COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE IN SELECTED BREWING FIRMS IN SOUTH EAST NIGERIA

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

The commencement of the Industrial Revolution is linked to a number of innovations, beginning in the second half of the 18th century. By the 1830s the following gains had been made in important technologies: textile, steam power, iron making, machine tools, chemicals, cement, gas lighting, glass making, paper machine, agriculture, mining, others are transportation, canals, roads and railways and these increased the standard of living, nutrition, housing, clothing, consumer goods and population increase (Evans and Ryden, 2005).

There was industrial revolution because of availability of leaders with the right skill, ability, intelligence and competence to turn around the nation’s economy.

In 1911, Frederick W. Taylor published his work, The Principles of Scientific Management, in which he described how the application of the scientific method to the management of workers greatly could improve productivity. Scientific management methods called for optimizing the way that tasks were performed and simplifying the jobs enough so that workers could be trained to perform their specialized sequence of motions in the one “best” way.(Jones and George,2009)

Prior to scientific management, work was performed by skilled craftsmen who had learned their jobs in lengthy apprenticeships. They made their own decisions about how their job was to be performed. Scientific management took away much of this autonomy and converted skilled crafts into a series of simplified jobs that could be performed by unskilled workers who easily could be trained for the tasks. Taylor succeeded because he was able to train his workers, which is human capital development, an aspect of intellectual capital management.

The term knowledge industries, knowledge work and knowledge worker are nearly fifty years old, they were coined around 1960 simultaneously but independently (Drucker, 2008). Before that time knowledge was typically considered the province of training and was thought of as an individual capability. However, in the mid-90s Peter Drucker began to write about “knowledge workers” and the “knowledge economy” and proposed the idea that knowledge was a critical organizational asset that was as important as capital or property (Drucker, 2008).

The initial idea of knowledge management (explicit knowledge) was that an organization’s knowledge needed to be documented and then placed in a database where everyone could access it whenever they needed it – no longer would employees only be able to learn when attending a training class.  Given the limitations of content management, by 2000 there began to be glimmers of a new perspective on knowledge within organizations. This new perspective (experiential knowledge) held among others that:

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