Changes in Environment

Knowledge Management

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Changes in Environment

Changes in the Global Economy

Since the 1970s, the waves of change rolling over business have altered the basis for competition in many industries, and have transformed the role of local enterprises in the global economy. Everywhere, businesses are now moving into the global arena to keep up with the competition, to keep abreast of new trends in technology, and to create and take advantage of developing business opportunities. [Daniels, 1994] The driving forces for these changes emanate from a broader set of structural shifts in the world economy. Naisbitt [1996] predicts eight major shifts that would be the driving forces for an Asian renaissance. These are shifts from:
 nation-states to networks as the source of economic power
 traditions to options as the basis for individual behaviour
 export-led to consumer driven economies, fuelled by an emerging middle class with new expectations
 government-controlled to market-driven economies, based on a new model of economic co-operation and co-ordination in the region
 farms to supercities as the locus of new career opportunities
 labour-intensive to high-technology as the basis for job creation
 male dominance to the emergence of women as voters, workers, and consumers “in all aspects of Asian life in unprecedented ways”
 West to East as the axis of the global economy
While these eight trends will bring prosperity to Asia, they also expose peripheral regions located far from the “supercities” to the threat of economic marginalization. This pattern, combined with the falling real value of commodity raw materials, is a distinct threat to the Sabah economy. This is especially so where knowledge has become the underlying driving force of economic competitiveness. As Drucker [1995:236] argues: “the performance of an individual, an organization, an industry, a country, in acquiring and applying knowledge will increasingly become the key competitive factor — for career and earnings opportunities of the individuals; for the performance, perhaps even the survival, of the individual organization; for an industry; and for a country.”

Changes in Technology and its Use

The threats of rapid changes in an information age can be leveraged, to a certain extent, by the strategic deployment of information technology. However, technology itself is in a state of flux, adapting itself to the needs and requirements of the knowledge economy.