Sixty years ago, Nobel laureate J.R. Hicks wrote that "the best of all monopoly profits is the quiet life," but few leaders of today's organizations spend their afternoons playing whist at the Club. There was once a time when local access to scarce resources or idiosyncratic process knowledge sustained a firm's competitive advantage, but the world is now a global village where technology, raw resources and intermediate products, managerial expertise and even labor shift rapidly in response to subtle shifts in the competitive environment.
Managing at the end of this, the twentieth, century is far from the quiet life, but is an exceedingly demanding challenge requiring constant attention to the best new relevant ideas in management theory and practice. Managers who don't question their operating premises today often find themselves without market share tomorrow.
While academic research in the management disciplines has grown exponentially and fruitfully in recent years, academic research alone is not sufficient for executives who need to understand both the ideas at work and the factors that will makes those ideas work for them. Managers today need forums for sharing the best ideas among academics, consultants and practitioners. The Forum Management Development Program is dedicated to providing such forums, and we are very pleased to sponsor the Management Development Forum, a journal that seeks to create as much value added as possible through an interdisciplinary integration of the very best theory and practice that can be found today. Enjoy this premier issue and please join our efforts in the future; we welcome all new exciting work, from whatever perspective it comes.
Michael V. Fortunato, Ph.D.
State University of New York - Empire State College