The New Flexible Organization:
How Changing Business Conditions have influenced the use of Enterprise Systems as a Management Tool Darrick Jones
In order to be successful firms must stay competitive, they must also be able to adapt to the challenging and constantly changing business environment. Firm external strategy and internal decision making has been influenced by rapidly changing business environments, which influences a firm’s structure, management techniques, internal and external communications, and competitiveness. In addition, the ability of a firm to gather, examine, and utilize information through technology, allows it to respond quicker and more effectively to changing external conditions and internal factors. The objective of this paper is to research and link theory to practical experience concerning the use and importance of enterprise systems (ES) as a management tool when a firm is faced with changing internal and external business conditions when a quick, efficient and effective response is called for. The scope of this paper will examine firm’s today, and discusses why firm’s should be more flexible, and embrace the concept that implementing an ES with its integration features, and use as a decision making management tool, can effectively defend against present and future challenging business conditions. The paper will briefly discuss the following business environmental factors affecting business today; global competition, information technology advances, differing customer focus, new management organizational forms, changes in the social, political and cultural environments, economic growth through innovation, the learning environment, and the need for alliances, these are also some of the contributing factors driving the implementation and integration of the ES and software such as SAP, CRM and BI tools. The content of this paper will be supported by peer reviewed journals, as well as other research initiated material. The use of external and internal information by a firm, and the evolving technology used has made business information more useful, efficient, effective, and employee friendly. According to Haag, Baltzan, and Phillips (2009), information technology allows an organization through its business operations to perform more effectively and efficiently while allowing employees to leverage their talents. The use of information, and information technology, such as ES, help aid in firm strategic planning and decision making, which has certainly evolved over the years. We know this because of the changing environmental conditions, and a firm’s ability to adapt to those changing environments in an attempt to remain competitive. Firm strategy and the techniques used to apply that strategy has advanced over the years, and perhaps we have not seen such an evolution in business since the industrial age as to what is occurring today. In the pre contemporary strategic management era, business existed as a one shoe fits all conceptual format with the emphasis on forming a bureaucratic stable firm, with a strategic emphasis on pounding the competition while acquiring all the resources available. In addition, firm’s developed hierarchal structural designs aimed at keeping top management as sole decision makers, while giving employee’s little chance of being a part of decision making or the decision-making process. One would be challenged to think of a time in the modern era that has seen the kind of environmental conditions and internal challenges faced by firms today. It is certainly up for debate as to when in American business history there has been a more difficult time to sustain business success. As one travels or tracks through history there have been many difficult times faced by business entities. For example, the period of the great depression, where certainly it must have been hard for...
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