Software platforms are the invisible engines that have created, touched, or transformed nearly every major industry for the past quarter century. They power everything from mobile phones and automobile navigation systems to search engines and web portals. They have been the source of enormous value to consumers and helped some entrepreneurs build great fortunes. And they are likely to drive change that will dwarf the business and technology revolution we have seen to this point.
What happens when fire strikes the manufacturing plant of the sole supplier for the brake pressure valve used in every Toyota? When a hurricane shuts down production at a Unilever plant? When Dell and Apple chip manufacturers in Taiwan take weeks to recover from an earthquake? When the U.S. Pacific ports are shut down during the Christmas rush? When terrorists strike?
Many American families have not prospered in the new "knowledge economy." The layoffs, restructurings, and wage and benefit cuts that have followed the short-lived boom of the 1990s threaten our deeply held values of justice, fairness, family, and work. These values—and not those superficial ones political pollsters ask about—are the foundation of the American dream of good jobs, fair pay, and opportunities for all.
Since the late 1990s, technology markets have declined dramatically. Responding to the changing business climate, companies use strategies of open innovation: acquiring technologies from outside, marketing their technologies to other companies, and outsourcing manufacturing. But open innovation is not enough; it is mainly a way to run a business to its endgame. By itself, open innovation results in razor-thin profits from products that compete as commodities. Businesses also need a path to renewal. No one ever achieved a breakthrough with open innovation.
As the auto industry moves into its second century, it suffers from low margins and a sclerotic value chain that cannot evolve with customer desires. Inventories of many weeks pile up on dealer lots and at distribution centers around the world while executives applaud marginal improvements in factory efficiency.
Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915) was the first efficiency expert, the original time-and-motion man—the father of scientific management, the inventor of a system that became known, inevitably enough, as Taylorism. "In the past the man has been first. In the future the System will be first," he predicted boldly, and accurately. Taylor bequeathed to us, writes Robert Kanigel in this definitive biography, a clockwork world of tasks timed to the hundredth of a minute. Taylor helped instill in us the obsession with time, order, productivity, and efficiency that marks our age.
The Business of Global Environmental Governance takes a political economy approach to understanding the role of business in global environmental politics. The book's contributors—from a range of disciplines including international political economy, management, and political science—view the evolution of international environmental governance as a dynamic interplay of economic structures, business strategies, and political processes.
By 2002, all but a handful of countries were connected to the Internet. The intertwining of the Internet and the globalization of finance, corporate governance, and trade raises questions about national models of technology development and property rights. The sudden ability of hundreds of millions of users to gain access to a global communication infrastructure spurred the creation of new firms and economic opportunities.
This book offers a comprehensive introduction to workflow management, the management of business processes with information technology. By defining, analyzing, and redesigning an organization's resources and operations, workflow management systems ensure that the right information reaches the right person or computer application at the right time. The book provides a basic overview of workflow terminology and organization, as well as detailed coverage of workflow modeling with Petri nets.
The past two decades have seen a gradual but noticeable change in the economic organization of innovative activity. Most firms used to integrate research and development with activities such as production, marketing, and distribution. Today firms are forming joint ventures, research and development alliances, licensing deals, and a variety of other outsourcing arrangements with universities, technology-based start-ups, and other established firms.