communication technology in Organizations I. Introduction The study of organizational communication recognizes that communication in organizations goes far beyond training managers to be effective speakers and to have good interpersonal communication skills. Moreover, it recognizes that all organizations, not just business organizations, have communication needs and challenges. The field of organizational communication is highly diverse and fragmented, as evidenced by results of literature searches on the topic and textbooks in the area. It spans communication at the micro, and macro levels; formal and informal communications; internal organizational communication practice as well as externally directed communications. As a new academic discipline, organizational communication is struggling to develop and convey some sense of coherency across these many areas.
Organizational communication in today’s organizations has not only become far more complex and varied but more important to overall organizational functioning and success. While research used to focus on understanding how organizational communication varied by organizational type and structure, the emphasis has increasingly turned to understanding how new communication technologies and capabilities can help bring about new and more effective organizational forms and processes For the past decades, technological innovations and advancements have given birth to a wide array of new communication technology. The study of the diffusion of technological mediation in organizational communication is the subject of both academics and practitioners interest in many parts of the world. These new technologies have impacted all aspects of the human lives, particularly in the workplace as the main feature of the organizational operations. Realizing the importance of recognizing the practical and successful use of the technology, organizational communication experts and scholars have in many ways tried to define and find the most efficient way of implementing the technology. Internet and the Information superhighway, being the newest phenomenon derived from communication technology, have especially attracted the interest of the communication community.
... their human capital decisions impact stakeholders beyond the organizational boundaries. Many organizations reported that this in-depth knowledge of the ... of problem identification is constant communication with the subordinates. It is very important to recognize that the differences in ... s new workplace. Dominion-Swann (DS) is a technology-based company that respects its employees and whose knowledge ...
Many believe that through the advent of the information superhighway, organizations are departing from the traditional communication strategies and tactics to new unique ways that allow them to be more effective on many ways. The information superhighway is being shaped by the creation of digital telephone networks, interactive cable television, personal computers and Internet. For most organizations, these expansions provide a larger and vast communication that is the driving formation of a global marketplace. Although there are consensus agreement among scholars and practitioners on the viability and significance of the technological impact on organizations, agreement on the more specific impacts and social influences of those technologies have yet to be achieved.
The differences in organizations’ adoption level and implementation of new technologies have resulted in the different results and outcomes, some negative and some positive, that it makes the task of identifying the best mode of implementation seemed unattainable. 2) Issues of concern and position After going through the process of writing the concept paper, I have been able to study how numerous prolific scholars in the organizational communication study define, understand and look at the emergence and impact of communication technologies on the many areas of organizational functions. Through careful study also, I have been able to identify a few points regarding the topic that are still vague. Therefore, in these areas I have tried to build my own position with the hope that it can give not only myself but also other interested parties a basic standing point, if not a clearer view of the particular areas of concern. What is most important, I would like to identify the determinant of technological success. Although the scholars have given different views that state the importance of both technology and organizational / cultural /social change, I would like to have my own position on a single key factor.
The Term Paper on What Has Caused the Increased Use of Digital Technology and Its Effects on Communication
... , 2008). Another important effect is that the digital technology improves the ability of communication during a catastrophe. On April 20, 2013, a ... society and promotes the communication as a result. Cause One cause of why the use of the digital technology increases is that ... of the last 20 years, the digital technology have had a rapid development and influenced the world deeply. It is a kind ...
In order to build a strong position, I have outlined several questions, which I deem, are in need of specific answers. These questions assisted me in creating a conceptual framework of the topic thus giving me a better understanding of my own position of the concerned issue. Answers to these questions will lead me to my core position on which has the biggest influence on the technology application: the technology or the social alteration? Among the questions are: . Which element has the stronger influence? Is the organization in a better position to determine the technology used? Or, is technological advancement the key that shapes how organizations develop? If either one is has the bigger take, what determines that influence? . How are communication technologies being assimilated with organizations? Are technologies being used as a form of mediation, extension or replacement of current processes? what constitutes the decision of the level of assimilation used? .
