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Bain's global 2007 management tools and trends survey

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PurposeThe purpose of this article is to survey and analyze current patterns of use in corporate settings of strategic management tools and techniques. The authors interview hundreds of corporate leaders to ascertain which tools executives say they find most effective. Design/methodology/approachIn 1993, Bain & Company launched a multiyear research project to get the facts about management tool use. Over 12 years Bain assembled a global database of more than 7,000 respondents, including 960 this year. They supplement the survey with follow-up interviews to probe the specifics of tool use in individual companies. FindingsCompanies are employing more tools, but they appear to be finding them less effective. Usage increased, yet the average overall satisfaction rating dropped. Another finding was that successful use of tools ‐ and executives' willingness to use them ‐ is influenced by the ability to measure and communicate resulting benefits. Research limitations/implicationsThis survey formerly was done annually and now is taken every other year. Practical implicationsManagers who promote tool fads undermine employees' confidence that they can create the change that is needed. Executives are better served by championing realistic strategic directions ‐ and viewing the specific tools they use to get there as subordinate to the strategy. Originality/valueWithout satisfaction and usage data from companies that have adopted management tools, choosing and using them becomes a risky and potentially expensive gamble.
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Keywords: Acquisitions and mergers; Benchmarking; Customer loyalty; Customer relations; Knowledge management; Strategic management

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 11, 2007

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