Information Management

32 Results

 

How Electronic Patient Records Can Slow Doctor Productivity

Electronic health records are sweeping through the medical field, but some doctors report a disturbing side effect. Instead of becoming more efficient, some practices are becoming less so. Robert Huckman's research explains why. Open for comment; 5 Comments posted.

How Numbers Talk to People

In their new book Keeping Up with the Quants, Thomas H. Davenport and Jinho Kim offer tools to sharpen quantitative analysis and make better decisions. Read our excerpt. Open for comment; 3 Comments posted.

Why We Blab Our Intimate Secrets on Facebook

Leslie K. John and colleagues set out to discover the reason behind a common discrepancy: While many of us purport to be concerned about Internet privacy, we seem to have no worries about sharing our most intimate details on Facebook. Open for comment; 15 Comments posted.

Why Business IT Innovation is so Difficult

If done right, IT has the potential to completely transform business by flattening hierarchies, shrinking supply chains, and speeding communications, says professor Kristina Steffenson McElheran. Why, then, do so many companies get it wrong? Closed for comment; 6 Comments posted.

The Rich Get Richer: Enabling Conditions for Knowledge Use in Organizational Work Teams

Individuals on the periphery of organizational knowledge-sharing networks, due to inexperience, location, or lack of social capital, may struggle to access useful knowledge at work. An electronic knowledge repository (KR) offers a practical solution to the challenges of making knowledge available to people who might otherwise lack access to relevant expertise. Such a system may function as a knowledge-access equalizer. However, the presence of a knowledge repository will not solve the problem of access to knowledge for those at the periphery of the organization unless it is used. In this paper, the authors begin to theorize the social and structural conditions that support KR use by exploring whether individuals on the organizational periphery take advantage of KRs, or whether KRs function more to enrich individuals whose experience and position already provide them better access to other knowledge sources. Using extensive data on KR use at a global, outsourced provider of software services, the authors' results show that despite the seeming promise of a KR to integrate or equalize peripheral players, it instead enriches knowledge access for people who are already well positioned. Findings thus suggest that KR use is not simply an individual activity based on need, but is instead enabled by certain social conditions (such as familiarity and experience) and inhibited by others (such as status disparities and remote location). An organizational KR thus fails to serve as an equalizer absent intervention. Read More

India’s Ambitious National Identification Program

The Unique Identification Authority of India has been charged with implementing a nationwide program to register and assign a unique 12-digit ID to every Indian resident—some 1.2 billion people—by 2020. In a new case, Professor Tarun Khanna and HBS India Research Center Executive Director Anjali Raina discuss the complexities of this massive data management project. Open for comment; 30 Comments posted.

How Will the “Age of Big Data” Affect Management?

Summing up: How do we avoid losing useful knowledge in a seemingly endless flood of data? Jim Heskett's readers offer some wise suggestions. What do you think? Open for comment; 33 Comments posted.

How Should Management Deal With “Anonymous”?

Summing Up When it comes to the leaky Web, Jim Heskett's readers say assume the worst and act accordingly. (New forum on February 3.) Closed for comment; 33 Comments posted.

Using What We Know: Turning Organizational Knowledge into Team Performance

An organization's captured (and codified) knowledge--white papers, case studies, documented processes--should help project teams perform better, but does it? Existing research has not answered the question, even as U.S. companies alone spend billions annually on knowledge management programs. Looking at large-scale, objective data from Indian software developer Wipro, researchers Bradley R. Staats, Melissa A. Valentine, and Amy C. Edmondson found that team use of an organization's captured knowledge enhanced productivity, especially for teams that were geographically diverse, relatively low in experience, or performing complex work. The study did not find effects of knowledge use on the quality of the team's work, except for dispersed teams. Read More

Turning Employees Into Problem Solvers

To improve patient safety, hospitals hope their staff will use error-reporting systems. Question is, how can managers encourage employees to take the next step and ensure their constructive use? New research by Julia Adler-Milstein, Sara J. Singer, and HBS professor Michael W. Toffel. Read More

Confronting the Reality of Web Services

Web services have made huge strides, but two hurdles remain, one technical, the other organizational, says HBS professor Andrew P. McAfee. "It is in fact getting easier to integrate applications, but it's never going to be easy." Read More

Can an Organization’s “Deep Smarts” Be Preserved?

When employees leave, they take more than their coat and hat. How can companies better preserve the accumulated knowledge of individuals? Isn’t that what separates average companies from truly great ones? Closed for comment; 24 Comments posted.