How are communication technologies being implemented? What is the best form of technology infrastructure? Who is responsible for this implementation? What are the choices of technology used? Are there any particular theories, principle or technical reasons on why the technology is chosen? . What degree of change will these technologies bring? Will it change the organizations’s tructure, process, products and services, goals, design in particular? Or, will it change all of the organizations’ components? . What can the management do to influence the impact of technology? What kinds of influence does organizational members have on the technological implementation? How do they influence the process? What about training and technology literacy? . Will technology bring about significant change in the organizational attitude and culture? What about technology attitudes and culture with regards to related job tasks and use of technology? . How can the success or failure of organizational technology be assessed? What are the determinant and measuring factors that determines the nature of the out come? Who has the right to assess that outcome? . What are the societal impacts of the technology implementation? Will organization have more influence on political, economic or even environment? Will the influence be good or bad? In the process of trying to answer these questions, I have made extra readings of other scholastic writing that assisted in building my position on the topic.
... advances in communication and information technology has changed the business and the way we commute with each other. Cnn, Jason White. "Wireless Technology Changing Work and ... . Web. 01 Nov. 2011. <//communication. howstuffworks. com/technology-changed-business. htm>. Technology advancement is happening on a daily basis ...
In the subsequent chapters I will try to provide answers to the questions raised and hopefully provide a better understanding on the impact of communication technology on organizations. 3) Literature review and indicated position There is a long tradition in information systems research on evaluating the impacts of communication technology on organizations and individuals. Within this broad context, some researchers have focused on the impacts resulting from implementation of information systems, and on resistance to change. This paper reveals that effects can range from decentralization to centralization of authority; job enrichment or, in opposition, more routinization of jobs; (Daniels, Spiker and Papa) and finally, there are larger social implications (Huntley, 1988) (Hicks&Gullet, 1985) (Kovacic, 1994).
The paper discusses the several factors identified to explain this wide variety of impacts: the capabilities and limitations of the technology chosen for the work, the objectives of management, and the demanding social and organizational change. Communication is not only an essential aspect of these recent organizational changes, but effective communication can be seen as the foundation of modern organizations.
Changes confronting organizations and the associated changes in organizational forms have made organizational communication increasingly important to overall organization (Hicks&Gullet, 1985) (Kovacic, 1994) (Hickson, Stacks and Padgett-Greely, 1998) (Roach Gaut and M. Perrigo, 1998).
... communication technology has helped to grow the benefits of the institution and simplify the daily operation of the organization ... The use of information and communication technology has taken wider scope in ... in market. As part of WTO (world Trade Organization) Nepal has opened its door to the global ... smart ICT product has made easier deployment of technology to the developing countries. In the context, ...
I consider communication today is more complex and requires greater coordination and interaction among workers due to the faster pace of work, broader work scope and processes and the increased importance of knowledge and innovation within organizations. These make communication technologies and networks increasingly essential to an organization’s structure and strategy. The capabilities and limitations of the technology are argued to be one of the main factors that need to be identified by organizations to ensure success in implementation process (Byers, 1997) (Jablin&Putnam, 2001) (Roach Gaut and M. Perrigo, 1998).
Therefore, I have chosen these points of pros and cons to be discussed in my position. I argue that other things being equal, the various levels of information system and communication technologies selected for distributed work arrangements will have differing impacts on the success of the arrangements, both for organizations and individuals. The second factor, objectives of management (Hicks&Gullet, 1985) also affects outcomes and, in addition, these objectives have a large influence on technological choices. Finally, the existing structures in the organization (Hicks&Gullet, 1985) (Kovacic, 1994), specifically the work coordination mechanisms and communication requirements, will serve as both enablers and constraints in taking advantage of the advanced technologies.
The use of technology is expected to change the face in which organizational activities, especially in meetings, group or individual tasks, human interaction and work settings (Jablin&Putnam, 2001) (Hickson, Stacks and Padgett-Greely, 1998) (Byers, 1997) (Roach Gaut and M. Perrigo, 1998).
Distributed work arrangements encompass many different alternatives to working at the traditional office. These remote work options, or non-traditional work settings, include satellite work centers, virtual teams, neighborhood work centers, flexible work arrangements, generic offices (recently referred to as hotel ing), and telecommuting or telework.
... important to find the right balance between communications technology and traditional communication channels to ensure that we can both: ... media such as Twitter or Facebook) Costs: Employing communications technology can significantly reduce cost to individuals and businesses. ... . Malfunction: Like any modern technology, computers, servers or networks do stop to work from time to time. Equipment ...
