An outgrowth of Motorola in the late 1980s, Iridium was set up to be the world's first global wireless phone company. With 19 organizational partners spread across 160 countries, dozens of novel technological inventions, and over $5 billion in investment, expectations were high when Iridium was launched amid great acclaim. Less than a year later the company filed for Chapter 11. A W. P. Carey School of Business professor and his teammates have made a study of Iridium's collapse, focusing on its stages of decline and especially the transitions between those stages.

In an economy buffeted by war, outsourcing and the rising cost of basics like food and housing, many corporate executives remain removed from such cares and worries. As cost-cutting hits the factory floor and the back offices, costs in the executive suites continue to soar. And when failed CEOs like HP's Carly Fiorina walk away with tens of millions in severance pay, the public –- as well as shareholders –- begin to ask the hard questions.

New research shows world-class measurement systems for strategic sourcing and the supply chain help drive an organization's cost savings, revenue growth, new product development, supplier relationships, and shareholder value. What's the secret?