New trends in the global business environment

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Trends in Global Business 3

Trends in Global Business

Summary of the chosen article

The article by Smaje and Wigley (2014), explores the relevance and importance of technology from a business perspective in today’s competitive market. In this article the authors attempt to highlight a set of five essential technological skills that Organization Executives require in order to keep up with the trends in the world of digital tech as it relates to business operations globally. The essential technological skills highlighted by Smaje and Wigley (2014), in this article are; (1) the ability to understand how technical apps function, (2) proactively keeping up with technological trends, (3) willingness to understand how consumers interact with apps, (4) willingness to interact with geeks and learn from them and (5) finally ability to make effort and invest time to stay informed regarding technological innovations related to businesses (Smaje and Wigley, 2014). Through these strategies, business executives can become conversant and become acquainted with latest trends in digital technological advances that have implications in how an organization conducts business. Some of the digital advances that mentioned in this article which have implications on Organizations are; twitter, instagram and pinterest among others.

Thesis statements of the article

  1. Current and emerging technological trends essential for businesses in the 21st century

  2. Essential technological skills for Organizational Executives in the current digital business environment of the 21st century

  3. Ideas on how to leverage current and emerging technology to achieve organizational success in the digital world of business Executives

  4. Demystifying technology and its application to foster growth in Organizations in today’s digital business environment

  5. The role of today’s business Executive in fostering technological utilization in the current global landscape of digital business

In selecting the following four articles that relate to the title of the article summarized above, I utilized the EBSCOhost academic database using the phrases and keywords described in the above thesis statements.

Article 1

Title: The Cost of Having Analog Executives in a Digital World

In this article the author, Berghel (1999) explores the importance of taking with seriousness the role of technology for businesses in a world that is extensively being driven by innovations. In this article the author posits that Organizations can no longer afford to ignore the implications that current and future technological innovations will have on their business (Berghel, 1999). The author provides brief historical overview of several case studies of companies that ignored technology resulting at their peril, and also highlights the gains made by businesses that actively sought to stay ahead of technology as a comparison.

In this article, several options are suggested as ideal strategies of Organizations to adopt in order to be able to anticipate future technology in regard to their business and how they can leverage innovations in a rapidly evolving digital world. One of the strategies highlighted is the need to have the Organization top leadership that is conversant with the current trends as regards technological advances; the author argues that this is necessary as it will shape the vision of the Organization to be grounded on technological innovations. This observation is well documented in other similar studies as described by Mascia et al. (2015) where the role of social network innovation is explored as a relevant innovative strategy of driving business in the 21st century.

In Organizations where the CEO is not conversant with technological innovations, the author proposes the creation of the position of ‘Info Czar’, who should have the responsibilities of directly briefing the CEO as regards the issues of technological innovations (Berghel, 1999). Another strategy proposed is the need for Organizations to create a department within that is dedicated to exploring the implication of current and future innovations on the Organizations business front. This strategy will help the Organization to anticipate technological changes in order to avoid surprises that can cripple its business operations. Finally, the author explores the need of Organizations to match the requirement of jobs skills needed with designing appropriate job description.

Perhaps, the need of Organizations to proactively take advantage of technology in shaping future business models is well captured in a statement by one of the leading Organization that demonstrates the cost of ignoring technology as quoted in this article “The telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us” – Western Union, Internal Memo (1876) (Berghel, 1999).

Article 2

Title: Capitalizing on emerging technologies

In this article, the authors Spitsberg et al. (2015) proposes a model that organizations can adopt in order to effectively leverage on future technological breakthrough by investing in the present. Indeed similar other studies such as by Bharadwaj et al (2013) which researches on ‘Digital Strategy’, have effectively also researched on this topic and the findings when compared are similar.

