In order to successfully redesign jobs, managers need to consider not only changing the technological components of each job; they need to also ensure that any technological change causes minimal or no disruption to the existing social system in which the work is performed.’ Discuss?
Technological revolution is a universal phenomenon which most of the Organizations are going through and in this process most of the companies are being impacted with the newest trends and the changing methods which the Organizations are imbibing, the new technological processes which get introduced to them, language and culture. During this phenomenon there would be some aspects which become interdependent and they change with the introduction of the new changing systems because of political, economic and social changes. Technological revolution was a part of the changing technological environment and the newer trends getting introduced in the world. Technological revolution has also resulted in revolutionizing the economies of most of the Countries by bringing in economic changes and the economic advancements the because of which the Countries have also seen a major shift in their economies This is one of the most critical facts which is a result of the Technological revolution in the world. Technological revolution did not start all at once and all these changes took place eventually in a phase wise way. This had an impact on the attributes of culture, family, communities and the working culture. (Budhwar, P.S., & Sparrow, P. R. (2002a).
The presence of Technology and its revolution has set in and has increased with the introduction and its growth after Second World War. Most of the Countries were involved in this as they have signed different types of agreements which has also helped in liberalization of the process to a certain extent. These Nations have worked towards the improvement of the financial rules and policies which has given a new shape and dimension to their progress (Ehow, nd).
Various factors determine the changes which are taking place to the changing patterns in the World, Organizational theorists have mainly pointed to new factors like
Increasing pressures on the Organizations which can be more competitive, agile and which are to be maintained with their primary focus on customer service in order for it to be a lean enterprise.
Massive changes like communication and information technology breakthroughs have taken place in different sectors like information technology focused organizations which basically work on internet where work has to be differentiated in terms of various parameters.
In the context of today’s work culture technology has changed the ways in which various departmental functions are performed where work has become
- More cognitively complex
- Work has become more team based and more complex
- It has become dependent on social and networking skills
- It is dependent on technological competence
- Is hard bound by time’
- It is not as much dependent on geographical conditions as it previously used to be
The Organizations are going through a constant pressure to change they are facing a lot of competitive pressures where they are
- More compliant based and dependent on Quality and Compliance procedures
- They are also to be channelizing their energies in getting to know the way in which they would have to define a greater value to its Customers
- They are more tuned to dynamic competitive requirements and strategy
- Job security is an issue in the changing economic trends with large competition prevailing in the sector
- They would have to strive continually to maintain and gain a competitive advantage
Changing patterns of work for Individuals and Groups
Over the past few years there has been a new pattern in which work patterns have been changing with the emerging new trends and the economy has seen a lot of improvement. With the newer technologies and new organizational models changes have been divided into different categories like
- Cognitive Competence
- Social and Interactive Competence
- The new Psychological contract which is made between the Management and the Employees
- Changes in process and place
These emerging trends have set new standards in the work places for the Managers and the Employees. Most of the times these changes keep overlapping between the two levels and it sets new expectations from the employees. Individual Managers might change the expectations of the roles which have to be met however they would also ensure that any technological change causes minimal or no disruption to the existing social system in which the work is performed (Hofstede, G. 1980).
Some of the changes which the individuals would have to see would be like
These employees should be multi-skilled as they should be able to handle various tasks across various situations. When the span or the spectrum of work is broader there would be various changes which are brought in the organizational structure which can also create newer demands at work like
- Increased complexity of work - with the changing demands and increasing pressures at work the employees need to get accustomed to newer trends to perform their tasks and they should also work effectively in the teams. Some of the tasks would require some extra knowledge related to technical skills in order to perform the work in a more extemporaneous in a structured way (Klein, K. J., Dansereau, F., & Hall, R. J. 1994).
- The requirement for improvised skills in the employees gradually increases however the employees would have to learn and enhance their skills which would also involve a lot of independent decision making
- Continuous competency development – The employees need to get updated with their technological skills and they also have to be in the learning stream in order to be more conversant with the changing trends and newer technologies. The employees can attend various training sessions and enhance their skills for their own better prospects as well as for their Organizational growth (Kluckhohn, F., & Strodtbeck, F. 1961).
- Different ways of applying the newer technologies – The teams which are involved in cross – functional work environments require a specific kaleidoscopic thinking which can enable the employees to see various alternatives and perspectives in order to create new patterns of thoughts which can promote innovation.
