With the advent of ecommerce and the growth of 'open' systems communications networks, managers in industry have been confronted by the assaults of technology, an evolving employee profile, and changing sets of leadership and motivational challenges. Corporate management architectures, so firmly built for the age of globalization, are today's ruins of the global village. The virtually-extended enterprise can no longer be managed with the tools of a lost era. A new management model is evolving that supports existing and future knowledge platforms and reengineers rather than retards knowledge creation and systems.
This chapter examines a Cybercentristic management model based upon a series of dynamics taken from past research, including collaborative workplace technologies, knowledge leadership methodologies, and knowledge sharer and knowledge sharing networks. These are contrasted against Geocentric values. The results of this discussion are keyed into a Cybercentric teleology, constructed to form the basis for future research into the knowledge management model heir-apparent for the cyber century.
Keywords: management model, virtual enterprise, open systems, software, manufacturing systems, networking, knowledge worker, Internet
The author examines the evolution of knowledge management dynamics, focusing on the traits of the new knowledge worker. The paper sets precedents for the creation of teleological guideline focused on leadership, workplace collaboration, and knowledge sharing. These factors are set amid profound change in industry management modeling. As corporate fortunes turn for the better or for worse, the question is posed: “What combination of organizational change and new technology is required for a breakthrough in knowledge management?” (Earl & Feeny, 2000). In answering this primary research question, the author attempts to capture marketing strategies and management models within the knowledge management environment.
Today's virtual enterprise has evolved from Geocentrism (Pearlmutter, 1969), and the ruins of the global village ravaged by a burgeoning ecommerce economy with its workstations, server-centric systems integration, and corporate Internet/intranet open architecture networking strategies. The traditional, hierarchical management models (See Green, Tull & Albaum, 1988), still currently operating in today's virtual enterprise, are self-destructing amid flattened management styles, downsizing, employee distrust, separatism, and a lack of company ethos. Lifetime employment is replaced by contracts and consultantcies, creating problems within the working matrix of a more youthful and diversified knowledge worker. The discussion centers around a determination of what may be going wrong with this new systems integration, and what new management mindsets and leadership initiatives can be brought to bear as enterprises attempt to extend themselves into the virtual arena. Enterprises are transcending from 'place', or terrestrially-grounded orientation, to a 'space', or virtually-extended orientation.
A technological discussion includes networking strategies relative to open knowledge systems interconnectivity, spanning the enterprise from the front office to the factory floor. New market entrants, as well as the virtually-extended enterprise, may require a revised set of leadership criteria and employee initiatives. A rationale is presented toward the construction of a teleology of trans-enterprise innovation dynamics along a wide if not complete spectrum of knowledge management and knowledge creation criteria. The teleology identifies definitive requirements and initiatives for successful knowledge management, within the Cybercentric model, and contributes to future assessments of change.
In the virtual enterprise working environment, the approach to understanding knowledge workers, how they are managed, and in what context of management model is varied, misunderstood, and consequentially, often mismanaged. What is at risk is the business organization’s ability to change and adapt. Social changes are as dramatic as technological and economic processes of transformation (Castells, 1996). In the new era of work, it isn't 'workplace', it's 'workspace'. The modern knowledge worker may be technology-intelligent but a non-conformist, membership-dependent (Suzuki, 1990) and difficult to manage. The strategic premises of global-versus-micro marketing or standardization-versus-localization (DeMooij, 1994) have reached a certain redundancy in light of the virtual Internet (Levy, 1997). The global village is in shambles. The burgeoning foundations of ecommercialism have risen in its place. Global organizational management hierarchies have crumbled into flat, lean, and efficient entities. Knowledge management and knowledge creation in the virtually-extended enterprise (VEE) are taking place in ethnic fiefdoms and centralized power nodes, with traditional working groups evolving into virtual communities (Tapscott, 1996). "Ethnic identity has been at the roots of meaning since the dawn of humanity. Identity is becoming the main, and sometimes the only, source of meaning in an historical period characterized by widespread restructuring of organizations, delegitimation of institutions, fading away of major social movements, and ephemeral cultural expressions" (Castells, 1996). People in the virtual workspace often organize themselves around a bipolar opposition between the 'Net and the Self' (p.3). But, while ecommerce sets the pace, much of the value of traditional hierarchical business structures that used to engender employee loyalty, group merit, and achiever working models (Keegan, 1989)) have vanished.
The mechanisms for leveraging knowledge management and knowledge creation, sometimes called 'knowledging' (Savage, 1996), within the organization, are best understood when one perceives the historical evolution of management dynamics within the modern, upwardly spiraling business spectra. A quick corporate culture audit of most companies would reveal that, not only does management not know in which distinctive management orientation it operates, but, they also do not understand what might be necessary to move the firm onto a more favorable and progressive virtual path (Kiamy, 1993, Wang, 1994).
This discussion examines the birth of virtual enterprise knowledge management principles within a new management model dependant upon the verities of a rapidly changing knowledge worker. This discussion is an attempt to examine new requirements of knowledge workers against old model concepts. Whereas segmentation is a 'descendant' process, where a population is split up into groups, a typology is an 'ascendant process'. A typology starts with individuals, and brings them together into larger and larger groups (Witt & Moutinho, 1989). This discussion establishes a relational base in research conducted by a recent paper that utilizes the typological spirit of this approach. A typology, however, connotes classifications of exhibited patterns (Brownlie, 1985) in a subject which may be still too young for research of this depth. The comparative framework used in this discussion is a Teleology (Sarantakos, 1993) which identifies common-to-specific relationships explained in general terms with future focus. Teleology is the study of ends, purposes, and goals (telos means "end" or "purpose"). In cultures which have an teleological world view, the ends of things are seen as providing the meaning for all that has happened or that occurs (Hooker,1996).
This chapter offers a teleological discussion, the requirements of which are based on past research by the Davenport, DeLong & Beers (1998) paper in the Sloan Management Review entitled Successful Knowledge Management Projects. In this study, the authors establish a 'typology' examining the differences and similarities of projects. The data was obtained from twenty-four knowledge management projects. The study identified factors characterizing a successful knowledge management project. These included the following: to improve knowledge access; enhance the knowledge environment; manage knowledge as an asset; create knowledge repositories; assess the technical and organizational infrastructure; link to economic performance or industry value, create a knowledge-friendly culture and motivational practices; have a clear purpose and language; create channels for knowledge transfer; and senior management support.
