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February 1, 2001
By Pulp & Paper Canada

In a recent article in MIT’s Sloan Management Review (Winter 2000) — “Leading laterally in company outsourcing” — lead author Michael Useem, professor of management at University of Pennsylvania’s W…

In a recent article in MIT’s Sloan Management Review (Winter 2000) — “Leading laterally in company outsourcing” — lead author Michael Useem, professor of management at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, identified four traits common to managers overseeing outsourced initiatives:

Strategic thinking: the ability to understand whether and how to outsource in ways that improve competitive advantage;

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Deal-making: the ability to broker deals in two directions simultaneously — securing the right services from external providers and ensuring their use by internal managers;

Partnership governing: the ability to oversee the relationship proactively to ensure service quality and financial benefit for both sides;

Management change: the ability to anticipate resistance to change and surmount it constructively.

The above findings result from interviews that researchers did with 54 managers, and from surveys they conducted with 423 managers in 1997 and 1998.


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