Meetings play a big role in many people’s jobs. In the U.S. alone, an estimated 11 million meetings take place in a typical day. Managers can spend up to three-quarters of their time in meetings, and approximately 97% of workers say that collaboration is essential to do their best work.
As a result, meetings are tremendously important for businesses. Yet understanding meetings — much less finding ways to increase their productivity — is challenging for researchers because it requires an understanding of many social signals and complex interpersonal dynamics. Most of the work done in this area has been from the social sciences perspective using field work and surveys.
In the last 10 years, there has been a dramatic reduction in manufacturing jobs in the U.S. due to a combination of factors, such as the economic crisis and foreign competition. But manufacturing jobs can return to the U.S., and a key component of that return involves innovation to facilitate product variety.
Companies that manufacture products abroad typically do not offer significant product variety, as the support costs — like inventory, markdowns and returns — are too high. It’s more economical to produce a narrow product line when you’re shipping to warehouses from across an ocean. Read More »
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a huge innovation. The first new aircraft launched in more than a decade, Boeing uses incredibly advanced manufacturing technology to build a lighter-weight carbon composite plane for improved fuel-efficiency. In addition, the planes include a number of state-of-the-art design features to increase passenger comfort on long-haul flights. Read More »
When a person decides to donate a kidney, expecting nothing in return, clearly one person’s life could be saved. But this single act of altruism actually can save dozens of lives. For this to happen, though, kidney exchange programs need to take considerable care in deciding how to allocate the kidney of the altruistic donor and how to structure subsequent transplants.
Kidney exchanges were established in the past decade to solve a problem affecting thousands of people with kidney disease:
They have a loved one willing to donate a kidney, but the two have incompatible blood or tissue types. Organized in a clearinghouse or exchange, however, incompatible pairs can trade with each other, forming cycles in which each patient needing a kidney receives one from the donor of a different pair. Cycles have to be short—usually two or three pairs—because the transplants must be done simultaneously so each pair donating a kidney knows for certain it will receive one in return.
MIT Sloan Assoc. Prof. David Gamarnik
But if a donor comes forward who is not part of a pair, the potential for more life saving transplants arises. Because each pair can receive a kidney before donating one, the transplants do not have to be done simultaneously. What is the best way to use the kidney of an altruistic donor so that the greatest number of patients get transplants? Read More »