Using this study as a relational data base, a Cybercentristic teleology is the outcome of this discussion, paralleling, from these ten successful project factors, four major supporting dynamics: the knowledge sharer and the knowledge sharing network; collaborative knowledge leadership methodologies; collaborative workplace technologies, and; transcending the Cybercentric virtual-based platform.
CYBERCENTRISM: THE KNOWLEDGE-BASED, VIRTUAL STEP BEYOND GLOBAL VILLAGE DOCTRINE
The knowledge culture impact of a Global-turned Universal Digital Economy, today, is revolutionizing the enterprise, influencing a corporation’s operations, working efficiency, and its people. “Workers are becoming smarter, more critical in their thinking, and more connected to the organization," writes Hinrichs (1997). A vast, network of supercomputers, linked by broad bandwidth fiberoptic cable to universities, teaching hospitals, scientific research centers as well as interfacing a ‘universal’ business environment is being built. Such a universal, knowledge-based architecture means a company can provide services and sell products in cyberspace to anyone, anywhere, at any time 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in five major languages without leaving the office and without opening a branch office. “No matter how large or small the company or organization, the global barriers that have traditionally limited multinational transactions no longer apply” (Martin, 1996).
These systems will be both private and public in function. The Internet, a vast clearinghouse for individual, cyber community and business communications, is designed for public consumption to accommodate advertising and marketing. Hinrichs (1997) explains that the Intranet is created to strengthen the intelligence and capability of a private workforce, developing, disseminating and supporting products and services and is designed to focus on employees and improving their workflow. Managing these processes have taken on what the author calls a cybercentristic management orientation in a given knowledge environment. Cybercentrism (Gordon, 2000) is not only identified as the next management protocol in the virtually extended enterprise, it is also the dominant precept of a new 'acculturation' (Popper, Wagner, Larson, 1998), encompassing the issues of institutional change in value creation. Figure 1. shows linked strategic marketing orientations with management models.
Generations of Management Models
Management attitudes of national and international companies responsible for establishing potential competitive advantages has been the subject of some research (Wind, Douglas, and Pearlmutter, 1973, Toyne and Walters, 1993). Howard Perlmutter (1969) of the Wharton School first identified the distinctive management orientations of international companies. He described these as his EPRG schema for management orientation as follows:
· Ethnocentrism is associated with a home country management orientation where overseas operations are secondary. Structure is complex in home country but simple in other countries.
· Polycentrism connotes a host country focus where subsidiaries are established in overseas markets. These are varied and independent.
· Regiocentrism relates to an integrated regional management approach…increasingly complex and regionally interdependent.
· Geocentrism is linked with an integrated world structure of continued physical growth and tied to centralized/decentralized management strategies. Highly complex and worldwide interdependent.
· Cybercentrism is the management of the highly interactive digital economic universe, capturing a ‘real time’ vision of market realities without physical size limitations to corporate operations or growth (Gordon, 2000). Cybercentrism suggest a re-examination of traditional knowledge cycles and strategic premises such as international product life cycles (IPLC) (Giddy, 1978), structures which are accelerating, with lost control of prototype skimming strategies (Toyne & Walters, 1993), and the competitive nature and structure of foreign markets (p. 60).
Cybercentrism is the model of the new, virtually-extended enterprise, evolving form previous models. "National markets, currency controls, and cumbersome communications processes made national (Ethnocentrism) or regional (Regiocentrism) selling organizations an appropriate structure 15 years ago. The globalization (Geocentric) of capital flows, communications networks, and the operations of corporate customers have rendered that model obsolete" (Slywotzky, 1995). Companies have been forced, in recent times, to reengineer themselves to meet the priorities of virtual customer segments, regardless of geography. The customer-centric structure that Slywotzky identifies "…must be identified accompanied by a strong problem-solving and customer service orientation. Companies that traditionally have been technology or product driven must cultivate these skills within their organizations or acquire them externally" (p. 243).
The Changing Structural Requisites of The Knowledge Management Environment
Understanding the script of the new virtual enterprise is going to take more than just the occasional corporate culture audit. Traditional corporate culture audit criteria for today's knowledge manager rely on outdated Geocentristic concepts. The traditional EPRG (Perlmutter, 1967) concepts of the management orientation of the enterprise are being supplanted by new Cybercentristic concepts of the corporate vision. Figure 2 shows a traditional corporate culture audit listing paralleling Cybercentrism concepts that have changed the structural requisites of knowledge management for the new millennium.
On this last point, the Cybercentrism management model consists of two key words: collaboration, and knowledge-sharing. These embody the breakaway concept of 'virtual teamsmanship'.
THE ACCULTURATION OF LEADERSHIP IN THE AGE OF VIRTUAL 'TEAMSMANSHIP': VITAL TO THE CYBERCENTRIC TELEOLOGY DYNAMIC
There is a "high-tech intimacy" (Yohalem, 1997) crisis in the ecommerce employment venue. Many leaders in virtually-extended companies see the computer as an instrument of depersonalization. The computer, some argue, allows the company to become less intimate with its employees and customers (Tapscott, 1996). Database marketing is nothing more than digitizing a mail order catalog. Issues with knowledge worker management evolve around a disconnection with the physical presence of authority. The "out of sight, out of mind syndrome" (Taormina, 1996), troubles with on-line feedback, managing worker conflicts with management policy and workload all must be overcome. And then there is the cultural mix factor. Creating motivation so important to knowledge creation in light of the limitations of the virtual workspace environment becomes exacerbated with confronted with culturally diverse working groups.
All too often, in the Cybercentric model, there is confusion with words like 'nation' and 'culture', where workers in a Silicon Valley software development company, for example, have citizenship in America but live and work in an insulative culture that is Indian, Pakistani, Spanish, German or Chinese. The term 'virtual knowledge villages' suggests something beyond national origin. Knowledge management in the Age of Virtual Teamanship, must examine the importance of Langdon Winner's (1977) sentiments that technologies have nationality, politics, and language. Technological abstractions for knowledge creation in Chinese can be remarkably dissimilar in 'structuralists' logic to, say, English, leading to the conclusion that forming a working team in a virtually-extended enterprise is filled with ethnographic glitches.
