The Impact of Technology on Organizational Performance
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There has been the need to improve productivity in organizations by blinding technology and many organizations are putting up more resources and money in technological systems (Steel, 2010). There are a number of advantages associated with technologies such as improving productivity and hence the overall performance of an organization. It has been realized by many municipal officials that it is necessary to allocate enough resources to meet these demands. There is the need to complete projects in time and the pile of work that exist in the organizations need to be reduced. In addition, it has been realized that technological, organizational and human resources development processes do not take place at the same rate with within an organization, thus resulting into the need to stop adding other systems. It has been necessary to know whether the penetration of technology is resulting into improvement in organizational performance. This has been studies through the methods by which information systems have been incorporated into the organizational cultures of the municipal councils and privet companies.
An organization is composed of a number of people who differ in the extent of their training and functions and have different objectives that do not meet. There is also a difference in relationships in contexts and cannot be described equally in an organizational chart. A concrete organizational chart that is affected by the technological activities in an organization includes clients, designers, users and operators, users and managers, local unions and other stakeholders. Users or decision makers include senior managers who have partial or complete control over the resources and have an impact on development in organization information systems. They also stand on behalf of the decision makers, and look at the implementation and operation of the systems and collaborate with the designers. At this level, it is possible to negotiate a collective agreement with regards to technological changes that need to be made (Linstone, 2009).
The role of users and managers is to run the systems departments and acts as the controllers of organizations’ information technology policies that are ratified by decision makers. They also perform the role of designing and technical management of the technological systems. Designers are those who design the systems and collaborate with the managers and clients as well as responsible for making the systems operational and they are in charge of the work. The users include those who receive the raw materials of the organization and they are indispensable for the daily activities of the systems but are not directly involved to change the systems. Clients include users such as decision makers, managers who are helped directly by the system to perform their duties. The study of impact of technology on organizational performance in this paper involves description of administrative developments, strategic plans and technical strategies as well as the information systems used. It also involves study of information systems in organizations such as administration of organization’s data and development of information systems. It also involves a study of how users are provided with the right information technology tools that made them able to use properly and ensured their needs are met.
Impacts of Technology
According to previous studies, it has been observed that when staffs in an organization are automated, there is a resulting positive impact on the overall performance of the organization. It has been reported that there is an overall improvement in job satisfaction, reduced work-family conflict as well as decreased stress. There has been experience of improvements in operational efficiency and increased confidence as well as compliance with regulation demands as well as the union contracts and greater management of activities such as labor. In general, technology has been used to manage various functions in an organization through actions performed by staffs in an organization by use of mechanical devices that result into changes into the objects involved. For instance, technology may involve a collection of plants and machines and recipes that are existing at a particular time when a task is being executed (Holzer & Schwester, 2011).
It has been argued that technology has an impact on organizational behavior and the manner in which work is performed. The adoption of technology within the organizations has led to efficiency and effectiveness in the production system, it has allowed various firms to design, process and market their products in a more efficient way than the potential competitors. This has in turn reduced the cost of running or doing business and at the same time accelerating the delivery speed. Technology consequently has enhanced flexibility within the organization system thus led to the achievement of economies of scale which are regarded as the key characteristics of efficiency and production practices. All these activities work hand in hand to attain an improved productivity performance, lower production cost, better customer service and high quality (Holzer & Schwester, 2011).
There are a number of scheduling challenges that are experienced currently in most organizations and automated staffing procedures by use of technology have ensured an effective solution is reached in improvement of employee recruitment, retention as well as improving efficiency of operations of the organization and management of assets of the organization such as resources and labor. In this paper, the main area of focus is the positive impact of technology in various areas of operations in an organization.
Employee Recruitment, Engagement and Retention and Staffs Organization
When the latest technology such as computers are used in management of activities such as recruitment of employees in an organization, it is possible to fasten the recruitment process as well as ensuring people involved in the exercise do not become fatigued. It also ensures a database of employees is kept that assist in managing employee information so that the employee can be assisted in case of any difficulty. The use of sophisticated technology and information systems serve the functions of ensuring quick recording of employee information such as remuneration information are stored in the databases and accurate calculation of the right amount of salaries are allocated for employees and no employee is deprived of their dues. This results into efficiency of recruitment, management and retention of employees.
