Showing posts with label Internet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Internet. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Is the Internet Forming Collective Intelligence?

Society is changing and higher education is in a process of adapting to that change. The Internet has been a major catalyst in that change as new forms of collective intelligence is being created. Higher education is in a transitional period moving from traditional to virtual models to keep up with that change. An article on collective intelligence discusses the possibilities of greater change as different forms of intelligence find their way onto the Net (Medeiros,et. al., 2014).

Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences helps us realize that intelligence can’t be measured by simple IQ alone. A single measurement of intelligence as a basis of our education system is subjective by nature. The knowledge accepted, scrubbed and published by higher education limited innovative development. Multiple forms of intelligence are forming new knowledge outside of traditional systems. 

These intelligences include linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, spatial, bodily-kinaesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and natural. Each intelligence taps into a different human capacity to perceive and understand the environment. Higher education predominately focuses on a couple of different types of intelligences but the Internet is forming its own collective form of knowledge through the expression of multiple intelligences.

The Internet is offering opportunities to create collective intelligence based upon these multiple ways of understanding through the adaptation and integration of knowledge. People can now be co-creators in the knowledge generation process and are no longer forced to think about issues from a singular vantage point. The Internet has cracked open the vault of expression.

As information continues to spread through the use of modern technology it will generate new forms of collective intelligence. Multitudes of people will form around specific interests and begin to build new forms of knowledge as they share their interest and understandings. The faster this process occurs the quicker the development of societies.  

The information will also challenge existing institutions in higher education, government and civic arenas much like the printing press challenged previous forms. As scientific knowledge spread, church teachings were questioned, and governments adapted to new systems because knowledge led to higher levels of collective intelligence. An era of enlightenment ensued that led to the scientific advantages we still use today. The Internet is the next great printing press that will change all that it touches. 

Medeiros, V. et. al. (2014). Connecting multiple intelligences through open and distance learning: going towards a collective intelligence? European Journal of Open Distance & E-Learning, 17 (1).

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Will Technology and the Sharing Economy Adjust the Market?

The sharing economy is upon us as a direct result of the Internet and its ability to move information around the globe quickly. The lean years since the Great Recession has further fueled an entrepreneurial spirit that tries to hedge income and opportunities through micro-businesses. Large companies are adjusting their structures to reduce costs and improve upon operational functioning. Will the sharing economic and Information Age adjust the way we think, interact, and conduct business?

Things don’t often change quickly and it takes time for people to understand and develop methods of realizing goals.  The sharing economy encourages people to interact with each other by using technology on an economic, ecological, and sociological level (Dubois, 2014). They connect together and share resources to create opportunities.  On a micro level this collaboration builds new possibilities.

Companies are finding benefit in working with other companies and stakeholders to generate higher levels of efficient and effective operations. Excess capacity can be sold during the slow times or purchased during the growth periods without enduring large outlays of capital expenditures. This creates flexible economic growth that better fills in the gaps between the larger economic pieces.

Building a stronger economy requires the connecting of people through collaborative and cooperative participation (Schultz, 2013). Information transference and understanding of the environment encourages effective economic decisions to create better market adjustments. Helping individuals connect to the system, voice their opinions, share information, further their skills, and find opportunities to create growth momentum. Consider four likely adjustments:

New Business Structures: The way in which people view business and new technology is changing the way business and work is conducted. For example, a company called Loconomics is owned by the employees who are employed there (Said, 2014). Virtual companies are sprouting, traditional companies are become flatter, and concepts like crowdsourcing are becoming a powerful business development tool. 

Renting Excess Capacity: Company’s naturally have slack in their capacity or may need additional production abilities at certain times of the year but do not have enough of a need to expand or build new facilities.  For example a company called Floow2 is developing an online site to encourage sharing of excess capacity such as vans and rental equipment in similar geographic locations (Schiller, 2014). Small businesses are lowering costs and improving capacity for growth without as much long term risks.

An Entrepreneurial Class: Using new technology makes a higher level of sharing possible. The transformation in the way people think about selling, buying, and sharing is transforming the way in which entrepreneurial activity occurs (Said, 2014). A person can hold a job and work part-time on a business without major disruption in their lives. Hedged skills and abilities can be used to foster the economic engine and encourage market adjustment.

