单选题   First it revolutionised everything, then it changed nothing and now no one knows what to think. Predictions about how the communications revolution would transform management have followed a trajectory just as wild and erratic as high-technology stock prices. It is timely, then, to read a calm, temperate analysis arguing that we have underestimated the capacity of the internet to transform companies and businesses.
    Despite the high expectations of the time, the dotcom business model was never likely to bequeath an enduring legacy of lightning growth and quick cash. Frances Cairncross's contention is that now the frantic energy has been dissipated, the real revolutionary effect of that model on the structures, functions and activities of established businesses and markets can start to become clear, Discerning it can be a subtle affair: 'The most widespread revolution in the workplace will come from the rise in collaboration and the decline of hierarchy,' she writes.
    Both of these, of course, were trends-in-progress before the widespread adoption of internet technology. But they are the areas where the change can now be perceived as most profound, precisely because developments in communications technology have worked with the grain of pre-existing movements, accelerating what was already happening. In previous generations, communications flowed from the top of companies downwards. But as more firms began to strip out layers of hierarchy, the internet allowed the flatter corporate architecture and web-like structures of modern organisations to function efficiently. Multifunctional teams, the much-pampered child of 1990s management theory, would be so much trickier to run without the internet. In addition, the internet enables efficient outsourcing and management of external suppliers. Highly marketable workers now have a choice. They can work flexibly if they want to auction their skills to well-paying clients, and move on when they get restless. From a company perspective, the transformed feelings about work among desirable external personnel carry their own difficulties. Many companies are finding that squads of free agents can be difficult to manage and reward. Human resources directors in some sectors are having to behave like theatrical casting agents: they staff work, not jobs.
    As Ms Cairncross suggests, new information technology leads to organisational change. Every aspect of running a company, whether building a brand (down to five years from 50), managing an 'ecosystem' of suppliers, innovation, or leading and motivating senior executives, has undergone-and continues to undergo-a transformation. This is not always in predictable ways, though. Who would have guessed that the widespread adoption of email would mean that turning up in person would actually carry greater weight than before?
    Predicting the managerial consequences of the communications revolution inevitably risks being a hostage to fortune, especially as the revolution is still in its infancy. The speed of innovation is enough to make most of us feel bewildered. The telephone was invented in the 1870s but it was not until the 1980s that the telephone banking industry took off. Dotcom companies went from boom to bust in just seven years, fragmenting old markets and creating new ones as they went. In such an atmosphere, fortune reading needs to be tempered by prudent vigilance.
1.  In the first paragraph, Overell notes that views regarding the impact of the internet on business have
【正确答案】 D
【答案解析】