Technology has influenced firms to re-engineer their organization processes so as to attain efficiencies in terms of lower better customer service and high product quality at a very lower cost. The organizational re-engineering includes the whole range of organization’s activities which includes improved or Just In Time manufacturing, lower cost of procurement, better service to customers, value-added inventory management, manufacturing and distribution coordination, condensed time to market, extended business networking and reduced errors during processing. It is in order to state that more extensive application of technology within the organization assists firms to reach the potential earnings of re-engineering. The use of information and communication systems has facilitated management of client information such as orders that can then be kept in databases and used for future reference purposes. It has also facilitated the process of communicating with customers thus resulting into a better relationship between the organization and its customers.
The impact of technology has also been observed to facilitate management of tasks that need to be performed by employees. The use of computers has enabled design of soft wares such as Microsoft Excel that enables management of information such as the tasks that an employee needs to perform and the use of software such as project management software have enabled tracking the tasks that employees are performing so that a recommendation can be made regarding the progress of a task or the tasks that need to be fastened to improve the overall performance of the organization. The impact is that efficiency of management has been enhanced and possibilities of errors in terms of provision of type wrong payments or remunerations have been prevented. In addition, it has been possible to plan on how tasks will be allocated between employees and set the targets that they need to meet. This has impacted on the management functions of manager whose work has been simplified while their efficiency has been improved.
The use of information and communication technologies such as mobile phones, computers and the internet has enabled communication between employees in the organization, clients and has also facilitated communication with potential employees. For instance, by use of mobile phone calls when getting in touch with employees, it has been possible to reduce costs incurred such as costs of mailing letters as well as speeding up the process of communication. The use of the internet and intranet in organizations has enabled sending of mails between staffs and employees in an organization so that costs of mailing letters are reduced. It has also ensured clients are communicated to at the right time and any vacancies that exist are posted on the internet so that potential employees are contacted. This has propelled the efficiency of contact with clients of an organization and thus, the overall efficiency of communication of the organization.
Improvement of Efficiency of Operations
Technology has always brought with it success to the organizations (Guziana & Dobers, 2013). Investment in information and communication technology integrated with organizational changes together with worker skills has always led to better performances within many firms worldwide. Empirical evidence shows that organizational changes upgrade economic performance of organizations through mutual reinforcement with ICT. Technology is key to the facilitation of new strategies, from lean productivity all the way to team work together with customer relations. Technology has enable organizations to introduce very significant organizational changes in the capacities of decentralization, re-engineering, outsourcing and flexible arrangement of work. Technologies in organizations are regarded as complementary factors that have led to successful systems in leading firms which have holistically embraced technology.
There are various ways in which efficiency of operations in organizations can be improved if the relevant technology is used. This is mainly observed in administrative organizations such as municipalities where there are important documents that need to be processed or stored while the number of clients who need to be served is high (Mossholder et. al, 2004). In this case, the use of processing techniques such as the use of latest software for keeping data bases of documents kept in the organization ensures the organization is efficient in maintaining backup for information so that data is not lost as a result of loss of hard copies of documents that have been lost. It enables tracking of documents that are lost by looking at the databases of companies that store the information in modern systems such as computers that have larger storage capacities that are accessible as well as able to allow fast tracking of activities in the company. Technology has always supported individual workers within the organization. Knowledge work can be determined precisely as human activity, divergent from physical labor which can be automated. Technology increases the capability to tackle complex job situations, increase comprehension to fit organizational needs and to develop solutions to trending problems.
Efficiency of operations can also be improved by improving the scheduling process for tasks that need to be performed in turns. For instance, in a health institution set up, it is necessary to determine the health workers who need to do a particular job at a particular time. The use of information and communication technologies such as computers enables scheduling of operations so that each worker knows the time at which he/she is expected to perform their tasks. This has been used by larger health organizations and it has been observed to result into organization in the manner in which shifts are done and a reduction in cases of errors among health workers as well as reduction in the possibilities of suffering from stress as a result of engagement in disorganized tasks.
Enabling Management of Assets of an Organization
Another impact on operations that can be brought by the use of technology is the process of ensuring safety of facilities and equipment in the organization. For instance, equipment that are sensitive to use have been labeled so that when they are used by wrong persons or stolen, they can be tracked. This ensures the equipment is always safe and cannot be accessed by wrong persons.