My position will concentrate on distributed work arrangements of the telecommuting type and virtual team, where employees use both computers and telecommunications to work at home all or some of the workdays. However, the portability and freedom of working may bring both positive and negative result as it diminish human interaction while trying to provide an avenue of a more flexible working conditions. The same applies to consumer related communication, as online transaction and customer support are taking over the responsibility of face-to-face customer support and relationship. Therefore, it is my stand that organizations need to find a more moderate take of the telecommuting and interactive relationship among organizations as to ensure that technology only extends the communication ability and not replace it altogether. It is arguably true that ICT in organizations are both influenced by, and are also influencing other societal components such as economic, political and natural environment. (Hickson, Stacks and Padgett-Greely, 1998).
Healthy domestic political and economic atmosphere will directly affect new innovations and advancements. This will then determine the availibility of new technologies that can be adopted by organizations. Increased productivity resulting from technological implementation will create a cycle effect in which organizations can contribute back to the country’s political and economic prosperity. The choice of technological mechanism to use is one of the most vital factor in determining the functionality of those technology within organization (Hicks&Gullet, 1985) (Hickson, Stacks and Padgett-Greely, 1998) (Byers, 1997) (Daniels, Spiker and Papa).
Issues such as compatibility, cost, technical support, and techno-literacy are as equally important as the organizations’ initial intention of implementing those technologies. Compatibility for example, ensures that the technical and mechanism element of the technology are viable and suitable with the organizations’ needs and conditions as to serve its sole purpose of enhancing productivity. Compatibility are closely related to the costs needed to secure safe implementation. Technical support teams meanwhile play the most important role in keeping the technology to function. Techno-literacy is a word that organizations need to be really familiar with. It is in my position that organization-wide techno-literacy is the most important factor in determining success of technology assimilation into the organization.
... of business processes and organizational structures require organizational change. The leaders in charge of the organization did not do renewal ... change the demands of the customers adapting the business to sell according to the new technology; for example, the new mode of communication ... on the part of organizational members. It makes people’s emotions to react to a change. In short, according ...
Ability to use new technologies from simple desktops to high-function mainframes must be instilled into organization members as to ensure that the technology are not treated as mere medallions that are of no use to most members. This is because increased usage of new technologies are accompanied by a range of skill requirements. Some of these are technical and are associated with the use of computers, others are interpersonal and are associated with changing job roles and responsibilities. Thus, there is a need to adopt a systematic approach to the assessment of skills required, the subsequent identification of training needs and the provision of training designed to enable individuals and groups acquire and develop skills which contribute to optimal job performance. Therefore, sufficient training and enhancement of organizational culture is needed to assist member in utilizing the technology efficiently and effectively. There have been continuos change in communication technologies and a corresponding continuos change in communication theory and research.
The organizational communication literature traditionally focused on how variations in organizational communication were affected by variations in the size, structure, and types of organization and how different types of organizational cultures gave rise to different types of organizational communication. The literature has now switched the unique ordering, emphasizing how new forms of organizational communication can bring about new organizational structures, cultures, as well as wholly new organizational forms (Byers, 1997).
New communication technologies and possibilities, combined with new challenges confronting organizations, are encouraging a whole new approach to organizational communication that challenges the very nature of organizations themselves. Radically new communication-enabled organizational forms are possible and are now emerging (Jablin&Putnam, 2001) (Hickson, Stacks and Padgett-Greely, 1998) (Roach Gaut and M.
On a less imposing scale, I argue that new communication technologies can enable almost every aspect of organizational management and effectiveness, including change management, knowledge management, participative management, innovation, and organizational partnerships and alliances. The most notable advances in communication technology are groupware or computer facilitated group communication technologies (Jablin&Putnam, 2001) (Roach Gaut and M. Perrigo, 1998).
These communication technologies distinguishes groupware in terms of temporal (synchronous / asynchronous ) and spatial (distributed / co -located), that can help traditional organizational groups work together more effectively. But, more importantly, they help dispersed individuals work as a team. The development of virtual teams, designed to help dispersed scientists conduct collaborative research and development as if they were co-located in a laboratory, may be one of the most exciting applications of the new communication technologies and computer-enabled environments. By capitalizing on new communication technologies, an organization should be able to realize a competitive advantage in its performance and in the marketplace. Although communication technologies have opened up new opportunities, scholars and practitioners recognize that neither the theory nor the practice of organizational communication has kept up with this rapidly changing situation (Byers, 1997).
