The Future of Corporate Globalization: From the Extended Order to the Global Village

By Jeremiah J. Sullivan | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 10

THE INTERNET: GLOBAL VILLAGE OR MASS SOCIETY?

During the last half of the 20th century, the use of network-oriented communication soared in such forms as electronic funds transfer, electronic data interchange, and financial data services. No one claimed that these tools for rapidly transferring information would change society as we know it. Then came the Internet, the World Wide Web, and a standard coding system (HTML). These differed from the older networks in being based on nonproprietary protocols (TCP/IP) rather than proprietary; being open to all users rather than closed to most; being able to accommodate data, text, audio, and video rather than just data and text; being interactive (called synchronous) rather than not (asynchronous); and being able to connect computers, telephones, mobile phones, televisions, cable systems, and electronic appliances (with the help of new systems known as Bluetooth, the Wireless Application Protocol, and others). Universal connectivity at low cost has encouraged millions of people and organizations to become users, and stable, widely agreed-on standards have encouraged investors to pour billions into system development in the hope of profits from the sales of products, network services, operating systems, hardware, and software applications. The Internet, including e-mail, allows inexpensive, easy communication of one to one, one to many, many to one, and many to many—an achievement unparalleled in human history. By the middle of this century, almost every person on the planet will have the opportunity to be in contact at low cost with every other person at any time and in any place. 1

We have seen that as business becomes more globalized in the coming decades, it will have to deal with challenges to extended order ideas of mar-

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