A Critical Research Handbook
Edited by Lester Lloyd-Reason and Leigh Sear
Chapter 6: Managing with Complexity, Uncertainty and Ambiguity
Keith Herrmann It is well known that change is the signiﬁer of the contemporary world. During the last twenty years a multitude of factors have combined to revolutionise the landscape of the global economy, resulting in a ‘new economy’ highly reliant on the exploitation of science, technology and knowledge. This globally interconnected economy has also seen the rise of emerging economies, e.g. the BRIC’s (Brazil, Russia, India and China), competing directly with the established economic order. The impact of globalisation is forcing many established economies to become increasingly dependent on the creativity and innovative energy of its entrepreneurs and is spawning a new form of industrial revolution (Leadbetter 1999; Kusum et al. 1999). These features of global change have exerted pressure on commercial organisations (businesses) to cope with the pervasive inﬂuence of lower-cost competitors, the increased provision of high-quality goods and services by emerging economies, and the accelerated obsolescence of current technologies. At an organisational level businesses have also had to deal with demands for change emerging from the processes of international deregulation, persistent advances in technology, and increased global competition emanating from a customer-driven market place. The impact of globalisation and the high rates of change in the market place have created conditions of trade which are unprecedented. Many small ﬁrms trading globally are having to cope constantly with the uncertainties and pressures of a globalised world in which the competitive advantage of ﬁrms is no longer dominated by lowest price, but are inﬂuenced by a...
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