The world of business is undergoing a time of considerable stress, change and in some sectors unprecedented growth. Much of the conventional wisdom concerning business education and theory is being challenged and thus it is all the more important to endeavour to elucidate what is taking place. Economic certainties look increasingly vulnerable and existing formulas appear jaded and in some cases moribund. Where once academics were fixated with global brands and multi-nationals increasingly the role of SMEs is coming to the fore. Governments from Armenia to Somaliland are keen to find ways to stimulate business and thus create local employment.
Regrettably the global economic crisis is increasingly used as an excuse for poor performance at all levels thus limiting the search for routes out of it. It should not be seen as a destroyer but as a purifier, ensuring the survival and prosperity of the fittest. The business environment has changed and will be changing more than ever in years to come - some traditionally powerful markets have weakened while others have grown, cultural and geographical distances between people are shrinking, innovation in all aspects (technology, markets, finance, etc.) has become paramount for sustainable competitive advantage. The challenge of economic development is one faced by all nations and there is an extraordinary array of initiatives that are being put into place to act as ‘economic pump primers’. Whereas once developed markets would have only been interested in how other developed economies are stimulating economic development, increasingly there is interest in how developing economies are proving fertile nurseries for imaginative and often successful initiatives. An added dimension is the role that new technologies can play.