Desktop Search and Revenue Streams

Search is a hot topic in high tech right now, so industry experts at Cyberposium’s "Search Visionary" panel drilled down for the most promising avenues to growth. Read More

The Knowledge Coach

Make sure the knowledge gained by top employees doesn't leave with their retirement, say Dorothy Leonard and Walter Swap in their new book, Deep Smarts. One solution: Develop a knowledge transfer coach. Read More

Computer Security is For Managers, Too

Computer security isn’t just an IT headache, say HBS professor Robert D. Austin and co-author Christopher A.R. Darby. Here are eight to-do items for managers to protect their digital assets. Read More

The Future of IT Consulting

A new Harvard Business School working paper traces the evolution of IT management consulting and trends for the future. Read our e-mail interview with professor Richard Nolan and HBS Interactive Senior Vice President Larry Bennigson. Read More

Mentoring—Using the Voice of Experience

Companies crave experienced executives—so why don't they do more to make sure that wisdom is captured in the corporate DNA? Harvard Business Professor Dorothy Leonard discusses the differences between mentoring and coaching; why it can be difficult for "masters" to reach "novices" and who should be responsible for managing a corporate mentoring program. Read More

Here Comes Internet2—Time to Shed Dot Vertigo

Managers who believe the Internet is dead and gone do so at their own peril, says HBS professor Richard L. Nolan, who's studied computer use in organizations for many years. Watch out for a new kind of Internet, he says: Internet2. Read More

Wrapping Your Alliances In a World Wide Web

HBS professor Andrew McAfee researches how the Internet affects manufacturing and productivity and how business can team up to get the most out of technology. Read More

Managing to Learn: How Companies Can Turn Knowledge into Action

New ideas are important, says HBS professor David Garvin, but they're not enough: A true "learning organization" must enable every member of the organization to act in an informed way upon what's been learned before. Read More

The Strategy-Focused Organization

In the ten years since it was introduced, Robert Kaplan's and David Norton's Balanced Scorecard has become not just a measurement tool but a means of putting strategy at the center of a company's key management processes and systems. Read More

More Than the Sum of Its Parts: The Impact of Modularity on the Computer Industry

The "power of modularity," write HBS Dean Kim Clark and Professor Carliss Baldwin in their new book, rescued the computer industry from a problem of nightmarish proportions and made possible remarkable levels of innovation and growth in a relatively short period of time. Read More

Rocket Science Retailing

Retailers and e-tailers have enormous amounts of data available to them today. But to take advantage of that data they need to move toward a new kind of retailing, one that blends the instinct and intuition of traditional systems with the prowess of information technology. Read More

Learning in Action

Most managers today understand the value of building a learning organization. But in moving from theory into practice, managers must realize there's no one-size-fits-all strategy applicable to every company and every situation. In this excerpt from his book Learning in Action: A Guide to Putting the Learning Organization to Work (HBS Press), HBS Professor David A. Garvin shows how different organizations put different learning strategies to work. Read More

Financial Services 24/7

Technology, especially Internet technology, is having a huge impact on the financial services industry, leaving old and new players — and consumers — scrambling to find their place in the new environment. HBS Professors Dwight Crane, Warren McFarlan and Sandra Sucher look at the new paradigm for financial services in this report from the HBS Bulletin. Read More

Building Effective R&D Capabilities Abroad

Planning R&D facilities in the new global economy calls for a complex decision making process, based in part on whether a particular site is intended to tap local knowledge or to support a company's manufacturing and marketing abroad. HBS Professor Walter Kuemmerle offers a look at two contrasting foreign-based R&D decisions in this excerpt from his article in World View: Global Strategies for the New Economy (HBS Press). Read More

Calling All Managers: How to Build a Better Call Center

Once viewed simply as low-cost channels for resolving customer concerns, call centers are increasingly seen as powerful service delivery mechanisms and even as generators of revenue. Research by HBS Professor Frances X. Frei and her colleagues Ann Evenson and Patrick T. Harker of the Wharton School points toward new ways of making them work. Read More

What’s Your Strategy for Managing Knowledge?

Knowledge management as a conscious practice is so new that there are few successful models for executives to use as guides. In this excerpt from their article in the Harvard Business Review, HBS Professors Morten T. Hansen and Nitin Nohria and colleague Thomas Tierney of Bain & Company reveal two key KM strategies — codification and personalization — and their use among consulting firms. Read More

Rapid Response: Inside the Retailing Revolution

A simple bar code scan at your local department store today launches a whirlwind of action: data is transmitted about the color, the size, and the style of the item to forecasters and production planners; distributors and suppliers are informed of the demand and the possible need to restock. All in the blink of an electronic eye. It wasn’t always this way, though. HBS Professor Janice Hammond has focused her recent research on the transformation of the apparel and textile industries from the classic, limited model to the new lean inventories and flexible manufacturing capabilities. Read More