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Introduction to Batelco

Discuss about the Strategic Imperatives and Core Competencies.

Batelco has been operating in the telecommunications industry from the year 1981 as a Bahraini Shareholding Company. The major shareholders of this organization include various commercial organizations along with financial entities, government entities and the Gulf Cooperation Council members. The ownership of the organization also includes a number of international investors.

As mentioned earlier, the Batelco operates in the telecommunication industry in Bahrain with more than 9 million customers. The organization operates as a public shareholding company, which allows both organizations and individuals to hold the shares of the organization. Batelco employs more than 2000 employees. More than 90% of the workforce of Batelco is Bahraini individuals, which in turn allows the organization to increase the standard of living of the country along with the revenue of the country. As of 2015, the revenue of Batelco was 987.8 million US dollars along with the operating income of 186.2 million US dollars. The organization had a net income of 131.3 million US dollars and 1.52 billion US dollars of total assets as per the reports published in the year of 2015.

The products and services sold by Batelco include postpaid and prepaid telecom service along with broadband, fixed line and home entertainment solutions provided to the customers. The majority of the customers of Batelco reside in Middle East, South America, Indian Ocean, Europe and North Africa (Arntz, 2016).

The concept of technological unemployment defines the total loss of jobs due to the changes in the technologies used by the organizations. So, this concept is related to the loss of employment due to the introduction of new and more efficient technologies along with the gradually decreasing demand of the technological skills of the employees. When the organizations use newer and more innovative technologies to complete certain business processes much faster than the employees, then the concept of technological unemployment comes into picture. This section of the report analyzes the development of this concept of technological unemployment since its inception until the present day (Aguilera, 2016).

Throughout the years, a number of authors have mentioned that the concept of technological unemployment has been present since the invention of wheel. The invention of wheel was a significant milestone in the development of technologies in the ancient world and it is believed to have triggered the process of technological unemployment in pre 16th century. There have been a number of analysis on the presence of technological unemployment in the ancient China, Egypt and Greece, where people started finding easier ways to decrease the manual labor and to increase the usage of technologies in their daily activities, which in turn led to the loss of a number of people’s jobs. This is believed to be the inception of the concept of technological unemployment (Hughes, 2014).

Products and Services offered by Batelco

In 16th to 18th century, the European and British empires started investing in the process of innovating the business activities involved in any employment. In 16th and early 17th century however, the process of introducing innovation in business processes was opposed quite a lot by the authorities. For example, Queen Elizabeth I didn’t approve the introducing of a labor saving knitting machine in the business processes, which was invented by a person named William Lee. Even through these oppositions against innovation in employment, the mindset of people started to change and a lot of innovations were introduced in employment in late 17th and 18th century. It is believed that the British were able to gain a lead on industrial revolution than the Europeans as they started introducing innovations and technologies a bit earlier than the Europeans. The industrial revolution gave a significant boost to the technological unemployment, which was causing a lot of employees to lose their jobs due to the establishment various industries and machineries (Eichhorst, 2017). During this time, the authorities and management of these industries started becoming more and more insensitive about the employees losing their jobs to the technological advancement. The major reason for such a mindset was the increasing competition among industries and organizations operating in same market.

In the 19th century the economic and educational debates on the concept of technological unemployment grew quite intense. The debates were the most intense in the Great Britain due to the presence of a lot of economic thinkers of that age in the Great Britain. These debates and analysis of the concept of technological unemployment faded towards the end of the 19th century and wasn’t a popular concern for the society (Otekhile, 2016).

In the beginning of the 20th century, technological unemployment wasn’t a big problem in the world and it was never provided a lot of focus in the academic and economic discussions. Towards the 1920s, the technological unemployment caused mass-unemployment in Europe and rural United States. The people in the rural US started losing agricultural jobs due to the increase in the usage of various machineries and technologies in the farms for agricultural activities. Tractors and other machineries were being used to complete the work done by multiple people in an efficient manner, which in turn caused technological unemployment to be the center point of the economic discussions. Towards the 1970s unemployment rose once again and stayed the rest of the century, in which a large number of people lost their jobs due to the technological advancements.

History of Technological Unemployment

The beginning of the 21st century held the belief that the technological advancements won’t have long-term adverse effects on the employment and will ultimately create new employment opportunities. But the recent times have seen aggressive changes and advancements in the technologies used in different sectors. The technologies and their capabilities are changing very quickly, which in turn is allowing the organizations operating in various industries to have efficient and innovative business processes along with innovative products and services. The 21st century has also experienced an aggressive growth in the research and development activities in automation tools, business automation strategies and artificial intelligence. The IT industry has been affected the most due to the technological advancements and has experienced a significant increase in the technological unemployment. The organizations operating in the IT industry are expecting the employees to have skillsets in the latest technologies along with being updated with the changes in the existing technologies. This in turn has been boosting technological unemployment as the organizations let the employees go, who doesn’t get updated with the latest technologies and changes in the existing technologies (Niewiadomski, 2016). Several recent economic and technological discussions have been keeping the concept of technological unemployment in focus to analyze the possible significance of the concept in the future.

Frey and Osborne’s findings are related to the finding out of the answer to how much dependent or what impact computerization will have on jobs? They studied this by dividing their work in two phases. In the first phase, they have learnt about the advancements and revolution in the field of Machine Robotics and the Machine Learning (Frey & Osborne, 2017). They took almost all the occupations that one can have in the world and prioritized and analyzed them to find out how much susceptible they will be to the computerization. Then they simulated all these 702 job occupations to find out the impact of computerization on these jobs.

