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Design and Determination: the global role of information systems 1 Steve Little, Centre for Innovation Knowledge and Enterprise, Open University Business.

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Presentation on theme: "Design and Determination: the global role of information systems 1 Steve Little, Centre for Innovation Knowledge and Enterprise, Open University Business."— Presentation transcript:

1 Design and Determination: the global role of information systems 1 Steve Little, Centre for Innovation Knowledge and Enterprise, Open University Business School and Centre for Innovation, Knowledge and Development www.stephenelittle.com www.design-and-determination.com www.open.ac.uk/ikd

2 Design and Determination: the global role of information systems 2 n Drivers of Globalisation n Global Knowledge n Global Communities of Practice n Inclusion/Exclusion n New Paradigms Storytelling Metagovernance

3 Design and Determination: the global role of information systems 3 Technology Drivers n Toward the end of the second millennium of the Christian Era, several events of historical significance have transformed the social landscape of human life. A technological revolution, centred around information technologies, is reshaping the material basis of society. Economies throughout the world have become globally interdependent, introducing a new form of relationship between economy, state and society, in a system of variable geometry. n Castells, 1996, p.1

4 Design and Determination: the global role of information systems 4 Economic Drivers n The notion that something fundamental is happening, or indeed has happened, in the world economy is now generally accepted. As we look around us all we seem to see is the confusion of change, the acceleration of uncertainty, feelings currently intensified by our proximity to the new millennium with all its promises – and threats – of epochal change. n Dicken, 1998, p.1

5 Design and Determination: the global role of information systems 5 Business Drivers n The firm is an institution that has evolved to make the most efficient and effective use of the factors of production – traditionally labour, money and materials. These factors of production are being transformed by the increasing importance of knowledge in economic activity. As the factors of production change, so too must the nature of the firm. n Burton Jones, 1999, p.57

6 Design and Determination: the global role of information systems 6 Information and Knowledge: Growing Awareness n nEconomists have, of course, always recognised the dominant role that increasingly knowledge plays in economic processes but have, for the most part, found the whole subject of knowledge too slippery to handle. Edith Penrose, Theory of the Firm (1959) n Knowledge, during the last few decades, has become the central capital, the cost centre and the crucial resource of the economy Peter Drucker The Age of Discontinuity (1969) n Knowledge is the axial principle of post-industrial society Daniel Bell, The Coming of Post-Industrial Society (1973)

7 Design and Determination: the global role of information systems 7 Putting Technology in its Place? Knowledge management is 70 per cent people, 20 per cent process and 10 per cent technology. Marc Baker, Knowledge Management Programme, Royal Mail, 1998

8 Design and Determination: the global role of information systems 8 Knowledge Loss within a global system n Organisational learning is needed to move beyond the technical effects of direct substitution of information technology for manual processes (Sproull and Kiesler; 1991). n The transformative gains of the "informated organisation" (Zuboff; 1988), will come about in the globalised arena only through an understanding of the meaning of cultural interoperability at both pre-competitive and competitive stages of development (Kaye & Little; 1996).

9 Design and Determination: the global role of information systems 9 Social learning n Short term technical learning measurable objectives of efficiency n Longer term social learning possible redefinition of organisational objectives Sproull and Kiesler (1991) n Capturing Social learning The Road Warrior phenomenon –Early adopters may be ahead of the technology providers

10 Design and Determination: the global role of information systems 10 Perils of Prediction n Every major US city will have a telephone 1880s business journalist quoted by Marvin (1988) When Old Technologies were New n Internet and its impact predicted, but confined within (US) national boundaries John Brunner Shockwave Rider 1975

11 Design and Determination: the global role of information systems 11 Global Production/Global Consumption n Waves of capitalist development operating on a world-wide scale (David & Wheelwright, 1989). C19-C20 U.K.>U.S.A.>Japan/East Asia n Three dominant super-regions, NE Asia, North America and Western Europe, the 'triad' described by Ohmae (1990) n The rapid cross-diffusion of innovations within an emerging globalised economy dependent on the widespread use of information and communication technologies.

