The key elements of the external business environment that affects the performance of Future Internet and the behavior of its employees include the following. First, the performance of the company is influenced by technological changes in its industry. Access to advanced internet technology is a key determinant of the quality of the websites and applications that the company develops for its customers. Thus, the company has had to invest in new technologies to develop effective products, which in turn enable it to retain its customers.
At the individual level, technological changes encourage the company’s employees to be creative in order to develop innovative solutions for their customers. Specifically, each employee has to think of an innovative way of using new technologies to satisfy customers’ needs. At the group level, the teams working on various projects must cooperate by demonstrating trust and commitment to their team members in order to succeed. In this case, cooperation facilitates sharing of knowledge and feedback to allow team members to use improved technologies to satisfy market needs.
Technological changes also influence the behavior of the organization itself. For instance, the company has to develop effective staff recruitment policies in order to hire talented employees who can easily understand and use the latest technologies. Moreover, the company has to redesign its organizational structure by eliminating management levels that are likely to prevent it from responding to technological changes by delaying decision-making processes.
Second, the performance of the company is affected by social factors such as customers’ tastes/ preferences and attitudes towards various products. For instance, in 1998 and 1999, the company’s sales were low because customers believed that websites were not very important to their businesses. In addition, customers’ satisfaction is mainly determined by the extent to which the company is able to align its products to their tastes and preferences. In this respect, the social factors influence individual employees’ behaviors by encouraging them to be self-motivated. Specifically, self-motivation improves the employees’ commitment to their work.
This promotes ideation and innovation, which in turn enable employees to develop customized solutions to meet customers’ unique tests and preferences. At the group level, effective teamwork has to be achieved through liaising with cross-functional team members to develop the best product for the customers. The company has to employ aggressive marketing tactics to convince customers to buy its products. In addition, the firm must win the trust of its customers by keeping its promises in order to overcome competition. This involves empowering employees to create new ideas to spur innovation.
Third, economic factors such as recession affect Future Internet’s performance. For instance, in 2008, the company’s revenue reduced by 10% because its customers had difficulties paying for the services that they had received. The economic downturn influenced the behavior of the company and its employees in different ways. The company had to be patient instead of filing complaints against its debtors in order to avoid destroying the long-term relationships that it had with its customers.
In addition, the company had to focus on retention rather than downsizing to avoid losing its talented employees. The employees, on the other hand, realized that job security and wage stability are more important than high salaries. As a result, their commitment to the company improved because they retained their jobs despite the economic difficulties. At the group level, the economic downturn was an opportunity to contribute to the vision of the company by achieving the best performance.