Global Workplace by the Year 2020


Department of Management Studies
Rajalakshmi Engineering College
Thandalam, Chennai-602105

Today, consumers want faster service and more intelligent world would be coming in future where great events and modifications would take place. The people will be demanding fastest service, increased stress, people want to access anything and everything at any time anywhere. There will be whole lot of brands in the market. People would have Identification cards, potentially more truthful and trusting society would be formed and avoid all fake activities.

People will be in search of Happiness and increasingly value the time, Health conscious and sustainability ahead of more money and materialism

The entry of Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) into the global market economy has doubled the size of the global workforce and dramatically changed its demographic profile; hence many younger workers would join the employment services. The level of wealth inequality in these countries has increased dramatically.

As BRIC firms move up the value chain they will require more highly skilled workers and will become global competitors for the West's best knowledge workers.  Their improving social infrastructure will add to their competitiveness.  Their huge foreign reserves will also enable them to acquire skills through corporate acquisition

* The US currently graduates around 137,000 engineers each year.  China graduates 351,000 and India 112,000 (from comparable curricula).

* Thousands of talented Chinese and Indians now go to overseas to study in Western universities leaving a shortage of skills at home and this (plus rapid economic growth) is driving up salaries.  So, China and India are starting to buy foreign companies to get access to the skills they need.

Survey shows that middle management salaries will rise by 16% in India and 9% in China during year.  Increasing salaries (and better job opportunities) are starting to entice Chinese and Indians back to jobs in their home countries



* Traditional hierarchy or decentralized divisional structure would found in the organizational structure
* Company is the focus  would be on the individual identity
* Company meets employees' needs from cradle to grave
* Employees own the firm and have right to elect the Board and management
* Open book accounting informs management elections
* Specialist "organizational designers" travel through firm brokering partnerships and fostering cross boundary communication
* Examples:  Asea Brown Boveri; GE; Johnson & Johnson

Virtual Country HR

* HR almost replaces social welfare, education systems and provides financial management and estate planning services, etc
* Corporate (strategic) HR would set  standards and monitors the corporate culture
   * It would also Help in Marketing and building  the corporate brand name and loyalty.

Total care of employees would be taken care of by the corporate undertakings and hence they would be  free to focus on performance

* Activities would be involved in local communities to reinforce the company culture and image
* Selection of candidates would emphasize  fitness  with corporate values
* Performance management focuses on results achieved the
"XYZ way" and on being a company ambassador in all areas of life
* Reward  would be via promotion, enhanced status, additional  rights, benefits - and pay
* Development  via corporate colleges  and universities in partnership with the world's best educational institutions
* Innovation would be  through internal R&D and improvement programs with heavy emphasis on protecting corporate intellectual property



* Autonomous teams of 1-10 people would run the organization
* Temporary task force  or project based assignments would be undertaken by the corporate world.
* Electronic network linked with high bandwidth would be the order of the day.
* Venture capital would identify  infrastructure the  promising teams and provides financing
* Independent organizations emerge for social networking, recreation, learning, reputation building and income leveling  , evolved from professional associations, unions, clubs, university alumni's, neighborhoods, families, churches.
* Examples:  Film industry; Prato Mills (Italy); Nike; Nokia PC Display Division

Small Company, Large Network HR

* Small companies would have Very specific  scope as far as the project organization is concerned (e.g. talent scouting/selection, pay, health & safety)
* Outsourcing of agents, brokers, specialist providers would be used to get the staff on contract basis. Staff organizations handle the HR for their talent as
part of their brand and competitive strategy.
* Individuals rely on professional associations, "guilds", and managers/agents. Mutual employment obligations spelled out in project contracts. Project Manager's reputation depends on his/her people skills and hence there is a reluctance to delegate to HR specialists
* Selection would be via networks, personal references, reputation. Performance management would be  via peer pressure and industry/ professional standards
* Rewards are contractual or entrepreneurial (equity based) Staff Development would be done  via  leading edge projects
* Wherein  a  Traditional Organisation , Formal authority , Rigid structure - power concentrated at "top"  , Leadership responsible for control, Focus on contracted performance outputs , Money, status hold people in the system , Scale gave  economic power , Success measured in financial terms, Threatened by complexity, change , Innovation is via brokers, deal makers, agents, sponsors