Organizational communication “best practices,” to the extent that they exist, are typically years out-of-date.
Also the introduction of new communication technologies has caused problems as well as opportunities (Byers, 1997) (Kovacic, 1994) (Roach Gaut and M. Perrigo, 1998).
I argue that some communication technologies have led to communication overload. It is a common fallacy to assume that because communication is generally seen as a good thing, the more communication the better. Communication overload is a real problem – what is needed is better, not more, communication. Therefore efficient use of technology should be the answer to solution of the overload not the cause.
Now as never before, companies are spending more money on information and communication. This spending pattern offered hard proof that the industrial age had given way to the information age. With the arrival of the Internet and the World Wide Web, competition for business and jobs has become a worldwide phenomenon. Significant attention is being given to innovations in Internet technologies and how they are radically reshaping commercial organisations and the relationships with consumers and members (Jablin&Putnam, 2001) (Hickson, Stacks and Padgett-Greely, 1998) (Roach Gaut and M. Perrigo, 1998).
The Internet is a public and global communication network that provides direct connectivity to anyone over a local area network (LAN) or Internet service provider (ISP).
There should be an acknowledgement of the need for creativity and an innovative approach to organisation and management. (Byers, 1997).
With regard to the information technology, Internet being the specific factor, I put it in my position that there is a need throughout the organization to increase awareness of the value of information technologies. As part of this process there should be an underlying aim to promote acceptance of, and commitment to, the use of other communication technologies. The communication of this core message might initially require a carefully orchestrated campaign across the organization.
However, it is likely that the informal communication network within the organization will quickly become active as a very powerful reinforcement tool in this regard. In a short time it is likely that direct experience of Internet technologies will replace the communication process in fostering the desired acceptance of and commitment to a new way of working. With the basic understanding provided by the scholars that I have chosen to study in my concept paper, I have been able to frame my positions regarding several issues as above. Although many of the scholars share the same views on some topics especially on the impact of technology on organizations’s tructure and design, there are also certain issues that have the scholars at odds in terms of their opinions. Some scholars like Byers, , Roach Gaut, M. Perrigo, Jablin and Putnam prefers to go into details on the technical side of specific technologies, while scholars like Huntley, Kovacic, Daniels, Spiker and Papa prefers to touch on the social effect of the use of communication technology.
Therefore, I have tried to find a detailed understanding in both the technical and societal aspect of the technological change and find a position on which aspect contribute more in the ICT implementation. Despite the different and similar views that the many scholars have regarding the impact of ICT, one unopposed point that is agreed by all is that communication within organization has been radically changed by the advent of these technologies. However, that change is not necessarily beneficial to the organization as its success is dependent on many factors. The ability to understand these factors is the key that can secure the technology implementation. Therefore, in constructing my position on the topic, it is my hope that I could provide a better understanding of those key factors. 4.
Points of positions Communication today is more complex and requires greater coordination and interaction among organization members due to the faster pace of work, broader work scope and processes and the increased importance of knowledge and innovation within organizations. These make communication technologies and networks increasingly essential to an organization’s structure and strategy. For continuous development, global organizations need to communicate effectively across functional areas and with geographically dispersed sites. Organizations also need to integrate knowledge by coordinating across phases of new organizational requirements.
Technically complex transactions and activities drive organizations with specialized competencies to gain complementary skills by developing close relationships with internal and external stakeholders like customers, competitors and even the government. Hence, ICT has an important role to facilitate knowledge creation with communication and coordination across temporal, geographical, departmental and organizational boundaries. With this important role clearly understood, I state in my strongest position that organizations must have clear views of the guiding principles, ground level decision making and destination when deciding on the best technology and the equally important implementation process. Organizations cannot copy the digital experience. There is a need for organizations to develop approaches that fit its own circumstances. Encouragement of experimentation, participation and involvement is required to find out what works for the individual organization.
It is the organization as a whole that determines the technology used and the social change that can determines the success of those technologies. I feel there are several issues that organizations need to anticipate and participate in order to gain the best approach of implementing ICT. Among the issues include the social, cultural and organizational change that will need to be addressed in the implementation process. 4. 1) Social, cultural and organizational change After going through the literature review, I have identified that social factor rather than the technical factors mostly contribute the success of ICT implementation.
