ERIC Number: ED378406
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Staying Competitive. How Small and Mid-Sized Companies Are Meeting the Challenge of a Global Economy. Workforce Brief #1.
Bergman, Terri; Kaufmann, Barbara
Small and mid-sized businesses must change their production and service delivery methods if they are to remain competitive in a global economy. According to businesspersons, service providers, and employees who participated in 18 focus groups in 10 cities throughout the United States, businesses are being forced to change their ways of doing business by many factors, including the following: economic downturns, increased competition, customer demands, developments in technology, new regulations, labor shortages, and an increasingly diverse work force. The focus group participants noted three levers for changing how goods and services are produced and/or delivered: technology, work processes, and people. The following actions can increase the likelihood that change efforts will be successful: start with a strategic plan; build support among all key stakeholders; be creative in seeking information/assistance; involve all employees in the change process; train workers in every aspect of company operation; keep employees informed about all changes; and follow through on all commitments. The following are ways of gaining employee involvement: hold meetings with all workers before starting the change effort, solicit employees' views, have an open-door policy or use other mechanisms to encourage communication between employees and management, and report both the good and bad news. (MN)
Descriptors: Business Cycles, Change Strategies, Competition, Cooperative Planning, Educational Needs, Employer Employee Relationship, Job Training, Labor Force, Labor Force Development, Organizational Change, Productivity, Small Businesses, Strategic Planning, Technological Advancement, Unions, Work Environment
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Labor, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Alliance of Business, Inc., Washington, DC.