- 08 Apr 2011
- Working Paper Summaries
A common business (and life) practice involves delaying a decision in order to avoid immediate commitment. James J. Anton (Fuqua School of Business) and Dennis A. Yao (HBS) discuss ways in which delaying or, alternatively, speeding up commitment can be a valuable tactic, how these tactics influence the actions of other decision makers, and ways in which such actions affect other decisions. Changing the speed at which a decision is made affects how others allocate resources to influence how that and other decisions will eventually be made. The researchers identify two tactics associated with changing decision speed: "pinning" and "focusing." Key concepts include: Commitment-avoiding can be a valuable tactic in that delaying a decision will greatly affect the actions of other decision makers-including both allies and rivals. Pinning involves taking actions that "pin" a rival decision maker's resources to one decision, thus reducing the rival's influence on other decisions. Focusing involves speeding up a decision, which frees up an ally's resources for use on other decisions. Closed for comment; 0 Comment(s) posted.
- 15 Jun 2009
For decades, General Motors reigned as the king of automakers. What went wrong? We asked HBS faculty to reflect on the wrong turns and missed opportunities of the former industry leader, and to suggest ideas for recovery. Key concepts include: Formed in 1908, General Motors was the world's largest carmaker between 1931 and 2008. GM filed for bankruptcy protection on June 1, 2009. In the bankruptcy petition, GM claimed slightly over $82 billion in assets and nearly $173 billion in debts. GM's failure of leadership is astounding and ironic given its early history as an innovator, says HBS professor Nancy Koehn. GM faces a unique opportunity to retool itself for the 21st century, says visiting scholar Daniel Heller. Meanwhile, the U.S. government administration is embarking on an interesting experiment in political economy, according to professor Joseph Bower. Closed for comment; 0 Comment(s) posted.