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Download the attached word document (Discussion Chapters 10-11.doc)...
Download the attached word document (Discussion Chapters 10-11.doc) and read "New Millennium Thought: Perspectives and Trends".
You are part of the top management team of a large multi-national organization and you are an expert in the diffusion of innovations perspective. You are expected to be the discussion leader as your organization considers adopting a strategic plan for the next ten years. How will you plan to address the issues raised in this case study? What concepts from chapter 10 and chapter 11 may be particularly important to integrate into your organization as you look toward the future?
New Millennium Thought: Perspectives and Trends
Perspectives on the New Millennium
As the new millennium continues to unfold and we look toward the future there
are very different trajectories that organizations may follow. One critical factor appears to
be the continued availability of cheap energy. Large-scale production requires significant
amounts of cheap energy and many scientists believe that the era of cheap energy, in the
form of oil, may soon be ending. Another important factor is that the basis of the world
economic system is predicated on continued growth of population and consumption.
Many environmental scientists, however, argue that our finite planet has only so many re-
sources. Some argue that we have already passed the point of maximum population,
while others argue that point looms on the horizon.
What implications do these observations have for the new millennium? The end
of cheap energy and population growth will significantly impact the type of world in
which we live. As you will see in the sections to follow the most significant changes will
be smaller and more local forms of organizing. Large corporations will no longer exist in
this environment. People will be organized in smaller communities that may need to be
self-sufficient in energy and agricultural production. Consumer products will be produced
in cottage businesses.
Are these changes inevitable? If so, when will they occur? These questions are
difficult to answer and complete answers are beyond the scope of the present case. Some
of the sources cited below provide our readers with a starting place to find out what the
scientific community is saying about these issues.
Traditional Perspectives and the New Millennium
The traditional perspective of organizing is still being played out in the global market-
place. Large corporations continue to compete with one another for market share by pro-
ducing products in mass quantities at ever-higher levels of efficiency. Sadly, efficiency
often requires cheap labor where workers are not paid a living wage whether at Wal-Mart
in the U.S. or in a manufacturing company in China.
The continuation of the traditional model, however, requires the availability of
huge amounts of cheap energy to fuel large-scale production processes. And the era of
cheap energy appears to be coming to a rapid end. Crude oil prices are at $78.00 per bar-
rel as of the fall of 2010 (Bloomberg, 2010) and most experts believe that prices will only
continue to increase. Why is crude oil so expensive? The answer is complex. Part of the
problem is the instability in the Middle East, the major oil-producing region in the world.
So, security costs now have to be factored into oil production and delivery. The two Gulf
Wars have also damaged many oil fields in Iraq (a major producer) to the point that ex-
traction costs now exceed the oil yield from those fields. These damages may have elimi-
nated access to billions of barrels of oil, a significant loss to the world market (Orlov,
Most troublesome is the belief held by many scientists that we have reached or
soon will reach the state of peak oil production. Peak oil is that point at which the produc-
tion of oil will start a continual decline. Another way of looking at it is that when we