I strongly agree with notion on the fact that it is the people who will implement, operate, utilize and control the technologies. New technologies are created and changed from time to time with the hope to facilitate human activities. Organizations receive these technologies in order to assist its members in increasing productivity that in the end can increase profits. The key word in this argument is ‘human’.
The human or people factors are the most vital in the success of any organizational change, especially with regard to technological mediation. To prove my position, I have identified the great emphasize on the change of organizational culture as to include familiarity and understanding of ICT as one of the core enablers of technological success. The ability to integrate the technical mechanism and the human factor the most important key to the success of the assimilation of ICT within organizations. Among the steps that I have been able to identify and propose to facilitate this integration process are: . Human resource policies – there needs to be human resource policies in place to recognize, support, and reward ICT implementation among employees. Special policies that reward the best department or employees that strive in the technological implementation for example can help boost members’ morale in trying to put more effort in exercising the technological culture…
Training – the training in using technology is another critical success factor. Comprehensive training that covers all aspects of technological use such as basic technological jargon to more detailed aspect such as maintenance and ethical understanding are vital to ensure complete understanding among member on the technology. Careful training framework needs to be constructed as to ensure that members are not only familiar with the technology that are implemented within their organization but also generally educated on the impact of such technology and its ability to assist them in becoming a better and more productive organization member… Organizational culture – the organizational culture need to adapt to continuos technological change that transforms the way in which individuals and organizational units perceive the role and purpose of ICT. Within this there is a need to foster universal acceptance of the view that in seeking to achieve enhanced performance, ICT is a tool to be used by all.
Familiarity to technology and ability to incorporate it in the most efficient way should be part of the daily culture of organizations. When all members perceive that technology is part of their organizational identity, the steps in integrating the technology and human factors will be more convenient… Management support – in order for ICT implementation to succeed, organizations’ leaders need to have a culture established within the organization which values communication, learning, teamwork, and recognition of new innovations. Managers and higher-tanking members must be able to identify and instill appreciation for the learning ability of their subordinates. Mostly, they need to have a better understanding and knowledge of the ICT compared to other members. Leadership by example is one key factor that can influence other members to learn more about the technology use.
The role of the managers and supervisors changes from the traditional planning, scheduling and directing one to a facilitating, coaching, team building function. It takes time to evolve through this, new skills have to be acquired, and new perceptions have to be developed… Organizational goal – With the importance of technology integration incorporated within the organizational goal, organizational members will have a unified view on the need of technology within their organizational activities. With goal clearly stated, there will be organization-wide effort in realizing the integration of technology and the organizational operations… People – the ability of people to have their own initiative of learning new technologies and be more sensitive to the organization need for technological integration will definitely be a big contribution to the technological assimilation within the organization. Empowerment may be another ability that will allow independent learning among the members.
They should be given substantial trust and power to lead their own learning process… Tools – The right tools will definitely facilitate a better technology integration. The choice of tools that are practical and user-friendly will provide and easier learning and adapting ability among members… Social and cultural change is central in integrating the technical and human factor of the technological change. By identifying the factors that can facilitate this process, organization can and should be able to provide a more precise framework of the implementation process.
What is most vital is not just the best technology but also the educating process in which members of organization can gain full understanding and ability of utilizing the available technology and increase personal as well as organizational productivity. An organization might have the most modern and expensive technology, but without the skills and knowledge, such technology might end up being a liability to the organization. Therefore, this answers my question on which element has the strongest influence. Since it is the ‘human’ factor determines how the ICT will function and operate, it is also the ‘human’ factor that will determine it’s success.
Technological advancement maybe the mediator for better productivity but it is still the human factor and the social change that act as the key that shapes the success. 4. 2) New working environment To prove my point further, I would like to put fourth how technology has created new working environment that requires the organizational members to adapt and reconstruct their working style. I argue that although ICT has enabled such change, it is still through the social alteration of the organizational members that this new working environment is able to function and facilitate productivity. New working styles like virtual teams and telecommuting are making its way among organizations as they are seen to be the answer to new organizational demands that resulted from the globalized organizational operations that creates the need of a portable of working environment.