12 Design and Determination: the global role of information systems 12 Re-alignments in a Global System n Post-Cold War Era, growing global economic integration disparate national and regional cultures increasingly interacting within networked and globalised organisations. facilitation through information & communication technologies n In the post-cold war era difference and diversity are resources (Delamaide; 1994, Ohmae; 1995).

13 Design and Determination: the global role of information systems 13 Leads and Lags n Productivity Paradox Weak relationship between ITC investment and performance measures Remedy - User Centred Design Landauer (1995) n Institutional Lag Systems of corporate and social governance New forms of organisation E-governance response

14 Design and Determination: the global role of information systems 14 New Institutions New Relationships n World Trade Organisation n New Rules - New Responses U.S.A. E.U. India China

15 Design and Determination: the global role of information systems 15 Globalizing Response n Zebra strategies (Ohmae; 1995) play to the relative strength of the most developed components of national economies create regional synergies. Taiwan Straits Malaysia-Singapore n Differential development entrenched global infrastructure driven by the priorities of the dominant developed economies. key supporting technologies, in particular ICT infrastructure, may be optimised for externally- driven activities.

16 Design and Determination: the global role of information systems 16 Chains into Networks n Global Production Chains replaced by Global Production Networks linkages among members of the Triad account for the majority of global trade (Dicken, 1998) –production AND consumption at both ends –substantial areas and populations are excluded from the global cycle of technical innovation and improvement n Network Organisations flexible coalitions –within and between existing corporations (Castells, 1996) –between independent partners (Inoue, 1998)

17 Design and Determination: the global role of information systems 17 Impact on Knowledge Needs of Organisations n Increasingly dynamic & competitive environments n Technological convergence Reduction in cost, capacity and increased connectivity of IT n Emphasis on competencies rather the industry structure Growth in alliances and partnerships Larger players can mimic the agility of smaller firms and invade niche markets

18 Design and Determination: the global role of information systems 18 Information Systems to Knowledge Systems n 1990s Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) Downsizing - rightsizing staff displacement becomes main measure individuals rightsized out of organisations took with them key knowledge. n 1980s AI-Knowledge-based Systems Hype Rule-based systems deal with explicit or codifiable knowledge Neural nets or inductive systems face problems of transparency

19 Design and Determination: the global role of information systems 19 Textures of Globalisation n Differences between centre and periphery, between large and small scale economic activity central to an understanding of the impact of globalisation and its supporting technologies. n Differences within individual national states as significant that those between developed and developing states. n Excluded regions difficulty maintaining modest economic objectives. excluded from policy making processes no influence over the emerging global information system reducing ability to negotiate sustainable exploitation of their own resources

20 Design and Determination: the global role of information systems 20 Life Space & Knowledge Space n Brazilianisation of the West Beck (2000) changes in the nature of employment reflecting prevailing neo-liberal economic policies discontinuous, flexible working n Cost Spiral temptation to compete on labour cost and flexibility at the expense of depth of skills and communities of practice threatens cultures supportive of knowledge management

21 Design and Determination: the global role of information systems 21 Response of Established Players n Shifting Focus to Higher Value Activities distinction between products & services is eroding ICL from IT manufacture to IT services Unilever disposal of specialist chemicals and concentration on Consumer Packaged Goods, reducing from 1600 to 400 high value brands ICI taking Unilever specialist chemicals and disposing of bulk chemicals n UK and EU programmes promoting alliances with Asian partners

22 Design and Determination: the global role of information systems 22 Re- positioning Knowledge n Asian companies establishing R&D facilities in markets eg Korean & Malaysian automotive companies in UK Indian pharmaceuticals in UK and USA Cross investment between India and Korea n Gains knowledge of local market characteristics development of regionally targeted products –Nissan Primera access to intellectual capital base –enhancement of home based operations

23 Design and Determination: the global role of information systems 23 Brain Drain to Brain Circulation n Government programmes to encourage return of skilled workers from overseas China India n Cultural barriers Treatment of long term overseas residents Korea versus Japan


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