The trend towards free trade and tariff reductions, although often held back temporarily by political forces, has encouraged the growth of globalisation.
The government can help or hinder a nation’s ability to adapt successfully to change through its policy on taxation, public spending and investment priorities, its monetary policy and the legislation which it introduces.
For example, much new employment legislation has been introduce in the past decade, designed to encourage more flexible working and retirement practices, and to extend working life as part of a solution to the ageing population and pension costs.
The values and behaviour of our society also change, defining what is acceptable and what is fair and just. Priorities also change, sometimes as the result of increasing wealth or through the influence of the media.
The drive for corporate social responsibility has brought about change in the way that businesses relate to the communities in which they operate: at the same time, employers are being forced to pay more attention to their employees’ opinions and their demands for an acceptable work/life balance.