These working styles address the new workforce demographics, where employees may be located not just in the same city but anywhere in the world. Therefore, members of virtual teams for example, have different languages, work in different time zones, and use different work methods. These virtual teams enhance the availability of resources from outside the organization. Because the virtual team allows members to work together without requiring their physical presence in the same location, outside consultants from anywhere in the world can be used, but without expenses for travel, lodging, and down time. Teams that require a specific level of expertise for only a few hours a week can access that expertise without being required to bring the consultant on site. Telecommuters on the other hand, operate from their homes or some other remote location, connected to a home office primarily through telephones, fax machines, computer modems, and electronic mail.
Telework provides cost savings to employees by eliminating time-consuming commutes to central offices and offers employees more flexibility to co-ordinate their work and family responsibilities. Flexible working is not, however, just about where and when a person works; it is also about the ability to work anytime, anywhere with all the resources associated with the traditional office. Undeniably, these new styles of working are very beneficial to organizations and its members as it facilitates productivity and at the same time provides flexibility. It is only fair to list down several of the general reasons why these styles are attracting more and more organizations to adopt them. Here are the benefits in brief: . Allows flexible hours so employees can spend more time with family…
Creates and disperses improved business processes across organizations… Supports cross-functional and cross-divisional interaction… Saves time and money in the daily transportation to and from work… Changes from a production-oriented company to a service / information -oriented company. Helps physically challenged people who could not work in a traditional environment be crucial members of companies via telecommunications. Reduces restrictions on working hours…
Requires less office and parking space. However, working in separate areas without physical human interaction cannot be without flaws. Portability and freedom provided by these working styles are accompanied by equally strong challenges that are affecting organizations that are adopting these styles. The biggest complaint involved in working in a virtual team environment is communication problems. These complaints fall into three different categories: (1) lack of project visibility – members were unclear on what tasks they were required to do, and they were vague on how their tasks fit into the project as a whole; (2) getting in touch with people – team members would send out questions and would never get back a response; and (3) constraints in technology – members had difficulty in determining the meaning of text-based messages such as e-mails, especially if the person was attempting to be sarcastic This goes back to my previous point in which technology can only play the role of the mediator. It is unable to overcome the shortcomings of its functionality.
It is still the human and social factor that can determine benefits and work on the constraints. Not surprisingly, organization members must be taught how to maintain effective communication within the constraints of this virtual environment. For example, this may require training team members to use considerably more linguistic precision in their communication. In addition, virtual team members must have superior team participation skills. Because team membership will be somewhat fluid, effective teams will require members who can quickly assimilate into the team.
If assimilation does not occur, conflict will. More so than in a traditional team, the virtual team, in addition to having members from different geographic locations, may also include contingent workers from outside the organization. Also, virtual team members will be challenged to adapt to the telecommunications and informational technologies that link its members. And, finally, virtual team members will have to learn to use effectively new telecommunications systems in an environment where an important client or coworker is frequently never physically present. In many organizations, membership will cross national boundaries, and a variety of cultural backgrounds will be represented on the team. This heterogeneous work group will experience complicated communications and work interactions and will require additional team member development in the areas of communication and cultural diversity.
The virtual team provides the opportunity to build teams out of personnel who could not possibly work together under traditional circumstances. If the potential of virtual teams is fully realized, organizations will have the opportunity to expand access to expertise, overcoming constraints that might have been prohibitive in the past. Again, to elaborate on my point, the example of the virtual team is used explain on why the social change is the key factor of success in implementation. Although termed ‘virtual’, telecommuting and virtual teams are still made up of organizational members that act as the center enabler of those new technological innovations. Without their ability to work within the new framework, organizations cannot profit from the portability and flexibility of the new working environment. 4.
3) Internet The connectivity that automatically results from Internet technologies can exert a very powerful influence in encouraging a free flow of ideas around the organization, permitting individuals and organizational units to converge and cooperate. Undeniably, the “open” systems nature of Internet technologies can facilitate greater co-operation and communication across organization units both internally and externally. There are significant benefits to be gained from employing Internet technologies at the interfaces between the organization and other organizations and stakeholders. A number of organizations have adopted Internet technologies, which in has allowed them to be more responsive to the needs of members, customers and stakeholders. In the future, the expectations of the individual will continue to rise with increasing demands for online accessibility to organizations. Although there are considerable barriers to the full implementation of Internet technologies, the connectivity of the Internet presents organizations with an immense opportunity to enhance productivity.