Technology has also facilitated management of assets in an organization by keeping track of assets in the organization and ensuring they are safely stored and any changes that need to be made in the systems are easily tracked and corrected. For example, the use of software that track harmful applications that could result into the breakdown of the systems have been identified and installed in computer systems of most companies. There has also been improved power backup systems that ensure power loss are compensated by use of alternative sources of power. This has facilitated the process of ensuring the stability of the hardware used in the organizations. In addition, it has ensured the system is running all the time and the organization does not spend a lot of resources in replacement of broken down hardware components.
Impact on Managerial Duties
Managers are the true architects of the technologies in an organization and the serve the function of implementing the technical design and managing the technological systems in an organization (Jans & McMahon, 2009). Managers in most organizations have explained that the use of technology had resulted into good technical performance as well as improved quality of performance and reliability of performance.t has also been observed that the resulting gains from the use of technology has been used to improve working conditions in organization and resulting into organizational improvements. The use of information technology has also resulted into various departments to communicate well and organize their tasks and combine the tasks to reach the overall goal of the organization. In addition, the use of information technology has resulted into ability of decision makers to manifest a clear decisive will setting the right objectives as well as making the right strategies that supports the activities of the departments.
Technology has increased the ease with which people communicate with both within and outside the organization. Applications such as facsimile transmission, voice messaging and the electronic mail have facilitated the communication process and coordination of information is a basic necessity for organizational processing. Technology can change the place and time of work, in general by altering boundaries on where job are accomplished and doing away with constraints on times when tasks are done. Being that the organization is a complex system there is the need to do away with unnecessary boundaries of time and place and technology has taken care of that. Technology has made the organization move to a virtual perspective where task are accomplished at an individual comfort zone.
Technology has also had influence on the pace of task as in most situations it has sped up information processing. Technology has done away with the constraints of both place in time in the decision making process. It has deleted away the organizational boundaries through empowering stress-free asynchronous communication concerning diverse localities so that times of the day together with time zone are not a limitation. Technology has hastened the processing of data and information thus leading to making of decisions which are timely thus tasks are done faster so as to take advantage of upcoming opportunities and the organization can easily respond to the changing demand and needs of the clients. Technology has concentrated on reducing time cycles.
The Negative Impact of Technology on Organizational Performance
In the modern world, technology has become highly widespread and assimilated into numerous aspects of people’s lives (Steel, 2010). Technology has also become a vital element in the corporate world and has a huge impact in production, management, and decision-making. Basically, technology causes numerous changes within the organization and commonly employees find it difficult to assimilate these changes. These technological changes could cause significant havoc in the organization especially among the employees. Therefore, it is appropriate to announce technological changes that may occur in the firm. Primarily, technological changes in an organization cause mental stress among the employees. This commonly occurs when the technological changes are broad and simultaneous. It is important that the management understands the employees in order to predict their behavior which could probably cause negative effects to the firm. Technological changes usually cause elevated levels of stress which are caused by perceived unfairness, fear of the unpredictable future, and lack of appropriate time for communication by the management. Basically, technological changes modify the attitude of the employees because they fear for the stability of their jobs. This is because technology commonly replaces human labor thus causing numerous people to lose their jobs.
Moreover, technological changes in the organization also lead to loss of loyalty especially from the employees. Actually, developing technology within an organization lessens the morale of the employees because they get the impression that they are no longer important to the organization. Basically, employees feel trusted, appreciated, and respected when given responsibilities in the organization. However, the introduction of technology in the organization lessens their duties and responsibilities thus demoralizing them. It is evident that technology in the organization reduces work productivity. Still, when the technological changes are induced, the management first reviews the salaries and benefits in order to cut down and ensure cost saving. Actually, cost saving could involve laying off certain employees and reducing the salaries of those that remain. The management involves cost saving in order to recover the costs involved in installing the new technological changes. In this situation, the organization faces a high turn-over because numerous employees leave the firm to seek for other favorable opportunities. Today, the economy is in crises and every individual is struggling to survive. Therefore, when the organization cuts down the salaries and benefits of the employees, they are forced to look for opportunities where they can be highly compensated. Still, the employees that remain due to lack of other job opportunities outside have very low morale. Low morale among the employees in the organization causes low efficiency which could cause low productivity. Commonly, these employees become highly resentful and their attitude affects their job performance. Therefore, the areas that are managed through human labor become affected because the employees are inefficient. Basically, motivation among employees reduces thus taking performance along with it. Consequently, the employees could become overly resentful due to the technological changes thus sabotaging the organization. Sabotaging the organization would cause a negative effect to the production of the organization. Therefore, technological changes affect the loyalty of the employees because they mostly feel intimated. Technological changes in the organization also involves downsizing and this makes the workers divide themselves into two groups. There are those employees that will try to control their fate and others opt to leave the firm before the changes occur. The group that attempts to control their fate usually increase their productivity, meets deadlines on time, and does numerous things in order to impress their employees and survive through the changes with their employment intact. The other group of employees usually handles the technological changes by avoiding them. Instance, these employees could take longer hours during the lunch break, attending to their duties late and leaving their work site earlier or not even coming in at all. Some of these employees are usually looking for other opportunities that compensate appropriately. Technological changes therefore end up causing a lot of time away from their work (Guziana & Dobers, 2013).
