Note: Part III in a series on instructional design articles. This photo was taken of Sandra at the Juvenile Justice Education Institute during her presentation.
According to Goldsmith and Busby, effective management decisions are based on an understanding of resource scarcity and supply and demand. There are three types of resources: people, time, and money. Scarcity occurs when the demand exceeds the supply. Supply and demand refer to an economic condition. Understanding the economic cycle between supply and demand is important for an instructional designer. For example, they should be aware of the stages of an economic cycle: growth, peak, decline, and trough. They also need to know what solutions organizations will take to address economic changes and how these will affect the overall performance of an organization and each individual.
The authors described the various characteristics of an economic cycle. For example, we are currently in an unstable environment because of the fluctuations in the stock market, the volatile housing market, and high unemployment. This is the dynamic cycle of our economy that affects every organization. The cycles are difficult to predict and are unclear until after much time has passed, and the stages have been plotted. Hence, the economic cycle is unsmooth and can cause lag (good lag and bad lag) for a training program, a new products invention, or with the new technology purchases. An example of a bad lag in the economic cycle would be the economic dissonance of creating a new product when the demand has already waned.
Goldsmith, J. J., & Busby, R. D. (2012). Managing scarce resources in training projects. In R. A. Reiser & J. V. Dempsey (Eds.) Trends & issues in instructional design & technology (3rd ed.). (pp. 126-134). Columbus, OH: Merrill-Prentice Hall.