I find that Internet technologies affect organizations almost permanently as it involves all level of organizations’ membership. Among them are: . the implications of Internet technologies for the management of people and the organization; . the perceived potential of Internet technologies in enhancing individual and organizational performance; and.
the implications of Internet technologies for the interaction patterns with publics, other organizations and stakeholders. With these influences, decision makers cannot but ignore the fact that internet is now a necessity mediator for organizational operations. What is important is for organizations to familiarize the members with the cyberspace. Sufficient introduction and training is vital to overcome barriers to internet. Like any organizational innovation, the introduction of internet will create challenges and obstacles: . Cyber phobia – although many people are comfortable with computers, there may be a significant number of valuable employees who are uncomfortable with computers and other telecommunications technologies.
One challenge is to bring these valuable employees into the online environment… Trust – organizations must establish a policy regarding communication privacy and then must strictly adhere to that policy. The organizations’ greatest task with regard to online systems is to overcome these challenges and have good control of the use of internet. With the advent in online technologies, organizations also need to be careful with how the facility is being utilized by the organization members especially the employees.
Many issues have risen from Internet use, among them are hacking, pornography, copyright and privacy violation. If not too careful, organizations can be pinnalized for wrong done by its employees under its supervision. In Malaysia for example, strict laws on pornography and copyright are imposed on all individuals and entities. Laws like the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998 and the Copyright (amended) Act 1998 are formed specifically for the purpose of protecting online activities. Ethical issues like supervision of employees’ online activities and selling of personal information by organizations are also being intensely debated by scholars and practitioners alike. Therefore, as a preventive step in order to create a safe online environment within the organization, I agree that decision makers need to give full attention on these issues and ensure that strict and practical policies that are accepted by all its members are imposed and adhered.
Internet is here to stay. Therefore, organizations need to have a long-term vision of how to incorporate internet within the organization operations. However, careful and preventive steps need to be taken to ensure that the use of cyberspace will assist the organization membership rather than burdening it. 5. Summary Organizations have an opportunity to enhance the way in which they fulfil the communication needs of its members and stakeholders. The points on which this paper is based has shown the enormous impact that Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can have on organizations by facilitating the integration of previously disparate systems and processes.
I strongly believe these technologies can provide both an opportunity and threat to organizations. Proactive organizations can grasp the opportunity by embracing the enormous potential presented by the technologies. Organizations have adopted these technologies, with the hope of allowing them to be more productive and responsive to the changing environment. Organizations that do not embrace the technology will continue to have major problems achieving efficiencies and delivering the value demanded by current organizational environment. I also discovered that increased usage of ICT technologies necessitates social change in the forms of culture, structure and design within organizations. However, it can also be argued that it has the potential to facilitate the achievement of the desired change.
In particular, I have highlighted a number of recommendations for organizations that are embracing these technologies: . ICT must be perceived as being a critical element of the organization and its environment. The reactive approach of treating ICT as a “technology” development must be replaced with an approach that embraces the Internet as a vehicle that enables a more transparent internal and external organization… There should be an acknowledgement of the need for creativity and an innovative approach to organization and management. The commitment to this concept should come from the top and cascade downwards through the organization, and is likely to have a positive knock-on effect upon individual and organizational performance…
Increased usage of ICT is accompanied by a range of skill requirements; some of these are technical and are associated with the use of computers, others are interpersonal and are associated with changing job roles and responsibilities. Thus there is a need to adopt a systematic approach to the assessment of skills required, the subsequent identification of training needs and the provision of training designed to enable individuals and groups acquire and develop skills which contribute to optimal job performance… Throughout the organization there is a need to increase awareness of the value of ICT. As part of this process there should be an underlying aim to promote acceptance of, and commitment to, the use of ICT. The communication of this core message might initially require a carefully orchestrated campaign in the form of numerous formally arranged seminars for groups across the organization. However, it is likely that the informal communication network within the organization will quickly become active as a very powerful reinforcement tool in this regard.
In a short time it is likely that direct experience of ICT will supersede the communication process in fostering the desired acceptance of and commitment to a new way of working… There is a need to foster a “new view” of the role and purpose of information. This view must seek to emphasize the fact that information provides a basis for creative problem solving and decision-making activity. Collaboration and innovation are core requirements for organizational success and their achievement depends on the availability and use of information by all of those who require it. It is likely that organizations that fully embrace ICT will achieve desired performance outcomes. As noted previously, such technologies provide a unique opportunity for organizations in particular to bring about culture change.
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