New business models in Pakistan
Is division, confinement, and hierarchy of knowledge the model to create and sustain an organization in the upcoming decades? No.
This is supported by theory with successful case studies and field evidence from around the globe. However, little attention and application has been advanced in Pakistan. In many ways, we remain stuck with the business model of the industrialized century: hide, confine, and protect knowledge to self, whether in the form of an organization or person.
Unfortunately, the internet will not allow this model to flourish for too long. Its inherent features of freedom, equality, and access provide new opportunities tailored to knowledge sharing, openness, and empowerment. Pakistan on the other hand has yet to face the realities of the internet dominant world, therefore protection still flourishes. This is due to the limited use and access of the internet to the public, catering only to a small fraction of the population base. But growth in usage and eventual overturn is inevitable.
The concept of learning through informal and open exchange is not new, it has existed throughout history but the integrated, accessible, and connected world has enhanced its coverage, scope, and influence over a wider audience. For example, it has been widely documented that clustered organizations outperform scattered ones, whether it is academia or any other industry. One of the core reasons for this is the spillover feature that interaction and social presence of firms and people is able to create, referred to as ‘untraded interdependencies’ by Steven Pinch and Nick Henry . This is probably the most natural, indigenous, and localized form of learning to have existed over time, where people learn with and from one another. Its pedagogy may differ per region but the essence of interaction remains the same.
Similarly, open and integrated spaces are overtaking the old wave of cubicle, closed door and isolated office spaces. In Pakistan, we are still confined to the box. We need to take a leap and step outside our box of comfort — and our traditional business parameters.