The Organizational Environment: From Continuity to Dynamism
The environment in which a firm operates has always been considered one of the most important influences in the shaping of a firm’s organizational structure, whether by means of a strategy intentionally developed by management or by influences management had not foreseen. Moreover, in the same way that changes have occurred to businesses with regard to the automation technology that they use, substantial changes in the environment that influence organizations have occurred as well. This chapter discusses those changes. The works of great thinkers from the 1960s to the present are reviewed herein. Some of these thinkers are respected for their courage to present future trends, others for characterizing and summarizing quite well the past and the present situations concerning the world of organizations and society as a whole. The reader will note the great influence of Manuel Castells’ work on this chapter, not only for the innovative ideas he presents, but mainly for the synthesis, the theoretical and empirical bases, and the updated discussions.