Pressure on Governmental Structure: There are inherent risks associated new technology and ways of thinking about economic participation. As new business structures and models form they will naturally put pressure on government to adapt. There will be years of negotiation, legal and social interaction that will occur before a happy medium is found. We can think of the ride-share program and the need to define the business while ensuring safety (Weidner, 2014). A proper balance will need to be found to protect stakeholders and the public while still encouraging the testing of new ideas.

The sharing economy is a collaborative one. As people find information, market position, and share resources they are better able to adjust to market realities and see emerging trends. Sharing is not something that is beneficial for only people but also helps companies to buy, sell, and lease capacity to adjust with the market without expensive outlays that create sticky markets. More finite pieces help to create smoother economic transitions and market efficiencies within the capitalistic perspective.

Duboise, et. al. (2014). Connected consumption: a sharing economy takes hold. Rotman Management

Schultz, R. (2013). Adjacent opportunities: the collaboration economy. Emergence: Complexity & Organization, 15 (4). 

Said, C. (May 24th, 2014). Cooperatives give new meaning to sharing economy. SF Southgate. Retrieved May 28th, 2014 from

Schiller, B. (May 27, 2014). The Sharing Economy Isn't Just For Consumers: Now Small Businesses Are Getting In On The Game. Fast Co Exist. Retrieved May 28th, 2014 from

Weidner, D. (May 23rd, 2014). The unique risks of ‘sharing economy’ companies. Market Watch. Retrieved May 28th, 2014 from

Monday, May 26, 2014

Using the Internet to Create Efficient Supply Chains

San Diego Bay Dock -M.Abel

Products move across the globe at a speed unseen at any time in history. Much of this movement is directly derived from improved manufacturing methods mixed with telecommunications technologies that coordinate supply chain mechanisms to create more efficient processes. Fatorachian, et. al. (2013) studied 67 companies to determine what impact the integration of Internet technology and its computational power has on the supply chain. The study helps companies push for greater technological development using the data processing methods of the Internet.


The supply chain is a necessary component of moving products and equipment to various locations where they are put to use keeping the economic engine running. Sometimes this may be within a city, a country, or across the globe but many of the processes have similarities. According to Gereffi (1999), the supply chain integration can be a main source of providing competitive advantages based upon networked relationships. 


The supply chain ensures that each of the components are connected together to reduce waste, improve speed, and meet timeframes. The supply chain can be quit complex and take into consideration large and small shipments. It is therefore important to have the right kind of information that integrates all of these components into a more integrated network. Generally, the more integrated the network the more cost effective it can be and this impacts the profits of a company in a big way. 


Enhancing the supply chain requires better collaboration, cooperation and understanding of different partners within the network (Kandemir, et. al, 2006). This integration often requires higher levels of software, information, and connecting systems that encourage the components to work well together. When a product is tracked and the systematic efficiencies are improved across multiple companies there is a natural reduction in cost and an increase in service. 


Most of us are familiar with tracking at UPS and Amazon. We experience supply chain technology when products are scanned in as they move from one point to the next. Each time the product is scanned the system can tell at what leg and juncture of the trip it is at. Customers may find this a benefit but companies also get the benefit of monitoring many shipments to reduce costs and lower the level of resources expended on logistical management. 


Those companies that can integrate their supply chain have much higher payoffs than those who don’t (Cagliano, et. al., 2005).  This is not an easy process and often requires a systematic redesigning of the process to integrate high technology information with ground based systems. The development of high data and fast information transference systems that can manipulate the functioning of physical systems takes time. 


According to the authors when a company can do this well they are able to generate significant benefits.  The authors found through their analysis that the use of Internet technology improved upon supply chain integration, logistics and returns processes, order processes, procurement, planning synchronization, inventory control, overall production, and customer relationship management. This means that the implementation of technology systems furthered significant strategic goals within companies. Business leaders should consider the improvement of their systems and updating of technology when possible. 


Cagliano, R., (2005) Ebusiness strategy: how companies are shaping their supply chain through the internet. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 25 (12), pp 130927.


Fatorachian, H., et. al. (2013). Role of Internet in supply chain integration: empirical evidence from manufacturing SME’s within the UK. Proceedings of the European Conference on Management, Leadership & Governance 

Gereffi, G. (1999) International trade and industrial upgrading in the apparel commodity chain. Journal of International Economics, 48 (1). 


Kandemir, D., Yaprak, A. and Cavusgil, S.T. (2006) Alliance orientation: conceptualization, measurement, and impact on market performance. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 34 (3).