In Network Organisation, Experts would have good relationship, symbolic power would be used. Fluid structure - distributed power, Fuzzy boundaries Leadership strategy would be to promote order, linkages, emergent properties Members would be held by values synergy, higher order goals  would be formed. Success is resilience, impact, quality of relations and Nourished by complexity, change.

The Leadership Challenge

The vast majority of the leadership and management literature presumes large, hierarchical organisational structures.  Consequently, we know very little about how to lead and manage networks - and yet these are likely to proliferate in the future as large hierarchies consolidate, die out or are transformed


* Extreme individualization of work 
* Multiple expectations of work  (e.g. Gen X, Gen Y, Baby Boomers, Migrants)
* Global village with virtual teams 
* Inventiveness spreads into developing countries
* More than 60 percent of jobs will be unique to a company
* More collaboration, less alone time

Future Worker 2020

* Future successful companies will have a symbiotic relationship with the future individualized workers, as opposed to an authoritarian relationship.
* Companies that operate as if they own and control people will become obsolete.
* No company will build or sustain on a competitive advantage unless it capitalizes on the combined power of individualized workers and social dynamics.

Predictions of the Impact of Changes by 2015

High Probability

* Companies will have to completely revise their hiring and benefits practices.
* The average tenure at one job for skilled workers will be 18 months.
* Skilled workers will drive 80 percent of the technology acquisition decisions for their workplace.
* In highly developed countries, employees will see their managers face-to-face three times on average.
* A new breed of universities will perfect the concept of agile curriculum development.
* Seventy-five percent of corporate IT workers will be focused on supporting and enhancing cross-business processes.
* A new international legal definition of a business entity will include virtual employees, capital and a structure of accountability to replace a board of directors.

The drivers of increasing workforce diversity

* Several generations at work as workforce age span increases
* Increasing cultural and ethnic diversity as immigration fills , skill gaps; and knowledge workers chase global opportunities
* Attitudes of Gen Y and the retiring baby boomers they both want work that fits their chosen lifestyles; and because of skill shortages they have market power
* Companies must foster innovation to compete and innovation is nurtured by diversity of ideas, knowledge, professional networks, perceptual and learning styles, problem solving styles, etc
* But research highlights the critical moderating role of leadership, organizational culture and HR policies

The moderating role of leadership and culture

Diversity   X   Leadership   X Org. Culture   =   Performance

The leader must:

* Allocate diverse team members appropriately
* Educate the team about the important roles to be played by different skills, attitudes, knowledge, etc
* Develop processes for positively managing tensions

And organizational culture and HR policies must:

* Recruit, train and reward diversity
* Develop leaders who manage diversity constructively

And organizational culture and HR policies must:

* Recruit, train and reward diversity
* Develop leaders who manage diversity constructively

Conclusion: A Possible Network Future of work place would be  organisations produce or compete based on the  knowledge and services (not things).

* Most "organisations" are networks of teams and/or SMEs and encompass the entire community of stakeholders.
* People skills, innovation and knowledge management skills are taught at schools and universities (these are taken for granted in the workplace).
* People management systems become necessary (and invisible) . organisational infrastructure; e.g. learning, change/transition management and diversity management become "real work".
* Leaders nurture networks and foster emergent order throughout the system (this is created by bottom-up action).  Leader as ecologist vs. engineer or combat commander.

Work teams, informal self-help networks and formal professional associations take over much of the old HR role (e.g. in finding jobs; sharing knowledge; recognising success).

Department of Management Studies
Rajalakshmi Engineering College
Thandalam, Chennai-602105

Source: E-mail June 13, 2012


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