The Necessary Nature of Future Firms

Attributes of Survivors in a Changing World

George P. Huber ,

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The Necessary Nature of Future Firms: Attributes of Survivors in a Changing World

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"George Huber makes an important contribution with profound insights on what the future firm will look like. It will be congruent with its environment. To realize opportunities from continuing advances in science and technology and environmental complexity, the successful firm in the future will be especially good at gaining environmental intelligence, learning and integrating knowledge, and being innovative and flexible. This is not a fanciful prophesy; it is a necessary logical conclusion that Huber draws from an extensive body of scientific knowledge."

         --Andrew H. Van de Ven, University of Minnesota, Past President of the Academy of
               Management, and coauthor of Organizational Change and Innovation Processes

"Huber gives a compelling account of the future landscape that many managers have to face today. Filled with solid academic research laced with real-world examples, Huber not only conveys the shape of that landscape, but also the roadmap to navigate it."

--Kathleen M. Eisenhardt, Stanford University and coauthor of Competing on the Edge: Strategy as Structured Chaos

"This is an important book for any manager who faces a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive environment--which is to say, virtually every manager. Huber makes a cogent case for the fact that businesses will face much more dynamic and competitive environments in the future than they face today. More importantly, he offers practical advice for how managers can prepare for the uncertain future they face. Clearly written and carefully grounded in the best research evidence available, this book stands head and shoulders above the many management books offering short-term fads, fashions, and therapies of the moment."

--Richard T. Mowday, University of Oregon, former President of the Academy of Management, and former Editor of the Academy of Management Journal

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Survival depends on the ability to read imminent shifts in the environment and respond accordingly. This holds true for any living system, but it is especially true for firms today.

The business environment is now changing rapidly, but will change even more rapidly in the future. Only firms that can respond to these changes will survive. It is important to know, then, how business′s future landscape will look. George Huber′s new book, The Necessary Nature of Future Firms, describes this landscape clearly and credibly and makes explicit the organizational attributes and management practices firms must possess to be among the ranks of the "future firms."

Advances in science and technology will continue to affect business environments, making them more complex, dynamic and competitive. Moreover, this complexity and dynamism will increase at increasing rates. As the book makes clear, successful firms will cope with or exploit these changes by increasing their capabilities for correctly interpreting threats and opportunities, making decisions, acquiring and managing knowledge, innovating, and changing while simultaneously dealing with the needs for efficiency, flexibility, and employee commitment.

The Necessary Nature of Future Firms is written for managers, especially those managing change. Professionals in a wide variety of organizational roles will find it a particularly useful reference for its foresight and as an invaluable tool in winning approval for projects and initiatives. Academics in change management, information systems, organizational science, strategy, and human resources management can draw on the book as a supplementary text or as a source for lecture materials.

References housed in endnotes rather than in the text contribute to the book′s readability and ease of use, as does the accessible writing style. But for all its accessibility and reader friendliness, The Necessary Nature of Future Firms is still firmly grounded in scholarship. Hundreds of authoritative works and systematic studies specifically inform this book, as do Huber′s own studies and his interviews with over 100 middle- and upper-level managers about changes in their organizations.  To add meaning and interest, the book′s insights and conclusions are elaborated with real world examples.
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