This paper explains how the business world has changed
and evolved since the 1970s. Technology is the main component that has
influenced the change in the business world that we have today. It has
revolutionized the way businesses are now able to operate. With the change of
the business world, management style has also transformed. Companies are moving
away from a traditional, hierarchical management style into something that is
more collaborative. This paper examines the article, “Leadership in the Three
Speed Economy” by Steven Denning, which reiterates the shift of traditional
style management to what we have today.
Keywords: business, management, technology
40 Years Ago: How the Business World
and Management Style Has Changed
comparing the business world of the 1970s and now, the difference is the
technology and automation that is available today. Back then, companies did not
have many personal computers in the 1970s. A lot of the work was manual and
paper-based. For example, the mortgage business was conducted all through paper
files. Nowadays, there are many different types of software available to
conduct mortgage business electronically. Even most mortgage disclosures are
now electronically signed by customers.
the advances of technology, online commerce has been able to grow
exponentially. From there, it has transformed businesses globally. Even small
businesses can now operate internationally with the enhanced communication and
tools the Internet provides. Companies can create their own websites and reach
a far larger audience than traditional brick and mortar stores. With
globalization, companies can operate all over the world and obtain top talent
from anywhere. Companies are able to further specialize and become highly
skilled in what they do, or they can choose to expand into new ventures. With
enhanced connectivity of technology and globalization, businesses are also able
to obtain goods and services from other parts the world. Companies can easily
find complements and substitutes, which can provide significant cost savings.
Businesses can obtain a competitive edge with their knowledge and pricing.
For example, if someone wanted
financing for a home they wanted to purchase in the 70s, they would just walk
into a bank and speak with a personal banker. They would fill out a paper application
and the personal banker would manually process it. Now, mortgage companies and
banks are able to have their own websites to reach customers outside of their
traditional market. Customers can apply online on their website and be
preapproved for a mortgage instantly. Technology has been able to transform
many fields of business, including the mortgage financing industry.
the landscape of the business world constantly evolving, management style has
also followed suit. The management style back then can be described as
traditional. According to Steve Denning, the “practices of traditional
management—a goal of making money for the company (aka maximizing shareholder
value), managers acting as controllers of individuals, coordinating work
through the rules, plans and reports of bureaucracy, a preoccupation with
efficiency and cutting costs, and predominantly top-down communications” (Denning,
2013). He also states, “20th
Century management practices and the associated habits, attitudes, values, and
control-based ideology, in which leaders and managers decide and workers
execute, the Traditional Economy lacks the capability to cope with the dynamic
of today’s rapidly shifting and more demanding marketplace” (Denning, 2013).
The traditional management style is solely focused on increasing shareholder
value which can compromise the employees’ wellbeing in the process. Businesses
who are still using the traditional management style will be left behind with
all the new technology and advances within the business world.
are in a revolutionary period which “involves a fundamental shift in how
leaders think, speak and act in the workplace” (Dennings, 2013). The article
goes on to state that we will be moving towards a management style that will
encourage employees to work together as teams and managers will inspire
employees to work together on common goals rather than a manager telling you
what to do.
the 70s to now, the one thing that has not changed is the need for managers in
the business world. As much as we revolutionize and change our management
styles, a manager will always be needed. A manager is responsible for what their
staff does or does not do and ensures they have the proper tools, knowledge,
training, and skills to do their job. Managers are important to success of the
business because they are there to help implement plans to reach company goals.