Invention and Leadership
Within the manifestation of the socio-technical division of work itself, there is a volatile distribution of acting functions among humans and the machines they encounter at work. The states of human subsystems and the characteristics of socio-technical relations are changing (Ropohl, 1999). "Every invention is an intervention, an intervention into nature and society. That is the reason why technical development is the equivalent to social change" (p. 11). The rate of change inherent the Cybercentric model can only aggravate problematic interface situations unless statutes of virtual leadership can be implanted that stake a claim to technology assessments, triage, and control.
The maturity of virtually-extended knowledge workers is a dominant issue in the search for leadership (Shectman, 1991). A system called 're-parenting' claimed to yield productivity from young employees. Young knowledge workers in the virtual environment are a constant, ever-present force. The idea of adjusting leadership strategies relative to the maturity or immaturity of followers is part of a recommended strategy (Hersey and Blanchard, 1982). Leadership can be described in the light of two dimensions which can be based on the employee's maturity, which is defined as "the capacity to set high but attainable goals (achievement-motivation), willingness and ability to take responsibility, and education and/or experience of the individual or group".
ALTERNATIVE PROFILES FOR THE VIRTUAL KNOWLEDGE WORKER: TRAITS TOWARD THE PROPENSITY FOR KNOWLEDGE CREATION AND KNOWLEDGE SHARING
Earl and Feeny (2000) examine CEO “creeds” in identifying management fitness for the Information Age. Their diagnosis provides three levels of participation in CEO traits toward acceptance of the IT role in business. These include Practicing (scanning and understanding new technologies), Living (creating context), and Believing (IT as the first order of thinking). A CEO’s willingness to believe in the importance of IT for the enabling of new strategies and the employ of a CIO are examined. In the Earl & Feeny (2000) study seven tiers were established, ranging from “Hypocrite” to “Believer”.
A Shift Of Power
New parameters, for knowledge management and creation include recognizing the importance in the shift of power away from the corporate organization communicator and toward the individual knowledge creator. If what we are describing is a fundamental turning point in business knowledge management, then it must have scalability in human dimensions. The information society of the 1950’s saw large computer networks accelerating information processing and reducing distances between communicators.
Wang (1994) notes, “Using a central computer to manage the communication needs of thousands of users across vast distances, traditional host-based computing made possible large multinational corporations. It helped create the modern switched telephone system and enabled human beings to walk on the moon. But times have changed, and the world needed a newer, more flexible way to communicate and share information. The large, slow moving hierarchical bureaucracies that were so well served by traditional computing yielded to smaller, flattened organizations. These fast moving, streamlined companies demanded more services and the power to chart their own destinies. The master/slave relationship of traditional computing, in which a small group of central administrators charted the course of thousands of voiceless users, obstructed the operational alignment of emerging companies. End users simply rebelled. With or without the co-operation of the centralized data center, they built their own networks. A new system based on peer-to-peer computing appeared”.
With independence should come responsibility. However, the virtual community has found a new freedom in its unrestricted and unregulated linkage. "In the field of technology, a renewal of individual responsibility is proposed as a remedy against the loss of a work ethic, the declining willingness to do communal service, the calculating character of the modern citizen, and the shameless self-enrichment in big business, the disintegrating family, the growing gap between the citizen and the politician, the decline of patriotism, and the difficulty of having shared values when even fewer people see themselves as religious" (Swierstra, 1997).
Pursuing the task of actualizing the virtual phenomenon in scalable, human dimensions, let us review several concepts of knowledge orientations including self-worth, socialization, and responsibility.
DIGITAL KNOWLEDGE-SPECIFIC TRAITS: A NEW SCRIPT OF SELF- WORTH
The value in constructing a typology of Cybercentrism is based, not so much upon assessing the output value of the new cybercentristic knowledge worker, as much as in discovering the new script of self worth within these new worker groups. It is here that we may acquire a sense for how management can flourish as a value-added catalyst
Social theories of classical working behavior have, traditionally, been based upon what Loudon and Della Bitta (1993) list as three major consumer orientations: Compliant, Aggressive, and Detached Orientation.
Essential to comprehending the possible variations of digital knowledge-specific traits, or DKST, is to understand the ‘script’ of self-worth (See Figure 3.) for the worker of the future and their possible orientations.
Knowledge Worker Self-Worth Orientations
If you are a Compliant Orientationalist the script reads:
If it is good for you, and no one else, it is bad.
If it is good for you, and good for everyone else, it is good.
If you are an Aggressive Orientationalist it reads:
If it is good for you, it is good.
If it represents or provides an advantage or power for you and your ethnic constituency over the next person or group, all the better.
If you are a Detached Orientationalist it reads:
If it is good for you, it is good.
How it effects others beyond your sphere of influence has little significance to you.
(Source: Loudin & Della Bitta, 1993)
The Conditioning of The Knowledge Worker
The Cybercentristic script of self worth in no way nominates the sentimental favorite of the Compliant Orientationist. There are cultural movements that suggest, rather, a less ecumenical, and more fractured working environment. Taking an example from the media, the increasing number of global brands may imply that, over time, national cultures will become similar. At a superficial level this may be true, but fundamentally it is not (De Mooij, 1994). Superficial manifestations of culture are sometimes mistaken for deeper underlying values, which determine the meaning that various practices hold. Studies at the values level do not suggest a growing similarity between nations. Kotkin (1992) concurs on this issue, suggesting that working cultures are in the process of inversion, not extroversion. In what Kotkin calls "the vocation of uniqueness", some migrating groups like the Italians and Germans has great acquisition skills and were able to assimilate into cultures and even into elite classes easily. Global tribe cultures, especially Asians, have more trouble with assimilation. "Huge skilled Chinese and Indian labor markets will provide technological stimuli. The healthy migrations of populations with unique technological skills have been critical in the shaping of world cities. But, rather than dying off, with the rise of scientific progress, religious and ethnic sentiment remain, and at the outset of the twenty-first century, are remarkably resilient". There is general agreement (Dipboye, Smith, & Howell, 1994) where "…trends suggest that managers of tomorrow will not be able to rely on the formal authority that comes with their positions, but will need to be able to shift their leadership to fit the situation".