Basically, technological changes cause increased life changes in the organization. Technology causes chief restructuring in the organization which results in life changes for several employees. Actually, changes that negatively affect a number of workers include salary cuts, loss of benefits, downgrade in job position, and job loss. Basically, technological changes cause devastating situation to the workers especially those that support their family members. Moreover, technological changes also have an impact on business relationships in an organization. The internet technology such as Skype and chat rooms has enabled meetings with people in different locations without having to meet physically. The internet technology negatively affects the business relationships because the meeting is minimally personal since people do not meet face-to-face. Developing the personal aspect in the business is also highly significant. Technology has reduced the potential of this aspect because people do not have to meet physically. In the earlier years, business partners used to meet in the golf courses or restaurants.
In the modern world, technological changes have minimized the physical proximity which has diminished brainstorming and other modes of communication that would employ the personal touch. The personal element in organizations also creates a bond that would be appropriate for the growth of the organization. However, technological changes have reduced the chances of developing a personal aspect in business relationships. Technological changes also have a negative impact on the brick-and-mortar businesses. Basically, ecommerce has become highly popular in the corporate world. The smaller businesses have been forced to compete with even the large internet organizations and other corporations. Other large organizations have been highly empowered by technology. Consequently, this has made the smaller organizations to abandon their business while others fail due to overwhelming competition. Moreover, spam is present in all the computers present in an organization. Spam is actually unwanted email messages that pile up in the computer. It consumes a lot of time when going through the spam email in order to get rid of them. The spam filters are efficient in getting rid of the spam emails but the employee needs to check messages that may have been directed incorrectly as spam. Therefore, this process consumes adequate time which could be directed working for the productivity of the firm (Linstone, 2009).
Still, technology has also has a negative effect on the security especially of data. Internationally, hacking has highly spread especially in organizations which have embraced technology. Hacking has become a serious issue especially in organizations which negatively affects the competitive advantage of the organization. This is because hackers illegally acquire data concerning business strategies and financial reports of these organizations (Mossholder et. al, 2004). Still, some employees tend to access the organization’s information and sell it the competitors of the organization thus making it highly vulnerable. Some of these employees actually sell information to the competitors out of malicious interest. Every organization has business strategies that are highly effective in its production. Basically, digitized customer databases are also vulnerable to hacking because the hackers steal addresses, emails, names, and financial data from the companies. This could cause an overwhelming loss of client base thus completely ruining the company. Organizations that suffer from the negative effects of hacking encounter a ruined reputation. This makes them a significant loss of customers and inability to attract other customers.
Generally, technological changes have negative effects that commonly affect the employees and the security of the organizations (Jans & McMahon, 2009). These aspects are the most significant in the productivity of the organizations. In the era of technological changes, the employer should effectively communicate with the employees and address them with justice and compassion. This is to mitigate the risk of inefficiency among workers and developing negative attitude among the employees. They could resolve to ruin the organization either through selling off information to the employees or failing to work effectively. Moreover, it is appropriate to develop methods of safeguarding information to minimize the vulnerability to hacking. Additionally, installation of technology in the organization incurs a significant amount of funds. Basically, this is a venture in the organization that leaves a huge dent in the firm’s status. Due to the high costs involved, some businesses opt to avoid the upgrades and purchases of the technological structures. Other organizations purchase but get into significant debts when the implemented technology fails to generate adequate revenue that would return the costs incurred and profit too. In organizations, it is appropriate for the management to consider the negative effects as much as the positive effects.