Category Archives: Operational management

What is the challenge facing businesses today? Deciding on processes that will be most effective and innovative in order to differentiate themselves from the competition. This can mean going against the tide of certain current practices or trends, for example in terms of locating production or approaches to marketing.

The Facebook effect: How Facebook browsing shapes the consumer decision making process

Marketers are well aware that social media sites can play a role in influencing consumers, whether it is through product endorsement or building customer loyalty, for example. However, research by Christian Hildebrand and Tobias Schlager suggests that the effect of Facebook on consumers is both more subtle and powerful than commonly realized. They demonstrate that merely browsing this social media site has a significant impact on subsequent consumer decision making.

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Long live the power breakfast: Why executives should schedule critical tasks for early in the day

Many executives spend significant sums improving their personal performance. However, new research by Elizabeth Demers and her co-authors, suggests that there is one relatively simple, effective and low cost way of upping your game as an executive. They show that, for a combination of reasons, cognitive function, mood and the ability to communicate tend to decline throughout the day. For executives with packed diaries and little time to replenish reserves, it is best to get critical tasks scheduled for the morning.

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Designing solutions to complex problems

Organizational life, and indeed the world, is full of complex, poorly defined, so called “ill-structured” problems that need solving. While teams have a variety of tools to choose from to help tackle these problems, those tools invariably fail to address both the challenges of working collaboratively and of addressing the specific problem at hand.

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Chaplin’s World: How accounting can reconcile arts and culture with the world of business

When business and art collide, there are inevitably concerns that stakeholder interests will undermine creativity and artistic integrity. However, research by Anette Mikes and Felicitas Morhart shows that it is possible to reconcile commercialization with artistic and cultural activities.

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When brands get real: New perspectives on brand authenticity

The concept of brand authenticity has attracted a lot of attention recently, yet is still not well understood. Recent research, however, provides new insights on the topic, providing tools and frameworks to help understand, measure, and extract value from brand authenticity.

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Tales of the unexpected: understanding risk at the extremes

Business as usual is the normal state affairs, and the world that managers and policymakers operate within most of the time. Occasionally, however, that world is shaken by unforeseen extreme events, from stock market crashes to earthquakes.

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The sweet smell of success: the complexities of using scent as a marketing tool

As marketers use increasingly sophisticated tools to enhance the consumer experience, Manja Leib investigates how the complexity of a scent can affect retailer sales, purchasing decisions, and shopping behavior more generally.

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Time is money: calculating lead time value in SCM

Deciding optimal supply chain lead times involves calculating a number of difficult tradeoffs. New research makes that calculation a lot easier, allowing firms to gain a more precise understanding of the true value of time in the manufacturing supply chain.

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A meeting of minds: how clever conversations underpin great project management

Meetings may often seem like a waste of time, yet new research suggests that they are essential part of effective project management. The problem is not the meetings, but what people say in them. Get that right; facilitate common understanding between team members, and project success follows.

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