THE OADI CYCLE OF CORPORATE CULTURE: BARRIERS TO ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING
Indifference may be cumulative in that a 'knowledge worker audience', once indifferent, would tend to stay that way. In what Giddens (1990) calls the zoning of social life and the disembedding of social systems, the failure of one transformational idea has the tendency to make, for that person or organizational group, future innovative ideas more prone to rejection (also see Rogers & Shoemaker, 1971). Individuals with negative attitudes influence groups or organizations in cyclic cynicism, denial or simple avoidance. Supporting this concept is work done by Kim (1993) linking individual and organizational learning and shared sets of models. His is a concept of an observe-assess-design-implement or OADI cycle, suggesting that most groups or organizations have shared assumptions that protect the status quo, precluding people from challenging others, and providing silent assent to those ‘approved’ attributions. Argyris (1994) forwards a similar theory where individual ‘actors’ are confined to a set of shared models. It may be suggested that a negatively spun OADI cycle may be more prevalent in virtual enterprises where there may be a lesser or nonexistent presence of key authority figures on a daily basis, and where the leveling influences of interdepartmental frictions are not available.
In the virtual workplace, with its dispersed set of orbiting departments and constant Cybercentric diversity of workspace, time zones, languages, customs and work ethics, barriers to organizational learning is daunting. For knowledge management, indeed, knowledge leadership to not only exist, but to flourish, the measure may well exist in presence of what Snyder (1974) identifies as the "self-monitoring" individual or employee. Figure 4. shows these knowledge worker orientations.
Snyder’s extensive writings touch on the key elements when he writes, “The prototypic high-self monitoring individual is one who, out of concern for the situational and interpersonal appropriateness of his or her social behavior, is particularly sensitive to the expression and self-presentation of relevant others in social situations and uses these cues as guidelines for self-monitoring his or her own verbal and nonviable self-presentation."
It was, more recently, Lazarus (1991) who forwarded his 'Cognitive-Motivational- Relational Theory' with the idea of a worker's sensitivity to the environment. A knowledge worker's emotions are, in affect, organized cognitive-motivational configurations whose status changes with changes in the person-environment relationship as this is perceived and evaluated (appraised) (p. 38).
Fiefdoms: Ethnic Tribes within the Virtual Workforce
Creating a real-time organization presents problems inherent in a diverse workforce. Technological advances play a most important role in altering the economic importance of certain geographical areas (DeMooij, 1994, p. 16). From India, China and other Asian countries come a growing number of talented workers with a glaring affinity for technology-related knowledge creation. They possess an intrinsic "hardiness" (Kobasa, 1979), or what we might call 'tech-temerity'. These culturally displaced knowledge workers thrive in the new tech-rich industries in high-tech nodes around the U.S. including New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Austin.
The ascendance of new tribes has been accelerated by three factors over the past four or five decades. One factor is the collapse, first of Western and later of Soviet imperialism. Another is a worldwide revival of interest in religion and ethnicity; and the increasingly transnational nature of the global economy. This has fostered the emergence of new and potentially powerful global tribes in parts of the world that had been considered backwaters (Kotkin, 1992). These “global tribes”, are identified as containing the old culturally rich human identities of what is now powering a new kind of working society with "man’s natural desire to project his thymus, or sense of personal self-worth, the driving universal motivation” Kotkin, 1992).
The concept of alienation takes on a proper focus in socio-technical systems. The uneasiness of knowledge workers with technical products, regardless of the relations of propriety, is an important reason for the "uneasiness of many people toward the utilization of modern technology" (Ropohl, 1999). But this may be a least impactful factor when considering national origin, native languages and culture shock. With the advent of ecommerce and the high demand of technological skills, many employees have been recruited from abroad. First and second generation displaced citizens from India, China and other Asian countries, and including Europeans, populate many of the hi-tech companies from as diverse locations as 'Silicon Valley', California to 'Silicon Glen' in Scotland. Knowledge workers have had problems with adaptation and responsiveness to leadership. Because of differences in lifestyles, life experiences, cultural heritage, and work ethics, and employment expectations, these minority employees perceive and respond to stress differently from the white majority and black and Hispanic majorities in the same working environments. Stress researchers (Ford, 1985, and Ramos, 1975) suggest that minority groups suffer greater stress than majority counterparts.
There have bee investigations into the effects of work-related social support, or social support from management and coworkers, which have had positive effects on job attitudes, feelings of community and productivity. Higher 'supervisor' support, identified as a "buffering effect" reported fewer mental the physical problems (House & Wells, 1978). Extraorganizational support orchestrated by leadership, where aspects of culture were reflected in the food and theme/occasion of the event, strengthened work-related social support, especially among women (Etzion, 1984).
Creating Real-Time Organizations Amid Culturally Weighted Fiefdoms
Companies best equipped for the twenty-first century will consider the investment in real-time systems as essential to maintaining their competitive edge and keeping their customers (McKenna, 1997). Real time systems include the people who will operate them. Within the past 15 years there has been a growing presence of organizational and extraorganizational social support in the knowledge-intense workplace. Researches like House and Wells (1978) studied work-related sources of stress and social support against stress called a buffering effect helped prevent stress, burn-out among both genders (Etzion, 1984). "Control Coping" and "Escape Coping" (Latack, 1986) were associated with burnout. Control Coping included the use of control strategies that are proactive or take-charge in nature. Escape Coping was escapist or avoidant in nature. At this writing there has been little research addressing the consequences of work-related stress on foreign workers in the virtual enterprise. The author's experience has seen a curious combination of highly talented tech-temeric foreign worker at ease in the virtually extended enterprise high technology environment practicing Escape Coping related to cultural identity. The results of extended presence of cultural isolation, with its inevitable formation of race-specific fiefdoms within the virtual enterprise, may lead to isolation and resulting job dissatisfaction, high anxiety, and emotional and physical health problems.
THE SPIRIT OF LEADERSHIP RENEWAL: KEY TO THE CONSTRUCT OF A TELEOLOGY OF CYBERCENTRIC DYNAMICS
The Fall of Leadership amid the Ecommercialization of the Knowledge Worker Environment
By far the greatest loss, amid the migration from global-village doctrine to the virtually-extended enterprise, has been in the area of leadership. The 'transformational' and 'inspirational' leadership implicit in a "charismatic leadership era of the 80's" (Bass, 1990), has succumbed to mediocrity. Downsizing, a change from hierarchical to flattened organizational management styles (Castells, 1997), and hiring practices have all contributed to the fall of leadership quality. High technology employers, today, do not hire the knowledge worker in the traditional sense. Workers sign time-limited contracts. Workers agree to consultation relationships with firms, and even enter into part-time or per-project working agreements. Tenure can be established by employees who work 'sacrificially' while software products are still in beta testing (KcKenna, 1997), but pay during these formidable times in the company's history can be minimal and the hours are long. Kim and Mauborgne (1997) discuss a salient point. "Knowledge cannot be forced out of people…creating and sharing knowledge is essential to fostering innovation, the key challenge of the knowledge-based economy". Their contention is that to create a climate where creativity and expertise is volunteered requires 'trust'. Links among trust, idea sharing, and corporate performance are decisive factors.
