The global business environment requires managers to integrate outside sources and business partners to increase efficiency. Technology has been proven to be a key factor in improving good relationships, while also providing capabilities to evaluate and eliminate poor relationships (Scannell and Sullivan, 2000). Companies are partnering together to form virtual organizational units, which work to the benefit of core businesses as we illustrated with the Amazon.com example in the introduction to this chapter. Managers must have business management skills, technical skills, and a thorough knowledge of external relationship management in order to take optimal advantage of opportunities and leverage the skills and knowledge of other organizations to maximize returns on investment.
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