The modern business paradigm, like the Tower of Babel, is being transformed by information technology-enabled communication capability, from one of competition to one of cooperation. This is illustrated by Miller, Roth and Kim's (1992) report, in which they compare and contrast the Boston University Manufacturing Futures Survey's results from its inception in 1981 with those throughout the1980's and the most recent in 1990. The survey was administered to approximately 200 American manufacturing executives, who in it ranked the importance of strategic manufacturing capabilities and the initiatives their firms are undertaking. The authors' results thus give a cross-sectional view of manufacturing priorities and initiatives, their evolution through the 1980's, and the respondents' projections of such into the 1990's. The authors report a shift in manufacturing response patterns from restructuring (i.e., downsizing, plant closure, plant relocation, workforce reductions, product standardization) and process improvement and product improvement in the 1980's, to the response pattern characterized by the authors as "integrative". This integrative pattern includes initiatives such as : 1) constructing measures that are congruent with business strategy, 2) using interfunctional teams to span functional barriers, 3) sharing goals through the entire hierarchy, 4) training supervisors and workers, and 5) enhancing organizational learning through knowledge transfer. I contend that this paradigm shift is partly due to the ubiquitous integration of information technology (IT) into all facets of the business environment. The Tower of Babel is an apt metaphor for the modern IT-enabled business paradigm shift, in that communication capability enabled cooperation in the Tower's construction. The Tower's destruction was due to lack of communication. Likewise, business effectiveness and efficiency are enabled through cooperation, which depends on communication capabili
Setzekorn, Kristina, "Prisoner's Dilemma and the Tower of Babel" (1995). AMCIS 1995 Proceedings. 134.