Leader Effectiveness in the Virtual Model
The world's top management and technology firms, talk about 'people partnerships' where today's virtual company replaces lifetime job security with a 'fresh' perspective. This perspective dictates that the company owns the work rather than the employee's career. The employee is responsible for investing in his or her own career and 'employability' in the marketplace. The employee and the company share in the forward success of the company, however disproportionate (McKenna, 1997). This working relationship may have a fairly negative impact on knowledge creation when the ownership of ideas is unquestionably that of the company.
This is especially true among the more youthful knowledge worker. Much of the functionality of knowledge management has great dependency upon the maturity of employees. Young employees can be among the more valuable in a high-tech firm. Maturity can be developed by what is called a "re-parenting strategy" (Shechtman, 1991) where the productivity of immature workers could be raised to acceptable levels in two to three years. The structural weakness inherent in the virtually-extended enterprise is that the employ of younger workers under the 'people partnership' agreement has its dependency in the foundational premise of maturity and "the capacity to set high but attainable goals, and the willingness and ability to take responsibility" (Hersey and Blanchard 1982, p. 161). Leader effectiveness in wielding influence in this environment is minimal. High employee turnover is evidence not only of healthy economic times, but also of the inability of leadership to retain workers.
Areas of difficulty in leadership development in the virtually-extended enterprise have evolved from a transformation in both the formal structure of the organization, and the methods of employee association and compensation. There are five major identifiable areas of leadership behaviors (Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Moorman, & Fetter, 1990) where virtual enterprise leadership can enhance the proliferation of knowledge management and creation.
Providing an appropriate leadership model: The knowledge manager cannot conceive of a complete management structure in the virtually-extended enterprise without addressing the principles of leadership. Although cyber-social relationships are said to be, today, less formally organized (Hakken, 1999), leadership has not lost its impact on the pace and quality of knowledge creation. Their structure and roles of responsibility are more flexibly mediated. There is greater difficulty, in this casual and more liberated working environment, to establish enforceable models.
Identifying and articulating a vision: Computers change organizations (Gilster, 1997), but they do not and cannot 'make' organizations. The extent of leadership charisma is positively related to the leader's need for power (Dipboye, Smith, Howell, p. 278). Today's executive is, in many cases, the creator of the technology the company is built upon. The need for power and scientific, technological expertise are a rare combination.
Fostering acceptance of group goals: Leaders in the virtually-extended enterprise are confronted with employee groups cautious of ethnic, age, or technological differences and unwilling to cooperate. Foreign workers have different life experiences, values, beliefs, and come from different educational systems (Pasternack and Visco, 1998). These fiefdoms, inherent within the fabric of the virtual organization, defy the accepted concept of 'working group' in the workplace, and must be approached differently. Training programs to include appearance, body language, and verbal skills, with an emphasis on metaphors, analogies, and paralanguage (Conger & Kanungo, 1988) can help leaders express confidence to subordinates and enjoin diverse participants.
Providing individualized support: A broader understanding of the characteristics of computerized employment organizations is needed before any specific conclusions regarding the cyber-social relationships can be concluded (Hakken, 1999). However, traditional organizational hierarchies have flattened to the point where the term "chain of command" (p. 122) is an oxymoron. Virtual workplaces are, in many instances, matrix in architecture, with employees taking multiple roles based on personal preferences and with no permanent responsibility. Traditional mentor relationships simply do not exist in this flattened environment. Knowledge management in the virtual office subscribes to individually franchised professionals who are relatively omniscient. Self-determinable career paths erase the leader-follower construct. Individualized support survives in casual instructional opportunity, and in-office tech-peermanships.
Intellectual stimulation: Reexamining assumptions and rethinking how work can be performed reflects the "path-goal" theory (House and Mitchell, 1975, p. 455). At the heart of the 'achievement-oriented leader' is stimulation of the intellect of the employee. Knowledge management, at its very core, is anchored in job satisfaction. In the new environment of the virtual organization, sources of intellectual inspiration most likely come from 'soft' leadership sources. "High-authoritarian" and "low-authoritarian" subordinates (Schuler, 1976) can be found in almost every type of industry except where the virtually-extended knowledge worker is employed. Here, low-authoritarian employees, or those who perform independently of management, prefer a higher degree of control over their working environment (Hakken, 1999, p. 122). They have less tolerance for traditional management hierarchies, and the promotion of intellectual stimulation will be best for some from a facilitator-style of leadership source.
Invention and Leadership
Within the manifestation of the socio-technical division of work itself, there is a volatile distribution of acting functions among humans and the machines they encounter at work. The states of human subsystems and the characteristics of socio-technical relations are changing (Ropohl, 1999). "Every invention is an intervention, an intervention into nature and society. That is the reason why technical development is the equivalent to social change". The rate of change inherent the Cybercentric model can only aggravate problematic interface situations unless statutes of virtual leadership can be implanted that stake a claim to technology assessments, triage, and control.
The maturity of virtually-extended knowledge workers is a dominant issue in the search for leadership (Shectman, 1991). A system called 're-parenting' claimed to yield productivity from young employees. Young knowledge workers in the virtual environment are a constant, ever-present force. The idea of adjusting leadership strategies relative to the maturity or immaturity of followers is part of common strategies (Hersey and Blanchard, 1982). Leadership can be described in the light of two dimensions which can be based on the employee's maturity, which is defined as "the capacity to set high but attainable goals (achievement-motivation), willingness and ability to take responsibility, and education and/or experience of the individual or group".
THE ORGANIC KNOWLEDGE COMMUNITY: THE QUOTIENT OF SUCCESS IN CYBERCENTRIC DYNAMICS
The Cross-Fertilization of Ideas: Four Aspects
Classical theory of post-industrialism, where productivity and growth are given in terms of knowledge generation, and where economic activity shifts from goods production to services rendered, the important occupations are those of the knowledge worker (Bell, 1976). A statement by John Dewey (1916) made more than eight decades ago still holds true: “Society not only continues to exist by transmission, by communication, but it may fairly be said to exist in transmission, in communication.” The ecommercialization of working environments finds its existence 'in transmission, in communication'. The Organic Knowledge Community (OKC) is said to thrive on transmission and communication. Communication is negotiation is argument is opinion is sharing is enlightenment is transformation. The really strong, organic community develops not by suppressing differences to achieve consensus, but rather by acknowledging and resolving them. Successful knowledge cultures must be organic in that they must foster both the birth, life, and death of ideas in a "knowledge-friendly culture" (Davenport, De Long, Beers, 1998).
