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Research & Publications

Research & Publications is a growing collection of case studies, presentations, research reports and other resources focusing on product development, R&D, and innovation management.  These concise reports provide practitioner insights, company examples, benchmarks and thought-leading viewpoints. 

MRT's FastTrack is the leading network of industry practitioners responsible for new product development, technology development, and business development from all industries. Access to the full content of the following articles is for members of Management Roundtable FastTrack. Memberships are offered to individuals on an annual basis for just $495.  For more information on joining FastTrack click here.

To see all the material available in this knowledge repository, use the search engine, click on focus topic, or see our most recent updates below.

Managing International Projects Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-08-04

Impressive cost savings, access to new ideas and expertise, and exposure to new markets provide powerful incentives for companies to forge new partnerships with overseas employees and distant companies. However, projects operating in this new environment often face unfamiliar and unanticipated challenges. This audio session, led by Sue Freedman, Ph.D. and Lothar Katz,presents an approachfor anticipating and addressing the special challenges of project management in international settings. The presenters discuss adapting project planning and initiation to the special challenges of international work; building and managing communication systems that work across different cultures, language and time zones; avoiding the confusion and delays caused by cultural differences in work practices and relationship rules;creating local ownership for foreign teams and maintaining critical project alignment around tasks, deadlines, and work standards; and designing and managing projects to meet the challenges of remote management. (39 slides)

Insights from Alberto Culver: Implementing In-Flight Metrics -- Presentation Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-07-24

Presentation slides for thearticle"Insights from Alberto Culver: Implementing In-Flight Metrics."

Leading in China: Building an Executive Team to Drive Success in the World's Fastest Growing New Economy Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-07-06

A Presentation by David Everhart, Managing Director, Asia Leadership Development SolutionsAccording to Everhart, a leading U.S.-East Asian-relations expert, one of the biggest obstacles Western companies face in China is a lack of the proper organizational structure and leadership skills. He identifies four specific issues that multinational firms face in China: 1. High turnover rates that impede the development of a strong corporate culture. 2. Expatriate executives who don't know how to lead a Chinese workforce. 3. Locally-hired Chinese leaders who lack the international experience and language skills tointeract effectively with global headquarters in the U.S. or elsewhere. 4. A Chinese management team that doesn't understand how to work within a 'matrixed' global organization. To meet these challenges, Everhart discusses the leadership styles that are most effective in China’s fast-growing environment. He presents recent datarelated toChinese leadership styles and discusses the practical applications for talent management. The presentation also covers the selection of expatriate managers, recruiting expatriates to lead in China, and the challenge of retaining Chinese talent. (23 slides)

At Lean Conference Practitioners Report that Learning is the Basis of Measurable Results Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-06-26

Overview of the Management Roundtable’s Second Annual Lean Product Development Summit, Chicago, June 6 and 7, 2007. Experts and practitioners alike emphasized the importance of learning in creating a lean environment for new product development, at this second annual conference. Keynote speaker Don Reinertsen, President of Reinertsen and Associates, emphasized the need to question received wisdom; the example of no single company, however successful, can serve as an off-the-shelf template for lean product development, he advised. Another keynote speaker, Mary Poppendieck, President of Poppendieck LLC, discussed how the avoidance of the “batch and queue” approach and a focus on information flow are keys to lean. Case studies from SRAM Corporation, Badger Meter, Inc., Kennametal, Inc., Corbis Corporation, Abbott Diagnostics, Critical Point Group, Steelcase, Inc., and Boeing Commercial Airplane Group provided real world examples of how lean depends on continuous learning. The case studies examined the role of lean change agents; means of managing work in process; the importance of visual learning in creating a lean focus; how to capture learning from project to project; and how focusing on the critical few project indicators can be a key to slicing time and costs. (7 pages)

General Electric Healthcare Global Technology Center: A Phased Approach to Developing and Mentoring R&D Leadership in China Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-06-15

