The field of OD is evolving, but so too is the context within which OD is applied. As summarized in figure 25-2. Several interrelated trends are affecting the context within which OD will be applied in the near future. They concern various aspects of the economy, the workforce, technology, and organizations. In some cases, the trends will directly affert OD practice. Technology trends, such as Internet portals, voice over the internet, and wireless network, will no doubt influence how OD practitioners communicate with organization members, facilitate teams, and manage change.
Other trends, such as the increasing concentration of wealth, represent important contextual forces that will indirectly affect OD through their interactions with other trends. The Economy Researchers and futurist have described a variety of economic scenarios, and there is subtantial agreement that the world’s economy is in the midst of a transition from the industrial age that characterized much of the twentieth century.
Although these scenarios ditier in their particulars, they all fit under the rubric of globalization, and many of the same trends are identified as drivers, including technology, workforce, and organization, which will be discussed separately. The fall of the Berlin Wall, the and of apartheid, the breakup of the former Soviet Union, the creation of the European Union, terrorist attacks in many different countries, and the emergence of the chinese and indian economies are key events in the transition to a global economy.
Organizations from arround the world are increasingly able to shift their manufacturing from high-to low- labor- cost countries. Execute international mergers and acquisitions, and build worldwide services businesses. The emergence of global economy is well under way, but the promise and rationalization of that process is far from complete. The initial steps toward globalization have fueled real price decrease in many consumers products, provided employment for people in less-developed nations, and driven revenue growth in a variety of industries.
However , the transition to a global economy is for the most part un managed, and there is increasing concern over its social and ecological consequences. This raises trouble-some questions about three key issues: cultural diversity, income distribution, and ecological sustainability. First, transitioning to a global economy is a complex and daunting process that involves organizations, technology, people, and governments. Yhe role and function of national governments and the importance of cultural diversity in the process is not well understood.
There are few generally accepted guidelines. On the one hand, some economists argue that globalization is good for countries and cultures. The cite numerous example of how music, art, political thought, technology, and other artifacts of culture have crossed boundaries and enriched people’s experiences. Other argue that governments must face the difficult choice of preserving or sacrificing their culture. Seconds, globalization of the economy is closely related to an increasing concentration of wealth in relatively few individuals, corporations, and nations.
Third, there are increasingly clear warnings that the ecosystem can no longer be treated as a factor of production, and that success cannot be defined as the accumulations of wealth and material goods at the expense of the environment. The conclusions from the intergovernmental panel on climate change suggest that industrialization is not a controversial but a probable cause of global warming. Seceral traditional organizations are reserving long held opinions about their contribution to environmental decay by setting agressive goals to reduce greenhouse gases.
The Workforce The workforce is becoming more diverse, educated, and contingent. Chapter 18 documented the diversity trend and suggested that organizations, whatever they operate primarily in their home country or abroad, will need to develop policies and operating styles that embrace the changing cultural, ethnic, gender, and age diversity of the workforce. Technology By almost any measure, information technology is a significant and increasingly common fact of life. An estimated 150. 9 million worldwide internet users in 1998 grew to 605. 6 million in 2002.
In 2007, according to an internet world stats estimate, more than 1,24 billion people were on the internet, and of those, 37% were in asia. The internet is the backbone of a global economy, and although the technology sector of suffered financial setbacks, few people doubt its future importance. At the core of information technology is E-commerce, an economy that knows no boundaries. E-commerce involves using automated teller machines, buying games, on your cell phone, buying ang selling products and services over the internet, and selling advertising space.
This range of activities makes estimating the size of the E-commerce market difficult. Two type of E-commerce seem particularly relevant to OD’s future: business-to-consumer and business-to-business. Business to consumer market garners much attention and awareness because it is how the public participates in E-commerce. This attention and awareness because it is how the public participates in E-commerce. This market, which includes E-tailers such us Amazon. com, eBay. com. in these businesses, OD must help to create and implement novel business models.
The organizational issues in the business to business market are even more complex. A good example of the implications and potential of this market is the global automobile industry’s creation of an online store. In addition to providing the infrastructure for E-commerce, technology is also changing and enabling a variety of organizational processes. New technologies, such as SAP or PeopleSoft, drive changes in how information and work information and work processes are coordinated and managed: they also require modification in the way productivity is measured.