Organizational Flexibility in Emerging Economies
Chapter 1: Introduction
In the old days in science, the universe was fairly simple. Nearly every science museum has a huge, old model of the solar system in which all the movements of the planets are represented with clockwork gears. Then we realized that reality was much more complex. All motion was relative. The universe is a system in dynamic motion and ﬂux with all motion being determined by the forces of inertia, complex gravitational interactions of heavenly bodies and even unseen gaseous clouds, random collisions, millions of asteroids, and the overall movement of galaxies toward the outer boundaries of the universe. (D’Aveni, 1994: xiii) D’Aveni goes on to draw an analogy between our increasing perception of the complexity of the universe and the complexity of the business world. Business has entered a new reality, one that is more complex and dynamic, in which timely adaptation is critical for a ﬁrm’s survival. Since the 1990s the new business context has been characterized by macro-environmental changes, changes in the way ﬁrms are organized, and changes in management style. The macro-environmental changes aﬀecting businesses have been shaped by an acceleration of change in the economic, social, technological and political worlds. March (1995) underlines four factors that have brought volatility and uncertainty into the environment in which ﬁrms operate: global linkages (that is, the business networks that cause global interdependencies to multiply and national boundaries to fade); information technology (which aﬀects the possibilities for coordinating and controlling organizations); knowledge-based competition (that is, the use...