Question 1 (a) In their essay “The new competitive landscape” Bettis and Hitt examines how technological changes alters nature of competition and strategy for firms and moving it towards a “new competitive landscape”, by firstly highlighting major technological trends driving the change and analysing the implications of these changes for strategic management research and practice. They examine 4 technological trends that are most salient in driving the change.
They suggest that the trend of (1) increasing rate of technological change and diffusion, phenomena of (2) positive feedback in industries with high knowledge content, the increasing (3) knowledge intensity in industries and availably of technology to the masses which lead to the (4) information age are the 4 technological trends most salient. Bettis and Hitt also suggested that these trends are interrelated with one another and there is no particular precise chain of causality as it is a complex social phenomena. Finally, they analysed on the implications of these technological trends for strategic management research and practice.
They highlighted 4 topics, which is the (1)increase in risk and uncertainty and decrease in forecastability, how technology also makes the (2)industries more ambiguous, the need for new (3)managerial mindset to stay current and the new (4)organisation and disorganisation phenomena. They stated that the new competitive landscape offers a highly turbulent and chaotic environment for firms in which they need to employ new strategies to cope and concluded that more research needed to be done to fully understand the new competitive landscape and how firms can cope.
No of words: 250 (b) Technology causes firms to exist in unpredictable and chaotic environments with high degree of uncertainty in the markets, hence companies should strategically respond to it (Bettis & Hitt, 1995). Grubler (1998) mentioned 4 major trends brought about by technological development. Grubler (1998), states that technology brings forth increase in scale, output and productivity, hence it is imperative that we leverage and incorporate technology to our advantage.
We need to be flexible and respond quickly to changes brought about by technology. Incorporating technology increases productivity and we can make better products (better output) using lesser inputs (lesser production time and lesser energy) which reduce costs and therefore stimulate demand (Grubler, 1998). This will make our company grow. An article in College of Agricultural Sciences (2012) states farms leveraged technology to increased profits. Secondly, Grubler (1998) mentioned that another trend observed is increasing division of labour.
We cannot lag behind competitors and let them monopolise skilled workers. We need to explore technological learning and R&D to remain competitive and therefore we need to attract skilled workers. Knowledge is considered important as capital and labour (Bettis & Hitt, 1995). Technological learning increases productivity and lower unit costs of production as more experience is gained; positive feedback (Grubler, 1998). Investing more in R&D will increase innovation and returns and technologies improve faster and uncertainties diminish (Grubler, 1998).
Newer technologies also meant that there will be an increased in complexity, so we need skilled workers to work in these areas as with increased complexity meant more percentage of failures. The last trend is increasing interdependence and interrelatedness in technology. As technologies are dependent on other technologies for both production and use and also there is a need to acquire capabilities in related fields (Santangelo, 1999), we should look into the possibilities of alliance between companies where we can pool our resources together to create newer and better technologies to remain competitive on the global stage.
In conclusion, we need to redefine our strategies that allow leveraging of technology to increase productivity, attract skilled workers and focus on technological learning and R&D and forge alliances to pool resources. No of Words: 352 Question 2 (a) Mary Brown in her essay “Technology Diffusion and the Knowledge Barrier: The Dilemma of Stakeholder Participation” examines stakeholder involvement, how it undergirds e-government technology diffusion and also examines barriers that serve as obstacles to active involvement, by methodology of telephone surveys to state level Chief Information Officers(CIO).
She stated that e-government services will increase a significant amount and that failure rates for system development projects are high. Reports suggest that investments in IT accounts for 40% of all capital investments in the United States by 2004. Gartner Group (2000) predicts failure rates of 50% or more for e-government. She included a literature review on technology diffusion, where she references from other studies and highlights different theories that explain technology diffusion.
She stated that stakeholder’s involvement affects technology diffusion by yielding influence over the government willingness and ability to successfully innovate which is critical in success of e-government and understanding stakeholder’s participation in technology diffusion will help in curtailing the high failure rate. She utilises 3 major research questions for her study and her research finds that many IT projects encounter difficulties.
Barriers that serve as obstacles to stakeholder participation were confirmed with risk aversion posing the biggest challenge in delivering e-government initiatives on budget and on schedule. She concluded that more in-depth studies needs to be carried out to answer questions arises from the study, to fully understand stakeholder’s involvement in technology diffusion and this is important if public administrators hope to mitigate the high failure rate and achieve benefits that e-government can provide.
No of Words: 254 (b) Brown (2003), states that involvement of stakeholders plays a major role in technology diffusion and success. Rogers (1995) identifies 5 perceived attributes of innovation that accounts for 49% to 87% of variance in rate of adoption in which we will analyse the 3 most salient and relevant in our context of e-government innovations. The first perceived attribute is relative advantage; this means that people adopt innovations if they believe it benefits them (Rogers, 1995).
Hence, the policy recommendation is that new e-government innovations has to improve on the current services whether economically or making it more efficient. One example would be the introduction of e-filing taxes online, it saves time and money and thus stakeholders are willing to adopt the technology as it benefits them. Secondly, Rogers (1995) mentioned that compatibility also affects adoption, so new e-government services needs to be compatible within Singapore context. An example of a recommendation is that all new e-government services should increase efficiency.
As majority of Singaporeans are working, and 1 out of 5 Singaporeans clocking 11 hours or more (Yahoo! News, 2011) therefore having e-government innovations that increases efficiency will see people’s needs met so they will tend to adopt faster. Also, Rogers (1995), identifies complexity as another attribute. Stakeholders will not tend to adopt e-government innovations if the system is too difficult to navigate. As such, my recommendations are, when introducing new e-government innovations, design it to be user friendly and have it integrated and linked with existing systems for easier navigation.
If required, free trainings should be provided for those who need it. This way, with free trainings and easier navigation more stakeholders are willing to adopt the new innovation. In conclusion, stakeholder’s participation plays a major factor in e-government success. New e-government innovations must possess relative advantage over practices it supersedes, ensure that it is compatible within Singapore context and design the system to be user friendly and provide free trainings for those who need it.
This will ensure that new e-government innovations will be adopted rapidly with greater stakeholder participation.