TRENDS IN THE CONTEXT OF ORGANIZATION DEVELOPMENT
The field of OD is evolving, but so too is the context within which OD is applied. As summarized in figure 25-2. Several interrelated trends are affecting the context within which OD will be applied in the near future. They concern various aspects of the economy, the workforce, technology, and organizations. In some cases, the trends will directly affert OD practice. Technology trends, such as Internet portals, voice over the internet, and wireless network, will no doubt influence how OD practitioners communicate with organization members, facilitate teams, and manage change. Other trends, such as the increasing concentration of wealth, represent important contextual forces that will indirectly affect OD through their interactions with other trends.
Researchers and futurist have described a variety of economic scenarios, and there is subtantial agreement that the world’s economy is in the midst of a transition from the industrial age that characterized much of the twentieth century. Although these scenarios ditier in their particulars, they all fit under the rubric of globalization, and many of the same trends are identified as drivers, including technology, workforce, and organization, which will be discussed separately. The fall of the Berlin Wall, the and of apartheid, the breakup of the former Soviet Union, the creation of the European Union, terrorist attacks in many different countries, and the emergence of the chinese and indian economies are key events in the transition to a global economy. Organizations from arround the world are increasingly able to shift their manufacturing from high-to low- labor- cost countries. Execute international mergers and acquisitions, and build worldwide services businesses. The emergence of global economy is well under way, but the promise and rationalization of that process is far from complete. The initial steps toward globalization have fueled real price...
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