The business environment is now changing rapidly, but will change even more rapidly in the future. Only firms that can respond to these changes will survive. It is important to know, then, how business’s future landscape will look. George Huber’s new book, The Necessary Nature of Future Firms, describes this landscape clearly and credibly and makes explicit the organizational attributes and management practices firms must possess to be among the ranks of the “future firms.” The Necessary Nature of Future Firms is written for managers, especially those managing change. Professionals in a wide variety of organizational roles will find it a particularly useful reference for its foresight and as an invaluable tool in winning approval for projects and initiatives. Academics in change management, information systems, organizational science, strategy, and human resources management can draw on the book as a supplementary text or as a source for lecture materials.
The Future Environments of Business Organizations1
Some managers might still assume that the highly dynamic environments faced by today's business organizations represent a period of transition to a more stable era. They would be wrong.
Other managers might believe that these dynamic environments are the new era, that they represent the future. These managers, too, would be wrong.
The fact is that the future environments of business organizations will differ in important respects from the environments in effect near the beginning of the twenty-first century. In particular, they will be characterized by
- more and increasing scientific knowledge,
- increasingly effective information, transportation, and manufacturing technologies,
- more and increasing complexity,
- more and increasing dynamism, and
- more and increasing inter-firm competitiveness.
These five characteristics, in combination, ...