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The Impact Of Information Technology On Work Organisations

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Introduction

The Impact Of Information Technology On Work Organisations The impact of information technology will have significant effects on the structure, management and functioning of most organisations. It demands new patterns of work organisation and effects individual jobs, the formation and structure of groups, the nature of supervision and managerial roles. Information technology results in changes to lines of command and authority, and influences the need for reconstructing the organisation and attention to job design. Computer based information and decision support systems influence choices in design of production or service activities, hierachal structures and organisations of support staffs. Information technology may influence the centralisation/ decentralisation of decision making and control systems. New technology has typical resulted in a flatter organisational pyramid with fewer levels of management required. In the case of new office technology it allows the potential for staff at clerical/operator level to carry out a wider range of functions and to check their own work. ...read more.

Middle

Improvements in telecommunications mean for example that support staff need no longer be located within the main production unit. Changes wrought by IT means that individuals may work more on their own, from their personal work stations or even from their own homes, or work more with machines than with other people. One person may be capable of carrying out a wider range of activities. There are changes in the nature of supervision and the traditional heirachal structure of jobs and responsibilities. Computer based information and decision support systems provide additional dimensions of structural design. They affect choices such as division of work, individual tasks and responsibility. The introduction of IT undoubtedly transforms significantly the nature of work and employment conditions for staff. Advances in technical knowledge tend to develop at a faster rate than, and in isolation from, consideration of related human and social consequences, e.g. fatigue and low morale are two major obstacles to the efficiency of staff. ...read more.

Conclusion

Continued technical change is inevitable and likely to develop at even greater rate. Managers must be responsive to such change. IT and automation create a demanding challenge. The systems nature of organisations emphasises the interrelationships among the major variables or sub systems of the organisations. The implementation and management of technological change needs to be related to its effect on the task, the structure and the people. It is important to avoid destructive conflict, alienating staff including managerial colleagues, or evoking the anger and opposition of unions. At the same time, it is important to avoid incurring increasing costs or a lower level of organisational performance caused by delays in the successful implementation of new technology. What needs to be considered is the impact of technical change on the design of the work organisation, and the attitudes and behaviour of staff. It will be necessary for managers and supervisors to develop more agile skills in organisation. This calls for the effective management of human resources and a style of managerial behaviour, which helps to minimise the problems of technical change. ...read more.

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