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Technology and Productivity in the Workplace - Essay Example

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Technology and Productivity in the Workplace

At this particular stage in the IT revolution, many organizations
This reverse effect of technology is attributed to two problems that have cropped up on the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools: segmentation and loss of context. The reason why segmentation and loss of context complicate rather than facilitate problem solving in the workplace is that information made readily available by technology is segmented into pieces such that its recipients are forced to locate the place of each piece in the puzzle. When these segments or units of information reached the recipient, they are often stripped of their meaningful context or original situation of use (Risku & Picher online). The result is occasional stress and frustration in the workplace, which are effective deterrents to productivity. This paper delves into the reasons why technology falls short of its high expectations in the workplace, how the man may have been relegated to a backseat in favor of the machine, and what can be done for the workplace to exact the promised benefits from technology.
The central issu



Case against Technology

The central issue boils down to a conflict between creativity and control on one hand and economic viability on the other. In the words of Storck (2001), the issue of whether computers are a help or hindrance can be reduced to the question: Does it prevent or promote higher productivity Technology is a great help if it lifted the per capita productivity of workers, but it is a hindrance if ICT systems in fact contributed to a decline in productivity at the workplace. Technology through revolutionary transportation and communication systems toppled down international borders and gave way to the Global Village, a business and economic phenomenon. But this is the bigger picture. In the actual workplace, technology users are expending time and energy grappling with newfangled tools that had minds of their own.

IT tools were devised to make performance of tasks easier and faster, bridging any distances so that all participants access the same knowledge. But this technology works best for business organizations if it can be integrated into accepted ways of organizational behavior and it does not interfere with man's desire for belonging and professional stability (Risku & Picher online). The Embedded Cognition Theory set by Suchman (1997) suggests that knowledge provided by IT systems fails to raise productivity and promote intelligent problem solving in the workplace because it prevents man's cognitive urges to tackle new challenges and to interact with fellow humans. Based on the collective intelligence and organizational knowledge theories (Levy, 1997 and Spender, 1996, respectively, as cited in Risku & Pricher), a worker is smarter and more

intelligent if his mind, body and environment interact in a dynamic manner. The closer this interaction is, ...Show more

Summary

Technology changed our lives in many ways, but its impact is most pervasive in the workplace. The main changes in this sphere are the automation of jobs and the greater ease in sending out and receiving information. A 2001 report of the US National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), for example, noted that 56.7 percent of American adults above age 25 use computer in the workplace…
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