2009 Roundtable Nov

Roundtable and Advisory Board Meeting

Selected Faculty Research Presentations.  Highlights of four research projects will be presented and the potential business implications discussed. 

November 2009 Roundtable

  • Wednesday, November 18, 2009, 11:30 AM-4:45 PM
  • Babbio Center, Stevens Institute of Technology,
  • Hoboken, NJ

Roundtable and Advisory Board Meeting

The next Howe School Alliance Roundtable meeting will be held on November 18 at 1:30 PM and will be dedicated to Selected Faculty Research Presentations.  Highlights of four research projects will be presented and the potential business implications discussed.  Abstracts of the presentations are below.  This meeting with faculty has become a tradition at the November meetings and always makes for very stimulating sessions.

The Roundtable will be preceded by the annual HSATM Advisory Board meeting, from 12:30-1:30 PM, devoted to a brief review of HSATM activities for 2009 and a discussion of plans for 2010.  A buffet luncheon will be served from 11:30-12:30.  Roundtable meeting attendees are encouraged to attend both the luncheon and the Advisory Board meeting.

The meeting will take place in the Babbio Center in Hoboken, River Street between Fifth and Sixth Streets, fourth floor, room 430.  Driving directions are at /sit/maps/driving_directions.cfm    Dress code is business casual.  If you wish to attend and haven't already notified Sharen Glennon, please contact her at [email protected] or 201-216-5381.  Please indicate whether you intend to have lunch.  Thank you. 


Abstracts of Faculty Presentations

Social Networking as a Tool in Education and Organizational Development
Drs. Donald Lombardi and Tal Ben Zvi

Ben Zvi and Lombardi have centered their research on how social networking can act as a primary education tool and catalyst in progressive organizational development.  With an array of technology-based communication devices being embraced in the daily lives of adolescents, their focus is on teaching this emergent work force population the ways in which organizations -- specifically community-driven organizations in healthcare and human services -- conduct their business.  In addressing both the manner in which this focus population learns about potential career paths, as well as why a formidable deficit of knowledge about healthcare and human services careers exists, the objective of their efforts is to provide a new system, using current and emergent technologies, for meeting the gaping needs of work force shortages in these critical areas.

While focusing on healthcare and human services, this project clearly has relevance to other industries as well, since it relates broadly to organizational development, human capital, and technology.  A framework for the research and some preliminary results will be presented, along with the strategy for moving forward. 

Key Determinants of Effectiveness in Project Portfolio Management
Dr. Peerasit Patanakul

Project portfolio management (PPM) has been practiced for decades and has been widely implemented in different business contexts.  Not much research has been conducted, however, on PPM effectiveness.  The lack of such research may have practitioners continuing with a PPM approach that has not been measured as to its effectiveness and that may not have the desired impact on business results.

The objective of this research is to investigate PPM practices of organizations in different business contexts in order to discover the key determinants of PPM effectiveness and the measurement of effectiveness.  This research goes beyond traditional PPM research by investigating the potential impact of the executives' strategic decision-making process and organizational factors (e.g. organizational culture, degree of portfolio centralization, and PPM learning and education) on PPM effectiveness.  The research results should help practitioners implement PPM practices appropriate for their business contexts, cultivate PPM effectiveness, and measure such effectiveness.  During the presentation, the researcher will share preliminary results from the investigation of PPM practices of a major telecommunications company.

Keys to Creating "Blockbuster" New Products
Dr. Gary S. Lynn

Gary Lynn will summarize the major findings from a decade of research conducted with his colleague Dick Reilly on the critical practices for creating blockbuster new products.  The term "blockbuster", as used by Lynn and Reilly, refers to those rare new products and services that alter the future of a company, lead to entirely new families of products, or possibly even usher in a whole new industry.  When last reported on to HSATM Partners in 2003, the research embraced some 700 new product launches.  The data base has since been expanded to over 1,000 new product/service teams and includes some of the most successful products ever launched, including the Nintendo Wii, IBM PC, Black & Decker Dustbuster, Polycom Soundstation and many others. 

The initial research was reported in Lynn and Reilly's book "Blockbusters: The Five Keys to Developing Great New Products".  This presentation will summarize the five critical practices that were found to determine success in coming up with blockbuster new products, and comment on their relevance today.

Workforce Trends in Information Technology
Dr. Christine Bullen

Chris Bullen has been a member of the Information Technology Workforce Research Team, an ongoing research project sponsored by the Society for Information Management, for the past three years.  The research seeks to define the IT skills and capabilities that organizations desire to retain in-house, source externally, and acquire in entry and mid-level hires.  This research has involved over 230 organizations from around the globe and focuses on IT workforce trends and how they are affected by a number of forces, including global sourcing, pending baby-boomer retirements and low enrollments in IT-related university programs.  The first phase of research focused on clients (those buying services) and the second focused on providers (those selling services).

The presentation will discuss the research findings, which offer the ability to analyze a number of issues that are sometimes conflicting and often controversial:

  1. The increasing trend toward global sourcing of IT work
  2. Distinct differences in the capabilities retained internally and sourced externally by firms
  3. Mismatches between client needs and provider resources
  4. A consistent desire for non-technical, as well as technical capabilities in new hires
  5. Disappointment that graduates are often missing skills desired most in the marketplace
  6. A lag in university responsiveness to the needs of the marketplace

While this research was conducted around the IT function, some thoughts will be offered about its potential broader applicability to other functions.