E-commerce is dramatically affecting the operating environment in organizations worldwide. Due to the continual advances in Internet and communication technology, business must change to keep up with their customers’ changing needs, or to capitalize on business opportunities. It is vital for business that the opportunities presented by e-commerce should be considered in that order, business first, technology second. The challenge for an organization is to turn the vision and the market opportunity into a viable business.
Developing the marketing strategy and plan, designing and deploying the business solution is key. The following discussion highlights how the challenges of Ford Motor relate to the recent evolution in thinking about e-business process performances control, knowledge management, structural e-business model innovation, and management for self-control. Control challenges of Ford Motor’s e-business Control is often based on rules and hence difficult to maintain in a world where competitive survival often depends upon questioning existing assumption.
Ford new e-business model innovation will base on develops the innovative customer value propositions, develop innovative business value proposition, and adapt the programmed business logic to deliver business logic. Design of e-business architectures should ensure that they are not constrained by their overemphasis on consistency. The dynamics of the new business environment require a business model that assumes existence of few rules, some specific information and a lot of freedom.
The Ford Motor can at best facilitate the organization’s ‘self-designing’. With this design, not only would the organization’s members define problems and generate their own solutions, the members would also evaluate and revise their solution-generating processes. By explicitly encouraging experimentation and rethinking of premises, this model promotes reflection-in-action, creation of new knowledge, and innovation. In addition to that, the sharing of information will impose certain control challenges.
On one hand, the members will need to share information and collaborate with their upstream and downstream partners to ensure streamlined information flows. On the other hand, they may not willingly share information because they believe that what they know provides them with an inherent advantage in bargaining and negotiation. While sharing of accurate information flowing will be necessary, it increases the peril inherent in the paradoxical roles of collaboration and competition adopted by various employees.
Access to customer and supplier data residing in databases or networks that are hosted on the infrastructure of e-sourcing providers may pose increased privacy and security challenges. This is particular important in situations where sharing of proprietary strategic or competitive information about customer or supplier relationships needs to be safeguarded from third parties. This issue will be particularly relevant if the vendor’s knowledge of the company’s customers or specific customer relationships may be used against the best interests of the company.
Integrated information flows depend upon motivation of people to share accurate information on a timely basis across inter-department and intra-department. Motivation of employees, organizations, customers, and suppliers to share accurate and timely information is based on trust, despite the potential of use of information in unanticipated ways. Ford Motor will be challenged to inspire trust and motivation for sharing needed information with their stakeholders on which they may often have little control. Structural Challenges of Ford Motor e-Business
Ford Motor needs to design technological systems those are sensitive to the dynamic and divergent interpretations of information resulting from the changes in business environment. Subjecting the extant business logic to critique from diverse customer, supplier, and partner perspectives can help in defining innovative customer value propositions and business value propositions by quicker of complex changes in the business environment. Online and offline communities of customers, suppliers and partners could provide the means for enabling critical analysis of assumptions underlying the given business models.
The power of virtual online communities that serve as fountains of diverse viewpoints and innovative ideas can be exploited for generating stickiness and e-Business success as knowledge, relationships and resources produced by online communities are valuable commodities. Virtual communities could be rightfully treated as external extensions of the company’s service and support infrastructure. Managers must understand the distinction between the lack of structure and lack of controls that characterize virtual communities of practice and the command and controls systems embedded in their formal organizational structures.
Such communities may defy compliance seeking organizational tactics as they represent “self-organizing” ecosystems that require an organic management style in which a high degree of autonomy is ceded to members whose knowledge contributions cannot be controlled too directly. Managers will need to become more comfortable with the model of the enterprise as dynamic system. Management Challenges of Ford Motor e-Business Managers in this environment will be cultivating commitment of knowledge workers to the organizational vision.
As e-business become increasing difficult to specify long-term goals and objectives, real-time strategy and implementation are needed. Knowledge workers would need to take autonomous roles of self-leadership and self-regulation as they would be best positioned to sense the dynamic changes in their immediate business environment. Managers would need to facilitate the confidence of knowledge workers in acting on incomplete information, trusting their own judgments, and taking decisive actions for capturing increasingly shorter windows of opportunity.
In the other terms, the control over employees will be ultimately self-imposed. Knowledge Challenges of Ford Motor e-Business E-business will change the employees rely on AI and expert systems based knowledge management technologies can deliver the right information to the right person at the right time if it is known in advance what the right information is, who the right person to use or apply that information would be, and, what would be the right time when that specific information would be needed.
A related challenge lies in tapping the tacit knowledge of executives and employees for informing the computational logic embedded in the e-business technology architectures. The knowledge management technologies facilitate employee interactions and communications. It was implemented with due consideration for the sociological and behavioral factors. For example, employees having access to the same information and data sources may not equally motivated to use these resources.
They will make decisions based on interactions with colleagues who think are knowledgeable about issues at hand. Hence, the technologies of programmed logic of the business should ensure keep in sync with the dynamic and radical shifts in the business environment. Analysis of Motivation Findings Case Analysis Based on the case study, I use the two theories from Douglas McGregor – Theory X and Theory Y by which to view the employee’s behavior with given computer, printer and Internet access for five dollars per month.