Given the causality of the history of the knowledge worker, we can take the teleological position that destiny, or our perception of that destiny, will influence current behavior. The virtual working environment fosters structural relationships that are offered to suggest changing polarity built upon several criteria including passivity versus interactivity, personal involvement and work commitment.
The four aspects of the teleology that are presented below are:
1. the knowledge sharer and knowledge sharing networks
2. collaborative knowledge leadership methodologies
3. collaborative workplace technologies
4. transcendence of a cybercentric virtual-based platform
These dynamics are identified as: independent versus interdependent work patterns; indifferentism versus self-monitorism. Each has a pivotal significance in the way employers and knowledge workers negotiate their relationships.
It can no longer be assumed that today’s knowledge workers have strong personal disciplines, have a precise image of who they are, or command a clear and unabiding image of the role they play in society. Workers are insecure and full of doubts (Donnelly, 1996). They rely on their contemporaries and the mass media for advice but their contemporaries are also looking to the mass media for direction. Indeed, one can identify a collective consciousness of unique professional standing in a company setting that allows certain patterns of interaction and opposes others. In a true organic sense they defend their right to exist. They may be opposed, sometimes overtly, to formal organizational culture.
The cross fertilization of ideas in the vacuum of the corporate ethos can be viewed as organic, overcoming monumental obstacles, long hours and harsh conditions to succeed.
The long-enduring business unit of the global-village dynasty has evolved into the engendering of cross-group relationships in a best-practices exchange environment (Pasternack and Viscio, 1998). The OKC's vital capabilities transfer is the virtual organization's cross-fertilization of ideas that lead to innovation at the highest technical levels.
Avoiding the failure of any OKC is dependent upon several factors that form a value link of enablers applicable to any size virtual or virtually-extended enterprise (Refer Pasternack and Viscio, 1998, p.174, and Davenport, De Long, and Beers, 1998, p. 50). The following is a teleological listing of Cybercentric dynamics, identifying aspects of today's occupational knowledge culture that are a catalyst for the "decouplings of space and place" (Hakken, 1999).
A TELEOLOGY OF CYBERCENTRIC DYNAMICS: FOUR ASPECTS
I. THE KNOWLEDGE SHARER, AND KNOWLEDGE SHARING NETWORKS
Achieving a knowledge-oriented virtual enterprise culture demands from the knowledge manager the supreme ability to transform tacit information into explicit knowledge. The evolution of the knowledge worker's mindset is critical to the new Cybercentric model. Although the rapidity of technological change and its complexity have become truisms, the fundamental challenges confronting knowledge management is how to think in 'systems' terms. It is not so much new technologies as it is how these technologies work as a system. It is not so much the fact that the scale and complexity of the enterprise has increased proportionately with the reduction in marketing response time, new product development and turnaround time, and reduced technology life cycles. It is more that these order-of-magnitude challenges are met with a systems mentality. Included in this systems mentality is the critical issue of knowledge management performance, where knowledge workers do not operate separately, but evolve into knowledge sharers accomplishing their tasks within knowledge sharing system or network.
Progressive Knowledge Sharing, Storage, and Transfer
· The widest bandwidth is still face-to-face communication. Multiple channels for knowledge must be created that support one another. The support must be more than technological in origin. Each transfer of created knowledge should add value to the original concept(s). A synergy of knowledge creation knows no greater catalyst than what is known in the industry as the widest bandwidth of them all: face-to-face communication. Up-link, down-link video conferencing is valuable, as is the highly interactive media of Lotus Notes and the Internet.
· The Self-Monitoring knowledge worker
· Trust in the 'knowledging' process cannot be overvalued in the workplace. The highest value of virtual team interaction is the creation of trust. Regular face-to-face interaction among virtual team participants, be they designers, engineers, scientists, or marketers, establishes reliable structures for knowledge, a professional trust, and a greater resolve to solve difficult issues as they arise in the knowledge creation process.
· Compliant orientation may not win out in the virtual workspace.
· Creating a knowledge culture that stores and uses reports, documents, presentations, white papers, and research results in a meaningful and interactive way is important. Knowledge creation is only as effective as its affinity for being held in a knowledge sharing architecture. By meaningful is meant cataloging and itemizing knowledge in terms of its authors, themes, associated research or ongoing projects gives 'personification' to the data as opposed to its abstraction. Knowledge is not an inanimate 'it'. Knowledge is a living thing.
· The Age of Virtual Teamsmanship must examine the knowledge creation barriers of multilingual, multicultural workers. Technical creativity has diverse sturcturalistic characteristics, challenging the knowledge-sharing process. Technologies have abstractions in nationality, politics, and language representing formidable ethnographic glitches.
· Competitive intelligence systems and direct marketing software may be missed as an important knowledge management factor by all except those in marketing, sales, advertising and promotion. To these professionals, the filtering and synthesizing of sales leads, prospect lists, initial inquiries, and on-line customer interface are critical data to marketing strategists, promoters, and salespersons in the field. Digital sales softlogic programs assist primary and secondary lead mining and, although they are no substitute for personal sales, can create a competitive advantage in identifying primary sales prospects.
· Shared knowledge repositories can be based on a Cybercentric, 24 hour, world-wide business model that could include analysts' reports, internal and external market research, the activities of competitors. These repositories can be accessed virtually via the Internet, and given classification access priorities. The value of these reports would depend less on relevant, raw information, and more on data that had been synthesized to respond to specific needs and directed to those most able to benefit from shared knowledge upgrades.
· The establishment of a corporate community-based electronic discussion sites or chat zones can facilitate a progressive knowledge-sharing environment. The greatest challenge to the concept of knowledge sharing and the knowledge-sharing network is in crating an ability to transform tacit information into explicit knowledge. In larger corporations, the corporate education department will create a virtual library filled with more than just documents. The capturing of 'easy ways of doing things', short cuts, special insights, do's and don'ts, even a section for 'war stories', are part of a thriving knowledge sharing network. The results of broadening and accelerating the effect of knowledge transfer from tacit to explicit is the function of the knowledge sharing network.
