By Jolanta Tkaczyk
The turn of the 20th and the 21st centuries marks the onset of social changes, referred to as the emergence of an information society, founded on the basis of contemporary information and communication technologies and its impact on the modern social and economic way of living. At present, the statement may seem to be hardly revealing, but it is still – paradoxically – true and valid. The reason for the constant emphasis on the impact of the aforesaid technologies found in both popular and scientific literature appears to be their still unexplored potential and the growing influence thereof on the global social and economic space.
Many phenomena talked of well over ten years ago (such as e-market, e-commerce, e-customers) can still be regarded as novel, mainly because of their increasing importance and the changes they induce – not only in the context of corporate operations and marketing management but also with respect to the concept of business operations and the ways of creating value. A paradigm of the network, partnership-based cooperation between various entities, or sharing resources is slowly becoming a foundation for a discussion about the ways to manage an enterprise and how enterprises can create value. The issue, however, takes on a slightly different meaning than it did only a few years ago.
The economic situation of today is determined largely by the growing significance of the virtual environment, built upon technology and fed with information, which changes the way enterprises operate and are managed. Businesses find it increasingly harder to define their own borders – structures and hierarchies become blurred, followed by the appearance of temporary ‘creations’ related not to particular enterprises but to certain projects to be undertaken. More and more activities are pursued outside the material sphere of our world, characterized by im- permanence and elusiveness. What’s more, the roles and functions performed by market entities are changing as well. Value is now created in a non-material environment, which is elusive and hardly definable be- cause it is expressed through relationships, knowledge, bonds, and cooperation. Both theoreticians and practitioners are looking for solutions that would make it possible to sketch the directions of organizational development in today’s age, dominated by information and modern technology.