The 12 most important trends in management science from the last decade

Happy new 2010! Finally, markets seem to be recovering from what Time Magazine refers to as “the Decade from hell” and demand is predicted to increase. Some actually claim that the estimates for global growth in the near future are fantastic. And what were the 12 most important management trends in the last decade? Here are the most actionable or inspirational blog posts and articles from the open web.
Marcus’ favorite post this week for actionable knowledge and inspiration is The five key skills needed for the discovery phase of innovation

Here’s an unsurprising theme of the last three weeks: summaries of the last decade. The most useful is perhaps the post by Julia Kirby, senior editor at HBR, who offers her view on the 12 most important trends in management science from the last decade. Of course, on such a topic, the reader comments are almost as interesting as the excellent content of her blog post.

Time Magazine refers to the last decade as ‘the Decade from Hell‘, but most of the strategy blogs are more positive. Based on data from the IMF, Mark Perry shows that the decade has been amazing in terms of global growth, and that the estimates for global growth in the near future are fantastic, to say the least. His conclusions are in line with the results from the McKinsey Global Survey, in which executives expect demand to grow in the short run.

the 12 most important trends in management science from the last decade

[private_Feature Articles] In a second theme these weeks, there has been some discussions about a very specific product innovation: the Google phone: Nexus One. Will it have disruptive effects on the other actors in the industry? Here are two attempted answers:

First, as previously discussed in this column, for radical innovations you’ll sometimes need to control a large part of the supply chain in order to be able to do what no one has done before. However, as an innovation becomes more commoditized, you need to focus on a part of the chain and specialize to gain competitive advantage. This HBR post by Henry Blodget speculates that Apple (iPhone) will repeat the same mistake they did with the Macintosh in the 90ies and fail to execute this change.

Second, Scott Anthony of Innosight, previously interviewed about disruptive innovations here at IM, speculates that the Nexus One could become disruptive to the handset market in general – shifting power from retailers and carriers to manufacturers and application developers.

To round off today’s column, let me point you towards a number of generally useful posts about the organization of innovation:

Here is an extremely short, brief and not at all in-depth summary of what management literature says about how to organize for innovation. It is an admirably short check-list for the extremely busy executive! And while you’re visiting his blog, you might be inspired by his new series of posts on 25 ways to reinvent your business.

A quick check-list for the extremely busy executive

Gregerson at INSEAD offers a description of the five key skills needed for the discovery phase of innovation. Read it to learn how to improve your business creativity. There is also a related article at the Harvard Business Review (December issue, unfortunately pay walled).

In my last column, my favorite link was Donald Sull’s blog posts about organizational agility and how that relates to innovation. It turns out more people than me seem to have liked that content, as Sull now has published a related piece for the McKinsey Quarterly just a few weeks later.

The same issue of the Quarterly also offers a good, albeit extremely simple, take on the long versus short view on innovative projects and who in an organization should be responsible for making sure the long term projects don’t get starved for resources. I especially recommend that you watch the 2.5 minute presentation linked to the text.[/private_Feature Articles]

A happy new innovative 2010!

Your comments are welcome!

Do you have any comments on the links presented here? Are some of them broken or not accessible from your network? Would you like more focus on peer-reviewed journals or more focus on pure blogs? Do you know of a blog post that you would like to see here next time? Feel free to send an email to [email protected].

About Marcus Linder

Marcus LinderMarcus Linder researches environmental innovation among industrial firms at Chalmers University of Technology. Focus areas include strategic rationale and the practical how-to of including environmental aspects in the innovation process. An important starting point is that profitable environmental innovation often require more than just “quick-fixing” a firm’s existing offers. Theoretically, Marcus is grounded in the problem-solving perspective on management, a subset of the knowledge-based view of the firm. In terms of applied innovation management, his main passion lies in business model design. He is currently employed as a PhD student at Center for Business Innovation at Chalmers University of Technology. Before starting his PhD studies, Marcus successfully performed a business innovation project at CBI culminating in a new product concept now planned for market introduction by Göteborg Energi.

  • Marc

    Hi Marcus,

    thanks for the links to my blog…although I’m not an authority (yet). ;-)

    I’m currently doing some doctoral level research on BMI at Manchester Business School and would be interested in your research in the area.


  • Marcus Linder

    Hi Marc!

    Thanks for your comment! I think you deserved that link even though you’re not any authority (yet!). :-)

    The easiest way to get a hold of my research until I’ve gotten it through the publication lead times a couple of times is probably at conferences. This year I hope to attend the CINet conference in Zürich. In addition my co-author (Joakim Björkdahl) will present a paper I was deeply involved in at the Druid conference in London (unfortunately, Druid occurs at the same time as my honeymoon this year so I wont be able to attend the conference to present the paper myself!)

    I look forward to meeting you when we get the chance!