By Barbara Senior; Jocelyne Fleming

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During this time people could fairly well predict the cycle of activities required to maintain life, even if that life might be at little more than subsistence level. To maintain the meteorological metaphor, stronger winds of change blew to bring in the Industrial Revolution and the industrial age. Again according to Goodman, this lasted until around 1945. QXD 10/10/05 9:24 am Page 8 8 Chapter 1 Organizations and their changing environments inventions and innovations that reduced the number of people needed to work the land and, in turn, provided the means of mass production of hitherto rarely obtainable artefacts; for organizations, supplying these in ever increasing numbers became the aim.

All, at some time, will impact upon an organization’s formal and informal subsystems and their components as well as which products or services it offers and in which markets. Triggers for change from the technological environment Examples of triggers for change emanating from changes in technology and the economic environment are many and varied. 5 gives us an example of how changes in the technological and economic environment, which were ignored as triggers for change, forced a well-known UK retailer to reevaluate its market sustainability for the future.

Change throughout the ages is encapsulated in the comments of Jones, Palmer, Osterweil and Whitehead (1996) when they say: As we approach the 21st century the pace and scale of the change demanded of organizations and those who work within them are enormous. Global competition and the advent of the information age, where knowledge is the key resource, have thrown the world of work into disarray. Just as we had to shed the processes, skills and systems of the agricultural era to meet the demands of the industrial era, so we are now having to shed ways of working honed for the industrial era to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the information age.

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