In the article by Spitsberg et al. (2015), the authors explores the pros and cons of the importance for Organizations to invest on technology in their areas of business, and proposes a model where Organizations can outsource the tasks of leveraging future relevant technologies to external experts in the field of technology. This article is therefore a detailed review of the nature and mandate of one such particular consultant company that is in the business of helping organizations across board to make investment in the present in order to shape and tap on the potential of future technologies despite the risks. The argument that the authors make for the need of outsourcing to external consultants in regard to technological innovation is because it can help reduce the huge costs required to invest in this area, and the ability to tap on expertise on this field that might not be readily available within the organizations personnel. By using external consultants, the authors argue that the chances of realizing innovation success in future is higher.

Success framework

This article further proposes an effective framework that Organizations can apply in order to capitalize on current and emerging technologies based on the organizations mandate. The framework proposed in this article requires several strategies namely;

This strategy advises Organizations on how to overcome the challenges that exists when it comes to exploring of innovation, especially that which is not directly related to present business operations of the Organization. The authors proposes the need for Organization to be willing to invest in technology that are outside their core since they offer great returns. The importance of having Organization’s executives that are conversant with technology is essential since they have great influence on investment decisions.

Another key strategy in this framework is the need for an Organization to understand the needs of their consumers, and understanding of ideal tools that needs to be developed to achieve consumer demands; this knowledge will guide the direction that investment on technology will make. In addition, the approach of using demand as a strategy to identify where investment is most needed is also advanced in this article described as “the market-back approach” (Spitsberg et al, 2015).

The Technology-Forward Approach, also highlighted in this article is another strategy that can position an Organization to capitalize on emerging innovation trends; this strategy entails the ability to take advantage of emerging technologies to spur Organizations growth. Other strategies discussed in this success model is the ability of an Organizations to articulate business opportunities and how to manage uncertainty in the process of innovations. The theme of this article is well captured by this concluding remark by the authors which states “we found that success requires a broad set of technology and business skills from dedicated cross-functional teams employing the right set of tools” (Spitsberg et al, 2015).

Article 3

Title: Do Better-Connected CEOs Innovate More?

This article by Faleye et al. (2014), investigates the relationship between Organizations that have CEO’s who are technologically conversant vis a vis CEO’s who are technologically averse in regard to the level of innovations present in their Organizations. This article identifies two characteristics of technologically conversant CEO’s that sets them apart and enables them to be able to push their organization towards innovation. These characteristics are identified as the exposure of a CEO towards a range of information regarding technologies that is higher compared to their peers who are not technologically conversant, and also the ability to access relevant skills from a saturated market that help to mitigate the risks of investing on innovations.

This article documents the result findings of this study that involved 2,366 CEOs and 1500 firms who were surveyed on two aspects of; investment on research and development (R&D), and patent activity (Faleye et al., 2014). The findings of this research study as documented indicates that the amount of investment on the Organizations R&D department as well as the number of patents attributed to a Company is positively correlated with the level of connectivity of the Organizations CEOs in regard to technology. In fact, other studies have arrived to similar conclusions such as by Rana and Vohra, (2016) where the role of Organizational leader in regard to innovation is explored.

The study also explores other factors related to the level of technological access that a CEO has and finds that this too positively influences job security, popularity and potential for promotion. In addition, this article identify Organizational CEO to have a significant influence towards the technological investment that an Organization is likely to make. This study hypothesis as stated in the article, “suggesting that chief executive officer (CEO) connections facilitate investments in corporate innovation” is well documented through the research study described by Faleye et al. (2014).

Article 4

Title: The relationship between top management team innovation orientation and firm growth: the mediating role of firm innovativeness.

This article by Kraiczy and Hack (2015), investigates the relationship between Firms growth and the level of technological innovativeness that exists among its top management. The hypothesis that the authors Kraiczy and Hack (2015), explores in this study is whether the behavior and characteristics of top Organizations executive influences the growth of a Firm from a perspective of technological innovations. The data of this study was obtained through survey of Top Management Team (TMT), of small and medium-sized Firms based in Germany from 1000 firms that met the criteria of employees of at least 50 but not exceeding 500 (Kraiczy and Hack, 2015).

