Theme VIII. Change Processes in Macroeconomics

Genesis and specific macroeconomic change

Societal change. Change is the mode of existence of social life. By nature, people can be considered as "being unhappy" in the sense that as their needs meet a number of others appear and mobilize them to continue the efforts to obtain other living standards. This psycho-social feature of man found very different societal ways of fulfilling, because the transformation of individual needs in societal requirement is not a simple process. Sometimes, social groups or "societies" as a whole constitute the factors of blocking the change. Stagnant societies are those that exist specifically for reproduction (partial or total) of existing structures. In more theoretical language, the "blocked societies" are not questioning their present state, cannot formulate questions about what it might be possible to change. This explains, among other things, a social fact paradoxical: the more advanced countries in terms of type of development were not those that promoted the transition to another type.

Thus, agricultural civilization "blossomed" in the East but the transition to industrial civilization has been achieved through the efforts of England (Industrial Revolution from 1750 to 1790). England, the country that initiated the transition to industrial civilization, was not the country that "opened the way to" postindustrial civilizations (society driven by knowledge). The United States experienced its first steps towards the new knowledge economy, and marks a further move to "promote development centers." Changing the type of civilization is a macro-process generated by the ability of social actors to achieve "breaking trends," "rupture" in the valuation and exploitation of new resources able to provide a new economic and political power structure.

Agrarian societies had as macro-societal promoters the social actors who ruled the resource "land" and used it to impose their political and economic power. Transition to industrial societies involved another power structure based on domination of the resource "capital" and mechanical type technologies. Social actors who held the power through this new resource have acted freely only by overthrowing the "old" system of power. Agrarian societies of the time were "blocked" by the inability of social actors, related to land resource, to give up their power base and support new resource actors of change promoted by "capital." A wide network of myths, beliefs, customs, rituals, blended with the economic and political resistance, blocking the transition to industrialism.

The "wave collision" presented by A. Toffler expressed this process. The macrosocial change is correlated with the micro level but it does not reduce to it as importance. The macro-societal change is prepared by the changes at macro-societal level and is finalized by creating a favorable environment for social actors action to produce organizational changes.

The change at macroeconomic level

We can talk about a change management at both macroeconomic and microeconomic (organizations) levels. It should be mentioned the combination of governance and management and the changes at both macro-societal and micro-societal levels. The famous report "KOK," on the ways of achieving the EU strategy launched in Lisbon (2000) drew attention to the need for correlated action in macro and microeconomic level to remove "growing skepticism regarding the potential of the knowledge economy."

In this respect, the report stresses the importance of correlated measures through which governments have introduced measures aimed at removing obstacles at macroeconomic level. European Union - through the strategy developed in 2000 -aims "to prepare the transition towards knowledge-based economy and society by better policies for information society and CD, as well as speeding up the process of structural reform for competitiveness and innovation by improving the internal market, modernizing the European social model, investing in people and combating social exclusion, supporting guidance for economic health and favorable to growth prospects by applying an appropriate and diversified macroeconomic policies."[1]

The current macro-societal changes put in their center the switch to another way of being designed and constructed, i.e. change requires a new paradigm of all social life. European Union draws attention to the current context marked by "dealing with a new paradigm shift resulting from globalization and the new knowledge economy. This paradigm shift has an impact on every aspect of life and requires a radical transformation of the economy and society of Europe. Union must shape this rapidly changing according to its values and its concept of society."[2]

A correlation analysis of changes in macro and micro level can be used, in part, common methodology (which we do on this issue). As methodological principles we could issue the following theses:

a) in the process of gradual change, evolving ("Incremental change"), in which are predominant quantitative issues, the relative stability (structural) of macroeconomics generates strong incentives for the sustained, strong microeconomic level.

What is this? Business given to a particular country is an essential element in stimulating social actors in their work on microeconomic plan. Economists have asked the question: what is a business environment (at macroeconomic level) favorable to social actors? They said, for example, that the more a country has a developed economy the more it is able to attract greater domestic and foreign investors to projects in that country.