For the past seven years, Xiangli Chen, Ph.D., has had the opportunity to observe Research and Development teams in China at close hand. In 2000, he became the first Managing Director of the Global Research Center established by General Electric Company in Shanghai. Since 2003, Dr. Chen has served as General Manager for GE’s Healthcare Global Technology organization, based in Beijing. The new product- and service-development engineering teams he leads for this organization focus on research and development for technologies used in GE Healthcare’s medical imaging products and healthcare information systems sold in markets worldwide. In this article, based on interview with Dr. Chen, he discusses a staged approach for mentoring Chinese R&D teams. He also discusses some tactics for motivating Chinese teams in ways that differ from their Western counterparts. Finally, Dr. Chen presents lessons learned from the forefront of an R&D Center in China and gives his prediction for where R&D in China is headed over a five-year horizon. (6 pages)

Why China? The Opportunity and The Threat Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-06-08

This summary of a March 2007 presentation by Roger N. Nagel of Lehigh University examines some of the fundamental cultural assumptions Western businesspeople are likely to encounter when interacting with their Chinese counterparts. Nagel contrasts these assumptions with Western cultural preferences, discusses their management implications, and provides tips on how to bridge the cultural divide. Nagel then discusses the ways in which China is a source of R&D and innovation and explains why China is an attractive region for R&D investment, citing several examples of Western companies’ activities there. Finally, Nagel presents some sources of current information regarding China. He lists the major industries in China and where they are centered in the various regions of the country. This summary is a useful compilation of existing research on R&D in China and serves as an overview of the subject. (16 pages)

Taking the Next Step: R&D Centers in China and the Shift Toward the Internal Market: An Interview with Jihong Sanderson Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-05-28

Jihong Sanderson is Executive Director of the Center for Research on Chinese-American Strategic Cooperation, affiliated with the University of California at Berkeley and a lecturer in UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business as well as in its School of Information. Her expertise is based on more than 18 years of experience with organizations and businesses in China and the United States and on her subsequent academic research. In this exclusive interview she discusses the background behind the growth of R&D centers and co-development in China. Sanderson emphasizes that one of the challenges facing Western firms in China is that this vast country is as diverse culturally as the EU. She also provides tips on such topics as partner selection, communication with Chinese partners, protecting Intellectual Property, and the role of the Chinese government. Sanderson has concluded that an important shift is occuring in terms of product development activities in China. Whereas most partnerships with Western companies have been aimed at Western markets, Sanderson foressees a future where a great deal more R&D and product development in China favors internal markets. (6 pages)

Opportunity Discovery, The Front End of Innovation: Five Keys to White Space Identification - Audio File Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-05-17

Audio filefor the audio session "Opportunity Discovery, The Front End of Innovation: Five Keys to White Space Identification," 4/18/07.

Bridging Expectation and Reality When Co-Developing Products in China Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-05-11

An Interview with Alan Paau, Ph. D.Dr. Paau is vice-chancellor for technology transfer and economic development at Cornell University and Executive Director of the Cornell Center for Technology, Enterprise and Commercialization. In this interview, he provides an overview of lessons learned from his experience in working with Chinese development partners to commercialize technology. Paau advises Western firms partnering with Chinese companies not to confine their interactions to the upper management team alone. He recommends creating a hands-on presence at every organizational level of the company with which you are working. He also suggests that the greater the degree of regulation to which an industry is subject, or the higher the initial set-up costs, the safer the collaboration is likely to be in terms of IP protection in China. Paau also emphasizes the advisability of registering contracts with China’s authorities. (5 pages)

Merck’s Collaboration with WuXi PharmaTech, Shanghai Locked

Research | Posted: 2007-05-04

A presentation by David M. Stout, Ph.D., Director, Global Basic & Pre-clinical Sourcing, Merck Research LaboratoriesThe pharmaceutical industry is renowned for the complexity of its development process, its risky projects, and its low-yield product pipeline. With increasing pressures on the industry, many of the so-called “Big Pharma” firms have decided that they can’t afford not to outsource non-core activities. One example is Merck & Co., Inc., which has forged a mutually successful partnership with China-based WuXi PharmaTech, a Contract Research Organization with less than ten years in the field. This presentation details the development of Merck’s partnership with a supporting Chinese firm and how that relationship slowly evolved to greater degrees of trust and commitment. It first presents an overview of the drug discovery process and provides a rationale for outsourcing in general – and outsourcing to China in particular. The presentation discusses the business criteria used to assess partners and then recounts the case history of the projects Merck has engaged in with WuXi. Recently, these projects have included FTEs dedicated to Merck and the development of a site dedicated to Merck projects at WuXi’s Shanghai location.(21 pages)

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