The article explores in details the theoretical framework and literature concepts that relates to management skills and behaviors in relation to Firms innovativeness. One of the theories that the study investigates is the Upper Echelon Theory which is described here as “an information processing theory which states that in situations where TMT members are faced with more information than they can process, they base their decisions on their experiences, preferences, and other biases” Kraiczy and Hack (2015); (Oppong, 2014). Thus, through this model the authors grounds their hypothesis on this theory and advance to investigate the validity of this premise in regard to their research study.

In addition, this study explores the innovative characteristics of TMT described that enables them to be drivers of innovation in their Firms. Thus, innovative in Firms is achieved by TMT through the following ways; increased level of innovation due to spurred innovation from TMT, increased level of innovative projects that eventually get funded and better perception of innovation due to lack of complicated organizational structures (Kraiczy and Hack, 2015)

Among the findings that this article documents is that Firms top management executives, especially of small and medium-size firms have great influence on its long-term survival and is greatly dependent on the technological assertiveness of the management (Kraiczy and Hack, 2015). Among the study hypothesis supported by the data of this include establishment of positive association between TMT innovation and the level of a firm’s growth and TMT innovation and Firm’s level of innovativeness. This study also investigates the extent that the Upper echelon theory applies in regard to the findings of this study. Indeed, the Upper Echelon Theory is well validated in this study since the CEOs abilities to rely on their skills and experience as the major driving force of innovation in organizations is well captured and demonstrated in this research study.

In conclusion the hypothesis of the study articulated in this article are found to be valid, and therefore the assertion that “top management teams and their behavior and characteristics are important factors that positively influence innovativeness and organizational outcomes” is found to be true as stated by Kraiczy and Hack (2015).

References

Berghel, H., 1999. The cost of having analog executives in a digital world. Communications of the ACM,[e-journal] 42(11). Available through Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost <http://web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=788b717f-2ab2-498e-bd6f-d4f0955c6ef1%40sessionmgr104&vid=0&hid=109 > [Accessed 16 May 2016].

Bharadwaj, A, El Sawy, O, Pavlou, P, & Venkatraman, N. 2013. Digital business strategy: toward a next generation of insights, MIS Quarterly, 37, 2, pp. 471-482, Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 17 May 2016.

Berghel, H. 1999. The Cost of Having Analog Executives in a Digital World’, Communications Of The ACM, 42, 11, pp. 11-15, Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 17 May 2016.

Faleye, O, Kovacs, T, & Venkateswaran, A 2014, ‘Do Better-Connected CEOs Innovate More?’, Journal Of Financial & Quantitative Analysis, 49, 5-6, pp. 1201-1225, Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 17 May 2016.

Kraiczy, N, Hack, A, & Kellermanns, F. 2015. The relationship between top management team innovation orientation and firm growth: the mediating role of firm innovativeness, International Journal Of Innovation Management, 19, 1, p. -1, Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 17 May 2016.

Mascia, D, Magnusson, M, & Björk, J. 2015. The Role of Social Networks in Organizing Ideation, Creativity and Innovation: An Introduction’,Creativity & Innovation Management, 24, 1, pp. 102-108, Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 17 May 2016.

Oppong, S. 2014. Upper echelons theory revisited: the need for a change from causal description to casual explanation, Management: Journal Of Contemporary Management Issues, 19, 2, pp. 169-183, Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 17 May 2016.

Rana, S, & Vohra, P. 2016. Business Transformation Strategies: The Strategic Leader as Innovation Manager’, South Asian Journal Of Management, 23, 1, pp. 210-213, Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 17 May 2016.

Smaje, K. & Wigley, C., 2014. Five habits for executives to become more digital. McKinsey & Company.

Spitsberg, I, Verti, M, Brahmandam, S, & Coulston, G., 2015. Capitalizing on Emerging Technologies, Research Technology Management, [e-journal] 58(4). Available through Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost, < http://web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?sid=0f1c7182-5ecc-4bd6-bb29-042520904e86%40sessionmgr107&vid=0&hid=109&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=buh&AN=103681644 > [Accessed 16 May 2016].