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Managing Diversity
Strategic responses to a changed environment

In a previous section we saw that the global, knowledge-based economy was both diverse and complex. In this section, it will be argued that the strategic responses to the need to manage this diversity can be understood by using the concepts of control and collaboration to assess the potential costs and benefits of the various strategic options. If you are not familiar with the concept of a strategy you should look at the notes of strategy and tactics from another course or one of the text books from the MIS books section and/or the work of M. Porter or S. Neumann.

The lecture will use the idea of the risks and rewards associated with these strategic responses to changes in the external environment to examine the potential costs and benefits of four different approaches to managing diversity.

Evaluating costs and benefits
Risk = loss of collaboration
(often based on tacit knowledge)
Risk = loss of means of control
(often based on explicit knowledge)
Reward = Lower Costs Re-engineering processes = lower costs through formalization and proceduralization of work Outsource functions = downsize and focus on an organization's core competencies
Reward = Add Value Use an Organizational Memory = capture, store and obtain leverage from an organization's Intellectual Assets Decentralize and empower = Stimulate innovation and build on the flexibility and creativity of / across workgroups






Control and Collaboration Information Systems and Strategy

Some illustrative examples

Re-engineering Organizational Memory Outsourcing Decentralize and Empower

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