II. COLLABORATIVE KNOWLEDGE LEADERSHIP METHODOLOGIES
Transformation of entire working environments in the virtual enterprise may require intense involvement from senior level knowledge managers, but less support required of executives for improving individual performance. Executives provide useful support in the areas of providing funding for projects, supporting knowledge management in the areas of organizational learning, and clarifying and prioritizing knowledge types. It is left to middle managers to exhibit a strong personal capacity for initiating knowledge-sharing networks. The virtual firm's power structure has a significant influence on its ability to successfully manage knowledge.
The interaction of the top three principals of the firm. Knowledge is more closely linked to power in the Cybercentric enterprise, replacing Geocentric rule by prestige, family name, or might-is-right labor groups. CEOs tend to be more vocal within the business community and in the media. Intellectual capital is at least as valuable as financial capital.
The Leadership of Intellectual Capital
· The Organic Knowledge Community (OKC) is said to thrive on leadership transmission and communication. Strong, virtually organic working communities develop not by suppressing differences to achieve consensus, but rather by acknowledging and resolving them. The leadership of successful knowledge cultures must be organic in that they must foster both the birth, life, and death of ideas in a knowledge-friendly culture. Strong leadership must be able to set the direction vital for growth and decisively kill those ideas that can no longer serve the enterprise. The long-enduring business unit of the global-village dynasty fostering pet projects that may or may not have benefited the company are gone. Leadership has evolved into the engendering of cross-group relationships in a best-practices exchange environment
· Technological entrepreneurs are not born leaders. Computer systems and software change organizations, but they cannot make organizations work by themselves. Today's new chief executive is, in many cases, the creator of the technology the company is built upon. The need for power, and scientific, technological expertise is a rare combination and not often present in technological entrepreneurs. The nature of successful virtual leadership is not charismatic but, more commonly, built upon obtaining the basic tools existing in every knowledge-oriented culture: the development of qualified senior management capable of developing motivational tools, and creating the organizational structure in which employees can work competitively.
· Technological invention is an intervention, an intervention into nature and society. Leadership must understand that technical development is the equivalent to social change. The rate of change inherent the Cybercentric model can only aggravate a problematic knowledge worker interface unless statutes of virtual leadership can be implanted in the virtual enterprise that stake a claim to technology assessments and control.
· Mediation on the virtual network works. Leadership, in the strictest sense doesn't. The effective virtual enterprise executive must deal with knowledge management in a proactive way, manipulating knowledge creation opportunities on a smaller scale than ever before, focusing on improving the effectiveness of a single knowledge-oriented function or process at a time. One-on-one collaboration leads to better outcomes than demand-and-consent. Visualizing small project success as a prerequisite to any further growth in managerial effectiveness.
· Immature, Technologically Mature employees is a prevalent condition within the working environment. The idea of adjusting strategies relative to the maturity or immaturity of employees (or consultants) is part of an ongoing strategy. The capacity to set high but obtainable goals, the willingness and ability to take responsibility, and personal education and experience must be the evaluation criteria before a sense for leadership can be established.
· Training programs are important to the life of a virtual enterprise. Management leaders in the virtually-extended enterprise are confronted with employee groups cautious of ethnic, age, or technological differences and may be unwilling to cooperate. Knowledge workers of foreign backgrounds have different life experiences, values, beliefs, and come from different educational systems. Authoritative management styles may cause the withdrawal and isolation of these knowledge workers into their individual cultural cliques. These fiefdoms, inherent within the fabric of the virtual organization, defy the accepted concept of 'working group' in the workplace, and must be approached differently. Training programs to include appearance, body language, and verbal skills of leadership, with an emphasis on metaphors, analogies, and paralanguage can help leaders motivate diverse participants.
· Motivation of a virtual workforce is not evangelical. Leadership of intellectual is instilled in the organization through the act of a 'facilitator'. A leader is a promoter of information and a monitor of its success. Virtual leaders must believe that information and its networking establishes winning relationships. A prevalence of positive knowledge worker traits (Compliant Orientation, and High-Self Monitor personality profiles) cannot be left to chance. Motivational approaches to encourage more effective behavior should be long term and have strong ties with performance evaluation and compensation structures. Knowledge capital is closely linked to capital expenditure and knowledge workers must be compensated less for 'doing' and more for 'thinking'.
· The mapping of jobs within organizations has been altered, changing working culture dynamics. Core competencies in the service industry and in manufacturing have precipitated a new demographic of knowledge worker who must possess shrewdness, insight and critical judgement, but not necessarily a cooperative nature. The fundamental challenges of job design, employee integration and management must be viewed in terms of systems integration and 'teamsmanship', not individual technologies or personalities.
· A group-think mindset will come from the new knowledge matrix of the virtual workspace. Leadership of group-think mindset means that a full understanding of the nature of mini-hierarchies, teams, and fiefdoms is commonplace. Knowledge management strategies in the virtually-extended enterprise must evaluate worker profiles as being Compliant, Aggressive and/or Detached. Conditioning the knowledge worker toward a more Compliant, group-think mindset, may ward off group tendencies toward isolation or more disruptive working postures.
· Slow-tech employees in the virtually-extended enterprise are a common problem, and leadership must contend with the technology 'have-nots' as well as the 'haves'. Computers in the workplace have precipitated fundamental change. The automation of manufacturing activities has eliminated some skills and added others. A polarity between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots', however, from the front office to the factory floor, has become more distinct. Leadership solutions such as on-line chats among tech-smart employees is of no benefit to 'slow-tech' employees. The universal digital economy, where advanced media and the Internet have characterized knowledge creation in terms of a 'postmodernization' shift towards a 'single world' (Robertson, 1993 [DeMooij p. 14/64]) have left many workers behind. A notion of a "world system" of highly integrated nations (Wallerstein, 1976) has yet to become part of a realized sociological view.
· High-value peer dialogue means that the 'new script' calls for leadership and management messaging that is efficient and value-filled. Unnecessary meetings are poison. Employee relationships with employers have changed from secure, salaried positions to contractual, part-time and/or consultancy employee agreements, narrowing the scope and impact of virtual knowledge management. When the opportunity to speak is at hand, all steps must be taken to reduce down time residual. Virtual managers have come to place a high value on 'expert dialogue' as an incentive to higher production. The formation of high-value peer dialogue engagements, either by secure means, electronic chat rooms, or face-to-face conversations must be paced in frequency with the intensity and time values of the case at hand.
