This article presents and analyses the main challenges facing business organisations today: the management of people and knowledge, derived from the great transformations caused by the Third and Fourth Industrial Revolutions. A new management model, developed in the Basque Country, and the new style of relationships (ner, using its name form in Spanish – ‘nuevo estilo de relaciones’), shared by organisations of the ner Group, are presented and the main results of a study on their cultural features are demonstrated, as perceived by the people who work with this concept. Ner is based on people (the basic pillars of an organisation) who, with communication and information, are organised in self-managed groups and share a future project with trust, freedom and responsibility. They develop an important internal solidarity (the sharing of results, not dismissals) and they dedicate budget and working hours to their commitment to society.

About the Author

María Alvarez Sainz and Kepa Xabier Apellaniz

María Alvarez Sainz is Professor at the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) in Bilbao. Professor Alvarez Sainz’s research focuses on marketing places, the image of the city and the analysis of the recovery of Bilbao; business challenges for the 21st century due to the developments of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. She recently published, with Professor Kepa Apellaniz, a book entitled “Managing People and Knowledge: Business Challenges for the 21st Century. The ner Group case”, which presents the results of the research conducted during 2015-2016. Professor of Statistics and Mathematical Analysis, Computer Science Faculty and Sociology Faculty, (University of Deusto, 1983-2003); Visiting Scholar, Department of Mathematics (Columbia University, New York, 1997-1998) and Professor of Business Management Computer Systems, Faculty of Economics and Business (University of the Basque Country)

Education: PhD, Computer Science (University of Deusto, 1987). M.S. Business Administration, MBA (University of Deusto, 1992). M.S. Advanced Management, MEGA, (University of Deusto, 1993). PhD, Economics and Business (University of Deusto, 1999).

Kepa Xabier Apellaniz is Professor at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), he taught at the Faculty of Economics and Business in Donostia and Bilbao, in areas related to business and work. Labor relations, the organization of companies and the analysis of work have been the main fields of teaching activity, later transferred to the field of research. He recently published, with Professor María Alvarez Sainz, the book entitled "Managing People and Knowledge: Business Challenges for the 21st Century. The “ner Group case" which is the result of research conducted during 2015-2016

Education: Graduate in Sociology (University of Deusto, 1990). Expert in Social Policy and Social Services (University of Deusto, 1993). Doctor of Sociology, (University of the Basque Country, 2016).