The challenge of the 21st century

The world in which we work is changing. The advancement of information technologies is conceived as one of the major causes for the changing nature of work. Work is no longer restricted to a certain time or place. Work may even cross the traditional boundaries of organizations. As information has become available to everyone anywhere, companies are placed in a global playing field. Offshoring of activities and technological innovations change the work that has to be performed and puts higher demands on skills and knowledge levels of employees. Organizations are forced to adapt to an ever-changing work environment. They need to find ways in which knowledge sharing can be optimized and mobile working is enabled in a secure way. The ability of organizations to address these changes will contribute to their success, and to being an attractive employer for existing and new generations of workers; the Digital Natives or Net Generation, that are living lives immerged in technology (Prensky, 2001; Tapscott, 1998). The challenges companies face in the 21st century, force them to act and work differently from the traditional, early 20th century, work principles of the Industrial Revolution. Bryan & Joyce (2007) state: ‘Trying to run a company in the 21st century with an organizing model designed for the 20th century places limits on how well a company performs. It also creates massive, unnecessary, unproductive complexity; a condition that frustrates workers and wastes money.’ When we realize the world around us is rapidly changing, we realize we need to find new ways of working.



Bryan, L.L. & Joyce, C.I. (2007). Mobilizing Minds: Creating Wealth from Talent in the 21st-Century Organization. New Jersey, USA: McGraw-Hill Education.

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants part 1. On the horizon, 9(5), 1-6.

Tapscott, D. (1998). Growing up digital: The rise of the net generation (Vol. 352). New York: McGraw-Hill.


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