As standards and policies in Information Technology continue to develop globally, the Internet is becoming the primary vehicle for worldwide electronic commerce. Various organizations such as the ITU (International Telecommunication Union), GIIC (Global Information Infrastructure Commission), NII (National Information Infrastructure), NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers,) and the European Union, to name just a few, have strived to develop standards and policies to promote and protect consumers and organizations that conduct business on the Internet. Many challenges exist, such as computing standards, taxation, security, privacy and currency standards. These challenges must be resolved in order to ensure a level playing field. Strategies in Information Technology have allowed companies and individuals to challenge former ways of conducting business by employing radical technologies based on technological standards promoting global electronic commerce. For a company to position itself to envision radical technology, it must focus on the future. This forward thinking must be a part of a company's corporate culture so that technological opportunism can be developed. Without radical technology, companies do not stand a chance in the information age. Although radical technologies have promoted technological and strategic opportunism enabling and supporting global electronic commerce, there are non-technological factors, such as cultural pluralism and other human factors that will determine the survivability of a country or company regardless of its technological innovations. These non-technological factors bring to light the notion that technology in and of itself satisfies only a subset of requirements needed for companies and countries to be competitive in the future global marketplace. Various traditional schools of thought on competitive advantage and strategy will be examined as well as the role of standards and open systems in reference to how it will play out in supporting the future of technology. Standards based organizations will establish and set the standards in promoting the methods in which technology will manifest itself. Doing this will support radical technology fostering innovation. Cultural pluralism coupled with these standards will support the future of international commerce and technological innovation because it will draw on new ideas and techniques in research and development from other cultures. The strategic alignment model will be used to internally aligned business with IT in terms of creating synergies as well as creating iterations which will take advantage of multiculturalism. Japan's technological innovations, their use of technology transfer, and their strategies in research and development employing scientists and engineers worldwide, historically has shown that cultural pluralism has allowed them to excel in the technological playing field despite wars and natural disasters. These components will play a more significant role as technology shifts into a new non-technological dimension promoting the future global innovation. The future of technology will rely more on cultural pluralism and less on technology itself. This new wave of technological innovation will occur once the playing field has been set by government involvement, global standards, global access to the internet and it's technologies, and most importantly, corporations and individuals accepting cultural pluralism.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Information technology--Social aspects; Electronic commerce--Social aspects; Information technology--Standards--Social aspects; Electronic commerce--Standards--Social aspects; Information technology--Economic aspects; Multiculturalism

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Information Sciences and Technologies (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Information Sciences and Technologies (GCCIS)


Edward Holden

Advisor/Committee Member

Luther Troell

Advisor/Committee Member

Milton Cofield


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at HC79.I55 C44 2004


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