Home Reading: Citizens as Customers

12.11.2011, 14:59
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Here’s what the students are reading this week trying to understand the implications of value for the microrayon. This time the reader is compiled of articles from the world’s leading business and political science magazines.


Creating Shared Value, Mark Kramer, Michael Porter (Harvard Business Review, Jan/Feb 2011, vol. 89, issue 1/2)

The article shows examples of companies that connect their business strategies with social needs. Communities and businesses depend on each and thus can create a so-called «shared value». In other words, businesses need a successful community to provide demand for their product; communities in turn need successful businesses to create job opportunities for its citizens.  By recognizing this dependence capitalism can be redefined; it can become more efficient, expand markets and strengthen local suppliers. Thus, businesses can once again earn the respect of society.


Achieving Deep Customer Focus, Sandra Vandermerwe (MIT Sloan Management Review, Spring 2004)

In this article Sandra Vandermerwe explores how organizations can identify the outcomes that customers need and help them get there by developing the right attitude inside the company. Many companies think that they are deep customer focused, meaning that they make all the necessary changes to keep their clients happy (i.e. loyalty programs, satisfaction surveys etc.). However, according to Sandra, most companies don’t really understand what deep customer focus entails. Therefore, she describes how a company can change through 10 critical breakthroughs. The main idea is to get employees of all levels inside an organization to collaborate together and teach them the essence of the deep customer focus approach, stimulating innovation.

Microrayon: Transformations of the Soviet City Under Capitalism, Bart Goldhorn, Alexander Sverdlov (Volume issue 21, 2009)

What constitutes a microrayon? Why is it the most widespread planning typology in Russia? How has it changed with the advent of capitalism? The article answers all of these questions. The determination to build equality within the Soviet society resulted in the creation of identical cities, identical lifestyles. The absence of private property made all open spaces public. But the change of ideology and the economic system after the fall of the Soviet Union had a major impact on people’s daily lives. This began to be exhibited in the individual approach to interior design, privatization of space and urge to protect the now private property with all kinds of security measures. The microrayon evolved into a new prototype: a capitalist microrayon. The open city transformed into a closed one. The article touches upon the subject of change of the microrayon environment and the current image of the microrayon.


Other relevant books and articles on the subject of Citizens as Customers include:

R. Normann and R. Ramirez From Value Chain  to Value Constellation: Designing Interactive Strategy

N. Khrushchev On Extensive Introduction of Industrial Methods and Improving the Quality of, and Reducing the Cost of, Construction

S. Hewett The Customer-Centric You: MAking Customers the Focus of Everything You Do

A. Klingmann Brandscapes: Architecture in the Experience Economy

R. Jensen The Dream Society: How the Coming Shift from Information to Imagination Will Transform Your Business

R. Inglehart and C. Welzel Changing Mass Priorities: The Link between Modernization and Democracy

Studio Generale: Research Simulator 14/11

With the end of the fall term rapidly approaching and only one theme introduction week left, this time the students will be engaged in a week called Research Simulator (part of the theoretical course Studio Generale). It aims at giving them an opportunity to have a first-hand experience of what the spring term will look like.

By studying proposed cases the students will go through the stages of the mid-term and final review, and test out different research methods. Strelka alumni will help them with advice and share their own experience in interview conduction, data collection and information evaluation.

The students will be divided into 4 student groups, each following their own agenda on exploring such themes as Moscow’s real and virtual borders, value of migration, value of public space, and transport issues. Some of the themes will continue last year’s research topics and give both the graduates and students an opportunity to further develop the topic.

The week will be structured in the following way: Monday and Tuesday will be devoted to collecting data, going on fieldtrips and forming hypotheses. On Wednesday, a simulation of the mid-term review will take place; the students will present their preliminary work. On Thursday and Friday, the students will be refining their ideas and continuing to do research, but in a more focused way. And finally, on Saturday, they will present their work to all the moderators and experts.