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Summer 2014: Networks

When we first started working on this issue of the magazine, one of my first stops was to see Dean Garth Saloner. He is, after all, widely recognized for his research on network effects, the idea that the value of certain products and services increases with additional users.

An example of this, which he and his coauthors describe in their Strategic Management textbook, is the simple telephone — not very useful if you’re the only one using it, but significantly more so as others do.

His suggestions helped shape this issue of the magazine. In the pages that follow we present a series of pieces on network effects and the broader theme. In Lives, there are stories that explore the importance of professional networking and personal relationships. In Organizations, we look at social media and how companies use it for their advantage — or overlook its power at their peril. We examine how conflict can spread from one person to another and how the best managers can resolve issues before they become more dangerous to team cohesion. In World, we look at the role technology and the internet, trade, and supply chains have in promoting security and prosperity.

Tucked inside this and each subsequent issue of Stanford Business, we are also including a new feature, The Takeaway. It is a selection of key lessons from the magazine, and on the flip side, recommendations from Stanford experts for readers who want a deeper dive into some of the issues discussed here. In keeping with its name, the page is intended for you to tear out to keep or post in your office — or to share with some of your own connections.

Michael Freedman, Editorial Director