely, for the simple reason that BPR, done right, creates tremendous improvements in business...

Failing to Change: The Plight of the Japanese Computer Industry

Japanese companies are still suffering from low earnings and profits, legacies of the collapsed "bubble economy" of the late 1980s. Among the sufferers are the biggest electronics firms in the country: Fujitsu, Hitachi, Mitsubishi Electric, NEC, and Toshiba. Some industry observers believe that the...

Measuring the Performance of the Innovation Process

When executives examine how smart their innovation processes are, the soul–searching involves questions of effectiveness, efficiency, and risk. How does the company's record of success in innovation stand up against competitors'? Does the company achieve an adequate return on its investments in...

Viewpoint The Information Superhighway

Prognostications on the information superhighway range from the starry–eyed to the deeply pessimistic. In this article, we propose to present a realistic, balanced assessment of precisely what the information superhighway is, what it will do, and how it will develop – or, more accurately, how it...

The Chief Technology Officer as an Agent of Change

Peter Drucker wrote in one of his many insightful essays: "The source of wealth is knowledge. If we apply knowledge to tasks we already know how to do, we call it productivity. If we apply knowledge to tasks that are new and different, we call it innovation." He went on to say that "the two beacons...

Benefiting from NAFTA: New Opportunities in North America

A rather experienced Mexican president, Porfirio Diaz – he was in office 36 years – portrayed his nation's basic attributes in the following way: "Pobre México, tan lejos de Dios, tan cerca de los Estados Unidos." ("Poor Mexico, so far from God, so near the United States.") It's this basic fact of...

Emerging Technologies: A Novel Approach to Envisioning Their Development

Just beyond the typical business time horizon are significant new technologies that will change our lives. These emerging technologies, not yet fully realized and still outside the arena of competition, will create enormous opportunities – and huge threats. Each of these technologies tends to be 10...

Transnational Corporations and Global Environmental Policy

Ten years ago, "environmental" was not a very important word in the business lexicons of most transnational companies. Today, many of these companies have made superior environmental performance a worldwide priority. They express their commitment in written environmental policies and manage...