It is true, however, that a country with a less developed economy can provide a very attractive environment for massive investment. That's why the existence of many areas that would provide many satisfying real needs but "are not covered" by the suitable tenders.

b) The reality shows that macroeconomics offer a favorable business environment, be it a developed economy or not, provided that they are reliable to social actors. A durable confidence is a phrase that leads us to understand the macro-economic environment as a construct.

What thus involves a sustainable business confidence in terms of change and growth of macroeconomics. A stimulating business macroeconomic environment (which provide therefore a sustainable trust) is the state of a national economy that generates motivation and realistic expectations, on long term, to all social domestic and foreign actors (actual and potential), to invest in as growing profitable business on the one hand and, on the other hand, to invest in more diversified and growing consumption. A sustainable developing economy is the following of a sustainable business environment.

The sustainable trust means: a good and stable legal regulation of business relations; full compliance with the legal regulations; economic practice to ensure full equality of all social actors involved in the development of economic processes; sustainable and realistic expectation of return (potential and actual) investment, in other words, there is a constantly expanding market and product development to ensure selling of products (in home and foreign markets); an "opening" of research-innovation-education to businesses and their interest for a permanent innovative practice; educated social actors in a spirit of risk and the willingness of independent work by achieving preference on their personal business; a skill and education regarding proper cooperation (based on trust and responsibility) between the various actors placed in "points" different current economic flows (education, research, finance, business, marketing, governance, management, etc.).

Strong correlation between macroeconomic and microeconomic environment in achieving development and competitiveness has been underlined by the "Report KOK." By showing the importance of well-prepared projects and a successful strategy the report points out the key role that refers to social actors.

The sustainable trust is ensured based on promoting the "European social model that involves the foundation of opportunity and social justice for all."[3]

c) That the trust to be operative, is required "to make Europe a more attractive place to invest and work,"[4] because macroeconomics finds efficiency in macro-economic dynamics.

The macroeconomic environment of business

Describing the requirement to achieve a climate of business according to the strategy developed under Lisbon (2000), the 'KOK' report gave the following characterization: "it reduces all administrative restrictions by improving the quality of legislation and supporting the introduction of new businesses and creating a favorable business environment."[5] In all these aspects, the social actors have an essential place.

What's new refers to overcome the "classic" analysis of players in their quality as individuals, groups, different organizations, and move to promote a vision in which actors are considered to act as partnership type relationships and more lately, as a corporate partnership.[6] The social cohesion at macro-societal level and corporate partnership - at micro-societal level - are defining the feature of the current business environment. "The European cohesion policy is the catalyst for a new form of partnership involving local and regional authorities, national governments and the Union, working inside and outside, planning and implementing the development strategy."[7] We present, further, the involvement of macroeconomic environment in promoting the changes at the microeconomic level (organizational).

  • [1] *** (2000), Presidency Conclusions Lisbon European Council, 23 and 24 March, 5.
  • [2] *** (2000), Contribution of the European Commission to the European Council Special in Lisbon, Brussels, 28 February, 23.
  • [3] Facing the Challenge, 1.
  • [4] Ibid., 2.
  • [5] Ibidem, 6.
  • [6] It is not the subject of our theme to treat these problems, but maintain that the macroeconomic and structural changes that are expressed by increasing social cohesion, at the microeconomic level is expressed through new forms of being and functioning of institutions in their capacity as corporate institutions based on corporate values. It talks about "corporate universities" (Knowledge and Learning. Towards a Learning Europe. Joint Research Center, Seville, 1999, 21, "corporate research," Investing in Research an Action Plan for Europe (Brussels, 2003, COM (2003) 326 final, 25) "corporate citizenship" (Green Paper, Promoting an European Framework for Corporate Social Responsibility, 2001, 271), etc.
  • [7] A new partnership for cohesion, European Commission, Luxemburg 2004, 3.
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