III. COLLABORATIVE WORKPLACE TECHNOLOGIES
Across the enterprise, spanning the front office to the manufacturing of products, or from the creation of marketing to the provision of goods and services, the knowledge management scenario is enhanced by PC-based communication and control. PC-based communications architecture will make its affect felt on the industrial automation and services markets in four distinct ways: accelerated life cycles for communication and control technology, new operating platforms, and increased availability of effective, third party software/hardware, and connectivity.
Technical & Organizational Infrastructure
· Computers, laptops, workstations, palmtops, and file servers, as well as mini-, supermini-, and supercomputers have enhanced the communications environment. Network computers and network PCs give the virtually-extended enterprise a wider menu of computer-based capabilities with which to support the knowledge worker. Research and development (R&D), marketing, business administrative and planning activities all benefit from this computer-aided environment.
· PC-based Windows NT represents the future of networking from the front office to the factory floor. Next generation automation infrastructure for the factory floor shows rapid adoption of PC/NT-based (personal computer/Windows NT) control of leading manufacturers.
· Microelectronic improvements in the areas of semiconductors and semiconductor-based products, flash memory, and digital signal processors (DSP), enable technological improvements in new generations of smart products with embedded controls.
· Explosive growth of Wintel-Based workstations enable NT/PC operating systems to closely match Unix/RISC machine performance. These and other legacy systems will eventually migrate to nonproprietary, softlogic, PC-based architectures.
· Off the shelf solutions to knowledge-linked software products are now available. The embedded and real-time applications market is going mainstream with non-expert users choosing off-the-shelf technology that runs standard operating systems and supports out-of-box requirements.
· User-friendly software makes application of computer applications available to non-expert users. Knowledge workers need not be computer experts as they can easily create real-time applications using simplified industry-standard data acquisition hardware and new development software.
· Mobile knowledge workers are utilizing laptop computers to communicate with their offices or company headquarters, and keep that communication constant. New telecommunications technologies are proving good investments as they allow the knowledge worker to remain connected to their company's central offices. Laptop computers communicate using the Internet enabling telecommuting. The Web enables video teleconferencing to also reduce commuting requirements.
· Global positioning systems (GPS) link other technologies to enhance communications in manufacturing distribution, as well as in the transportation industry.
· Real time software in process manufacturing is evolving programmable logic controllers (PLCs) towards PC-based control and making possible real time operating systems (RTOS) that monitor factory floor activities over an 'open' communications system. Software integrates a manufacturer's information and control data interface at all levels of business operations.
· Virtual simulation software is advancing product improvement and new product development without committing resources before critical testing has been accomplished. Computer-aided testing (CAT) and computer-aided design and manufacture (CAD/CAM) software enable the knowledge worker to design more intricate products and test them in virtual tooling and manufacturing simulation programs.
IV. TRANSCENDING THE CYBERCENTRIC VIRTUAL-BASED PLATFORM
The Migration from Geocentrism to Cybercentrism Management Models
Knowledge Creation Design & Transfe
CONCLUSION: VIRTUAL VISION
Viewing the organization of the Davenport, De Long, & Beers (1998) paper as a loosely constructed teleology, this chapter has attempted to follow their basic tenants. Key among the knowledge management projects reviewed by this research were their ten factors identified earlier. What this chapter has attempted to do is enhance these factors through a detailed teleology, giving the reader additional perspectives for strategy development, and direction for further study.
What this teleology is designed to do is build a generic base toward the construction of a Cybercentric business model capable of dealing with the unique dimensions of ecommercialism and its inherent knowledge dynamics. This teleology of cybercentric dynamics reveals an emerging ecosystem that, for knowledge management, means a transcendence of critical business systems, relative competitive advantage, and authoritarian values. Across the entire spectrum of corporations and institutions there exists a uniquely historic moment in which management beliefs can and must change. This will have its inevitable and lasting effect on the majority of business working relationships. The origins of leadership and the elusive motivational ethos at hand in the virtually-extended enterprise must be one that takes full advantage of the Internet, company intranets, extranets, and Ethernets (LANs) and leverages these networks against existing core knowledge applications.
The virtual enterprise will continue to invest considerable value in time and money into implementing knowledge-dependant ecommerce business activities to include fundamental business administration and planning, sales and marketing, human resources, enterprise resource planning, and controlling the manufacturing and supply chain management processes.
Taking the enterprise to the edge of the virtual abyss is a risky and daunting process and, at whatever stage of development a company finds itself, the most powerful tool will be a leadership vision. Knowledge managers must be able to distinguish the difference between virtual vision and being virtually blind. Being virtually blind means that companies may be employing Geocentric solutions to Cybercentric problems. Conversely, good virtual vision also suggests that taking the enterprise 'virtual' does not necessitate the termination of existing legacy knowledge implementations. Establishing virtual vision for any enterprise should require that ecommerce solutions leverage their value against existing systems over time, not dismiss them.
Inherent in the teleological dynamics identified in this chapter has been a perceptible shift from nonparticipative to participative governance. The authoritarian way of business life has been woven into every business system and subsystem. Old working relationships and assumptions are slow to change. Even as the technological wave washes over all we know of governance, the authoritarian method, or management’s prerogative to plan, organize, control, and motivate remains (McLagan & Nel, 1997). Pervasive Geocentristic management structures exist and, as a force, can overwhelm anything new digital or otherwise. But ultimately, the acquisition of virtual vision means that one recognizes the most important aspect of business today is not to just to digitize knowledge, but to make digital knowledge available to the forces of creation inherent in the company. For that to happen, the leadership of intellectual capital cannot cling to the status quo.
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About the Author:
Lansing A. Gordon is a Senior Analyst with the global marketing, consulting and teaching firm Frost & Sullivan at its Silicon Valley headquarters in San Jose, California. He has authored technical research documents in various areas of industrial automation and marketing with the Company. His focus is in industrial controls, with recent, world research studies covering PC-based Controls, Computer Numerical Controls (CNCs), the Industrial Ethernet, Internet on the Factory Floor, as well as Robotics Software. Mr. Gordon’s first book was published in the area of Internet Marketing.
Lansing Gordon was educated at Boston University, Harvard University, receiving his Bachelor of Science and MBA degrees from Western International University. Gordon is a doctoral candidate with the Graduate School of Management, University of Western Sydney, Nepean, Australia.