McKinsey Quarterly Journals

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McKinsey Strategic Value of Web Services | 35 Pages
McKinsey Strategy For Volatile Times | 57 Pages
McKinsey Strategy In An Uncertain World | 39 pages
McKinsey Strategy=Structure | 40 Pages

The McKinsey Quarterly is the management journal of McKinsey & Company and is published six times a year. It features articles and research from McKinsey consultants and selected outside authors. Articles can be read on-line at Free registration required. The McKinsey Quarterly has been published since 1964 by McKinsey & Company.

After all the hype around Java, XML, and .Net, who could blame top managers for being a little wary (and weary) of Web services? Although several years of buzz have delivered only the beginnings of easy connections among different IT systems, managers shouldn’t lose sight of the opportunity. As John Hagel points out in “Edging into Web services,” the lead article in this McKinsey Quarterly Reader, the coders will work out the details, and too much value lies at the fringes of organizations, where they interact with their partners, to leave the problem of universal connectivity unsolved. Hagel’s article, adapted from his new book, Out of the Box: Strategies for Achieving Profits Today and Growth Tomorrow through Web Services, argues that the technology will take off first at the connections among collaborating companies; only after proving its worth there will it be brought deep within the organization.

Developing and executing a winning corporate strategy isn’t easy at the best of times. These days, economic and political uncertainty make this even more difficult. Our special collection of articles includes McKinsey & Company’s latest thinking on a range of today’s most critical strategic issues, including risk management, China, and the role of IT.

Managing under uncertainty is among the most difficult tasks executives face, even in the best of times. Globalization, digitization, and unfettered capital markets have all helped make traditional strategy tools such as market research, value chain analysis, and discounted-cash-flow analysis less useful. Meanwhile, the events of September 11th and their aftermath have made managing under uncertainty exponentially more daunting: companies must not only prepare for the worst economic year in a decade but also grapple with the uncertain economic consequences of the war in Afghanistan and the possibility of further terrorist attacks in the United States and elsewhere.

Big companies used to follow a simple rule of organizational design: “structure follows strategy.” With this approach, executives would first set their strategy and then define the organizational model that best supported it. These days, however, big companies rarely have the luxury of following stable, long-lived strategies—and those companies’ organizational structures must now be as supple and adaptable as the strategies they reflect.