They have analyzed deeply and found out that the jobs which can be done based on a well-defined procedure have seen a rise in firing and introduction of robotic mechanisms for faster execution of processes. All the automobile manufacturing companies have already implement almost full robotization in their manufacturing plants with vey less manual intervention. The robots follow the algorithm programmed in them and perform the tasks seamlessly. This will lead to computerization of many jobs by the next few decades. The prices of computing power are decreasing every day and the companies are looking for ways to automate every single task (Otekhile, 2016). This will not only impact the people’s jobs but also it will impact on the economy and GDP of the country. Thus, the automation should be welcomed but with certain constraints which will keep check on the jobs and dependencies of peoples.

Frey and Osborne's Findings

The findings of the analysis by Carl Frey and Michael Osborne on technological unemployment reveal a number of variables to determine the effect of computerization. As per figure 1, the functionality and activities of a role in the organization defines its possibility of being automated by the technological advancements. These factors are known as bottleneck variables for the technological advancements and computerization (Frey, 2017).

The employees focusing the public relations activities have low probability of getting automated by technology as it requires extensive social intelligence. 30% of the workforce in Batelco includes public relations activities for their daily business activities, which in turn makes them quite safe from the technological unemployment. But 10% of the workforce who carry out the generic activities of serving the customers with repeated queries and requests can face technological unemployment due to the implementation of various artificial intelligence tools like chatbots (Loi, 2015).

As per this bottleneck variable, the roles in Batelco which involve the usage of a lot of creativity will be safe from technological advancements. But around 20% of the technical and ICT related roles will be susceptible to technological unemployment due to lack of involvement of creativity.

The roles in the workforce of Batelco involving a lot of perception and manipulation will be safe from technological unemployment. Some of roles like telemarketers and customer care representatives will be vulnerable to technological unemployment, which is close to 20% of the workforce of Batelco (Otekhile, 2016).

So, the application of Frey and Osborne research on Batelco reveals that close to 47% of the total jobs in Batelco are vulnerable to technological unemployment through automation in the next 10 years. So, close to 950 employees are vulnerable to technological unemployment in the workplace of Batelco.

The management of Batelco should develop and implement an effective business strategy to handle such a significant impact of technological unemployment on the workforce. The management should ensure efficient training and development activities for the employees to have updated skills and to have understanding of the latest technologies. The organization should also arrange various events like hackathons and competitions to maintain the creativity and innovation of the employees, which in turn allows them to be safe from technological unemployment. Inclusion of the employees in the critical business decisions is also another way of keeping the employees safe from technological unemployment due to the constant updates to the skills and mindset of the employees by being part of the business decisions (Wolff, 2015).

The recruitment and selection process of Batelco should also consider skillful candidates in order to tackle the real-time scenarios that require the implementation of the latest technologies. Batelco should also implement effective retention strategies for the highly skilled employees to tackle the loss losses due to the technological unemployment. This in turn allows the organization to utilize the highly skilled employees in multiple activities during the impacted period of technological unemployment. This will allow Batelco to compete in such a market with high probability of technological unemployment (Hughes, 2014).

The mitigation plan along with the competitive strategy to tackle technological unemployment will incur a number of overhead costs. The training and development costs of the employees will increase at least 20% due to the increased number of activities. The retention strategy will also require the management of Batelco to keep 50% more funds for the employee remuneration in terms of salaries and rewards. The increased salaries and rewards will allow the management of Batelco to retain highly skilled employees in the organization. The management of Batelco will also have to invest more in the recruitment and selection processes in order to choose the most skilled and suitable employees for the business processes of the organization. The recommended percentage increase in the investment of the recruitment and selection process is at least 20% to allow more effective selection processes to be carried out frequently in a financial year to compete in the market (Urban, 2015).

References

Aguilera, A., & RAMOS BARRERA, M. G. (2016). Technological Unemployment: an approximation to the Latin American Case. AD-minister, (29), 58-78.

Arntz, M., Gregory, T., & Zierahn, U. (2016). The risk of automation for jobs in OECD countries: A comparative analysis. OECD Social, Employment, and Migration Working Papers, (189), 0_1.

Eichhorst, W. (2017). Labor Market Institutions and the Future of Work: Good Jobs for All? (No. 122). Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

Frey, C. B., & Osborne, M. A. (2017). The future of employment: how susceptible are jobs to computerisation?. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 114, 254-280.

Hughes, J. (2014). A strategic opening for a basic income guarantee in the global crisis being created by AI, Robots, desktop manufacturing and BioMedicine. J Evol Tech, 24(1), 45-61.

Loi, M. (2015). Technological unemployment and human disenhancement. Ethics and Information Technology, 17(3), 201-210.

Niewiadomski, R., & Anderson, D. (2016). The Rise of Artificial Intelligence: Its Impact on Labor. Strategic Imperatives and Core Competencies in the Era of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, 29.

Otekhile, C. A., & Zeleny, M. (2016). Self Service Technologies: A Cause Of Unemployment. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Knowledge, 4(1), 60-71.

Singh, G., & Debasish, S. S. (2016). Jobs in the Era of Automation. ITIHAS-The Journal of Indian Management, 6(4).

Upadhyay, V. (2015). Can Capitalism Survive High Degree of Automation? A Comparison with Thomas Piketty's Argument.

Urban, F. (2015). The Economics of Technological Change and Employment in the Digital Machine Age.

Wolff, J. C. (2015). Technological Unemployment and a Theoretical Solution to its Imposing Threats. J Socialomics, 4(120), 2167-0358.

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