Global Reach

Progressive companies serve global markets by increasing product specifications and otherwise offering products that differ from those in the domestic markets. They also derive more revenues from overseas markets than domestic markets and have future growth opportunities weighted toward emerging markets.


Reverse-value chain.


Organizational units in progressive enterprises.


Progressive companies are dynamic. They constantly create external networks to access product innovation, process technologies, manage working capital, maintain market access, and cultivate knowledge. These critical linkages are based on mutual benefit, trust, empathy, and good communication—and they are vigorously protected (Siegel et al. 2003).

New Composition of Employees

The full-time regular employees in progressive companies are technically literate; they embody the core competencies of these companies. Some of these employees may reside abroad, have modern attitudes toward the employer-employee relationship, and change jobs frequently, preferring opportunities for interesting and challenging work that stretches their abilities.

Supporting these core employees are various part-timers, independent contractors, agency temporaries, and employees of vendors and consultants who will also be engaged. Therefore, the company may have a smaller share of support staff provided by outside agencies.

Example 14.1

What are some new characteristics of workers in the twenty-first century?

Answer 14.1

Workers in the new century may have these characteristics:

1. Free agents can now sell their skills around the world via the Internet; this was impossible to do not too long ago.

  • 2. Professional groups are likely to offer the senses of identity and community, health insurance, and other benefits needed by free agents who move from one company to another.
  • 3. Each employee may have as many as 20 different jobs throughout a career of 45 years (an average of 2.5 years per job). They tend to constantly bargain for better deals within their organizations (e.g., stock options, a sign-up bonus, new projects, Thursdays off, an August sabbatical).
  • 4. Workers seek to acquire a broad set of marketable skills, as companies will continue to outsource white-collar jobs and spread centers of excellence around the world to seek advantages in cost, speed, and expertise.
  • 5. STEM professionals and leaders need to be flexible and adaptable to organizational changes and become cosmopolitan, equally at ease both at home and abroad.
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