Building collaborative enterprise.

Paul Adler, Charles Heckscher, Laurence Prusak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Can large companies be both innovative and efficient? Yes, argue Adler, of the University of Southern California; Heckscher, of Rutgers; and Prusak, an independent consultant. But they must develop new organizational capabilities that will create the atmosphere of trust that knowledge work requires--and the coordinating mechanisms to make it scalable. Specifically, such organizations must learn to: Define a shared purpose that guides what people at all levels of the organization are trying to achieve together; Cultivate an ethic of contribution in which the highest value is accorded to people who look beyond their specific roles and advance the common purpose; Develop scalable procedures for coordinating people's efforts so that process-management activities become truly interdependent; and Create an infrastructure in which individuals' spheres of influence overlap and collaboration is both valued and rewarded. These four goals may sound idealized, but the imperative to achieve them is practical, say the authors. Only the truly collaborative enterprises that can tap into everyone's ideas---in an organized way--will compete imaginatively, quickly, and cost-effectively enough to become the household names of this century.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-101, 164
JournalHarvard Business Review
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Jul 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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