ARTICLE ABSTRACTS

G. David Hughes


 

WORKING PAPER: FINDING A NEW WAY FOR BUSINESS SCHOOLS

Bennis and O'Toole have argued that business schools have lost their way by focusing on "scientific" research that led to hiring faculty with limited real-world experience, thereby producing graduates not equipped to lead companies or even to get good jobs. This "scientific" research has been described as "physics envy." By tracing the evolution of physics we see that there has been a paradigm shift in science, while business schools remain in Newtonian physics. Comparing the evolution of three of the oldest business schools to the scientific evolution of the period, we see that none of these schools has adapted to the new scientific model that accepts variables that cannot be measured and fuzzy relationships among variables, but one is moving in that direction. The significance of the new science for business is that rigid organizational structures and formal communications will give way to knowledge networks that present new challenges for directing and motivating teams toward a shared goal. Business schools, therefore, must reflect this organizational paradigm shift in their research and courses.

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THREE PROCESSES FOR CREATING INNOVATIVE STRATEGIES

Competition, accelerated technological development, diminishing returns from present methods, and a shift to creating wealth through knowledge require a new organization that is innovative. Innovation is simply doing something different that adds value. This article presents a brief overview of three processes for creating innovative strategies: the Osborn-Parnes creative problem solving (CPS) model, which uses a behavioral science approach; the Russian TRIZ model, which searches for higher levels of abstractions using generalizations from millions of patents; and the Theory of Constraints (TOC), which applies concepts from physics to examine the business and organizational processes that are preventing the optimization of systems. (Click on the above title to link to the full version of this article.)

 

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  • WHY U. S. BUSINESS SCHOOLS AVOID INNOVATION

    Innovation has been credited with being the spark that makes companies great and the power that has changed our lives in the last century. Yet the topic is not central to courses in U. S. business schools, while it can be found frequently in engineering schools and academic environments around the world. We will briefly examine the possible causes for innovation's exclusion from core business courses and three conditions that may bring innovation into the mainstream of business education. (Click on the above title to link to the full version of this article.)

     

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  • ADD CREATIVITY TO YOUR DECISION PROCESSES

    Competition, accelerated technological development, diminishing returns from present methods, and a shift to creating wealth through knowledge require a new organization that is innovative. Innovation is simply creativity that adds value. This article presents a brief overview of the Osborn-Parnes creative problem solving (CPS) process, the oldest and most widely used creativity process. The elements of the process are presented in a simple "Creative Problem Solving Cycle" so executives can experiment with introducing it into their current decision processes. Case examples illustrate its effectiveness in making a company innovative. (Click on the above title to link to the full version of this article.)

     

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  • FINDING A NEW WAY FOR BUSINESS SCHOOLS

    Bennis and O'Toole concluded that business schools lost their way because of "physics envy." A brief examination of the evolution of physics suggests that business schools have missed the paradigm shift. This shift has had a major impact on organizational design and therefore on what business schools should research and teach. (Click on the above title to link to the full version of this article.)

     

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