Enterprises have been radically altered since the 1980s, so much so that people talk about a new paradigm, which is referred to by different names such as post- Fordism, post-industrial era, mass customization, information society, etc. However, awareness of this paradigm shift is not a new phenomenon since it has been extensively discussed in the literature since the 1970s (e.g., see Kidd, 1994; Piore & Sable, 1984; Savage, 1996; Toffler, 1971). That the world of enterprise is undergoing a paradigm shift is not of great interest anymore. Of more importance are the details of the new and advanced concepts that are required in the longer-term to deal with an ever-changing business environment.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Agility: An organization’s ability to adapt to structural and unexpected changes in the business environment.
Organizational DNA: The embedding of goals, objective, values, etc. into organizational units through holonic organizational designs.
Dynamic Alignment: The process of dynamically achieving strategic fit between an enterprise and its business environment and arranging resources internally, through adaptation, to support that alignment.
Strategic Fit: Aligning strategy, technology, organization, and people with the needs of the business environment.
Holonic Organizations: Organizational designs based on autonomous but co-operating goal seeking units (holons).
Structural Change: Changes in the structure of the business environment such as competitive conditions, regulation, technologies, etc.
Non-structural Change: Changes, normally operational, such as breakdowns, failure of suppliers to deliver on time, customer requested modification to specifications, etc.
Adaptive Behavior: Changing processes, organizational designs, strategies, technologies, etc. in response to structural changes occurring in the business environment.
Network Organization: Organizational designs based on peer-to-peer networks and communications.
Flexibility: Capability to respond to known or expected, but bounded changes and uncertainties.