Consequences and Strategic Implications of Networked Enterprise and Human Resources

Consequences and Strategic Implications of Networked Enterprise and Human Resources

Ana Isabel Jiménez-Zarco (Open University of Catalonia, Spain), María Pilar Martínez-Ruiz (University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain) and Óscar González-Benito (University of Salamanca, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-986-1.ch018
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In the current environment, knowledge constitutes the starting point for the development of all economic and social agents’ activities and behaviors (Castells, 2000). Knowledge, as an internal resource, can be used intensively, which makes it possible to consider it as a productive factor as well as an important strategic element for obtaining a key source of competitive advantages (Vilaseca, Torrent-Sellens, & Jiménez Zarco, 2007). Certain works, such as the ones developed by Vilaseca et al. (2007) and others, consider the process of economic globalization, the demand changes, and the intensive use of ICT responsible for the emergence of an economy based on knowledge. Nevertheless, from a business point of view, the intensive use of ICT can be regarded as the most important factor. Thus, the globalization of markets together with the changes in demand are challenges, although the intensive use of ICT provides strength for responding to the new environmental changes and even transforming them into opportunities. Depending on the ability of firms to transform challenges into opportunities—which can be sometimes achieved through a systematic use of ICT—good results can be achieved. In order to face the growing complexity and competitiveness of the environment as well as give quick and suitable responses, the firm must consider ICT as an internal strategic factor (Bond & Houston. 2003). Hence, by favoring the accumulation and use of knowledge in all organizational activities and encouraging the organization’s flexibility, the use of ICT permits a quick adaptation of the organization to this new context as well as the development of customized competitive strategies. In contrast, the intensive use of ICT in organizations will not only influence the marketing, post-sales, and human resources departments (Vilaseca & Torrent, 2003), but also induce the development of new organizational, productive, strategic and managerial models. Thus, the intensive use of ICT facilitates both in the mmedium-and-long run the generation of more flexible schemes, more efficient and economical productive processes as well as strategic models based on the generation, processing, and use of information and knowledge (Johnson, Sohi, & Grewal, 2004).

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