Changing work place
The changing work places also have various factors based on which it is dependent on and the organizational issues can result in various new workplace models.
Methods, Solutions and the possible issues for the changing work place trends
Issues in the work place
Cross functional work – changing trends and more pressurized environment with the changing communication patterns
- Enhanced training programs for the employees
- Individual practice work stations for the employees
- Greater awareness programs which can be run
- Deviations in thinking
- Non - aligned focus at the work place due to increased work pressures or learning pressures
- cultural barriers which might even extend to behavioral changes
- productivity of the employees which could result as low because of extended working hours and deviated focus
Deploying work force globally
- Cross skill training to be given to the employees
- The employees can be posted between various projects to save on the cost which the individual projects could incur
- Increased use of technological tools which could be used for video conferencing and for inter – site meetings
- Use of facilities beyond normal working hours in order to motivate maximum no. of employees to participate in such training programs
- Teams might not always be prepared to focus their energies on learning as it might involve extended working hours
- Reduced face to face interaction in terms of managing and coordinating with the groups of people
- Increased dependencies on technological aspects could be a slight concern during theinitial times until the time when the teams don’t get trained completely
Continual reorganization and restructuring
- Flexible support would be available for continual development of the employees
There could be reduced effectiveness in terms of work because of continual changes in the work place
Let us consider Detver work place project which was to change as per the changing work trends in order to provide better work place environments to the employees. The project has developed to a great extent and the change catalyst has to come into picture in terms of maintaining work place relationships with the ultimate objectives of improvising on the goals and responsiveness to the customers.
Specific goals of the project
- The project had goals to improve internal working relationships which could promote cross cultural working environments and also to improve the working collaboration between various employees in the work place
- Detver wanted to reduce the work place stress and improve the overall quality of work life of the employees
- They wanted to Detver to go through a major transformation in terms of showing their company as a Leader in achievements and not followers
Work place solutions
For all the above points the company has come up with some work place solutions which could be worked out by providing
Open spaces at central notes for spontaneous interactions
Cafes with larger meeting rooms and spacious settings for the employees to be more comfortable
A De stress space for them to continually organize themselves in order to maintain a competitive advantage (R. Kling, and M. Zmuidzinas. Revue Internationale de Sociologie, 1994).
Social and Interactive Competence
Social and interactive competence are the critical factors which can change the nature of work and can also relate to the importance of the relational and interactive aspects of work. With the changing new trends the employees would have to develop newer skills by attending new workshops or training programs which are essential for their work.
In the event of getting the team members get accustomed to the new work or changed skill sets the employees would have to attend all the team meetings which are set up by the Managers in order to get appraised about the facts of conflict resolution and negotiation skills. Conflicts if they would occur would result in the employees not being able to achieve the group objectives. In order to overcome this issue the team members should avoid all types of conflicts and should inculcate negotiation skills which are better when achieved to deal with the issues.
This way the employees would develop a greater sense of relationship building and development which would result in enhancing their networking skills which would result in promoting important information and achieving the organizational objectives.
New Psychological Understanding
As work pressures change the relationship coordination is also to change as per the new environment. It is always better to have a verbal understanding or a written one which would set the expectations in a clear way between the Management and the Employers. This would help build a strong focus on the competency development, training aspects which might be required to enhance the skills of the Employees This would also help create and maintain a perfect work – life balance for the Employees which would allow them to work in a peaceful environment.
By implementing all these factors and by considering the real time facts which the Employees would be able to get connected to the indifferences in types of working would reduce eventually and this would lead to increased employee loyalty and commitment towards the Organization. With little less expectations from the Management the Employees would experience a great sense of satisfaction and achievement and would further committed to all the aspects of learning and development which they might come across in the Organization during their tenure.
Budhwar, P.S., & Sparrow, P. R. (2002a). An integrative framework for understanding cross national human resource management practices. Human Resource Management Review, 12(3), 377-403.
Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture’s consequences: International differences in work-related values. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Klein, K. J., Dansereau, F., & Hall, R. J. (1994). Levels issues in theory development, data collection, and analysis. Academy of Management Review, 19(2), 195-229.
Kluckhohn, F., & Strodtbeck, F. (1961). Variations in value orientations. Evanston: Row Peterson.
“Technology, Ideology, Social Transformation: The Case of Computerization and Work Organization” by R. Kling, and M. Zmuidzinas. Revue Internationale de Sociologie, 2-3: 28-56, 1994.