Technological Advancements Both manufacturing and service organizations are increasingly using technology as a means to improveproductivity and market competitiveness. Manufacturing companies, for instance, have automated their operations with robotics, computerizednumerical control (CNC), which is used for metal cutting operations, and computer-aided design (CAD). CAD is a computerized process ofdrafting and designing engineering drawings of products. Companies also are using computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM). This highlytechnical process attempts to integrate product design with product planning, control, and operations. In contrast to these manufacturingtechnologies, the service sector of the US economy is using a host of computerized technologies to obtain, store, analyze, retrieve, andcommunicate information.
Development and use of information technologies is probably one of the biggest forces for change. Organizations, large and small, for profitand not for profit, all must adapt to using a host of information technologies. Experts also predict that Ebusiness will continue to createevolutionary change in organizations around the world.
Market Changes The emergence of a global economy is forcing companies to change the way they do business. For example, manyJapanese companies are having to discontinue their jobs-for-life philosophy because of increased international competition, and Chinesecompanies increasingly are adopting an international mind-set. Ping An Insurance Company is a good example of a Chinese company that hasexperienced tremendous growth by internationalizing its operations (see the International OB on page 675). US companies are also forging newpartnerships and alliances with their suppliers and potential competitors. For example, AOL has created alliances with drkoop.com, GTE, USWest, Sun, and Nintendo, while Oracle has between 15,000 and 16,000 business alliances.
Social and Political Pressures These forces are created by social and political events. For example, the collapse of Enron has createdincreased focus on the process by which organizations conduct financial reporting. The tobacco companies also are experiencing a lot ofpressure to alter...