Abstract - The Information Society 5(2)

The Entrepreneurial Firm as a Learning System in the Information Economy

Gerry P Sweeney

The current decade could be called the Age of Uncertainty. Because the consumer is better educated and is more discerning in making choices, nonprice factors are becoming much more important and even dominant in some markets. These factors include: 1. diversity in product ranges, 2. custom-tailored products and equipment, and 3. performance in use. Being competitive in these nonprice factors requires inputs of technology, design, quality assurance, marketing, flexible manufacturing systems, and innovation. These inputs are information-intensive, and competitiveness is determined by the information elements of the end product. The technically progressive firms provide indicators to the future of organizations and to the needs of regions. As information-communicating organizations, they must have characteristics that include: 1. good external communication, 2. external collaboration, and 3. an understanding of user and customer needs. Innovators in organizations find their ideas and the information with which to implement them in a combination of personal contact, experience, and education.

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