Technology has left its magical touch everywhere. Business organizations are not out of that magical touch. Organization development and technology are very closely related. Every organization leverages technology to support their overall strategy. Different organizations are using technology to a various extent. By using technology, organizations have become more efficient than organizations before them. Technology allows the organization to achieve their goals. Technological developments enable productivity allowing reorganization of organizational structure, activities and culture. In return, it greatly improves the effectiveness of the organization. However, for this to last and stay a reality, the use of technology should be leveraged at its fullest extent to maximize results.
Indeed, the rise in productivity could be a result of organizations having the ability to grasp, appreciate and absorb current technological advances into their structure, creation and culture. Efficient business processes enable business ventures to save money and time. To hold market share, organizations also try to incorporate the latest technologies as much as possible. Organizations should continue to strive to use modern systems that are concurrent with the latest technological advancement. Therefore, regulating modern systems confirms that organizations consistently use up-to-date technological systems to improve business procedures, as well as ensures that those systems and procedures are consistent within the entire organization. If productivity increases, it will be a result of an increase in the efficiency of the business process and decrease in expense which is the indication of an increase in overall income.
The scope of technology that a corporation can adopt is immense; starting from buying a personal laptop with an application program, to investment within the latest progressive computer-aided production machinery. No matter the quality of the system or the dimensions of the organization, one factor is for certain – the incorporation of technology or information systems can result in change. Implementation of technological systems will act as a catalyst for change.
Technological use has been widely recognized now. It is very important for an organization’s survival and growth. Among the use of different types of technology it has been seen that the use of Information Technology (IT) is more frequent. According to Crichton & Edgar (1995), in dealing with the market complexity IT helps an organization to a great extent (Farhanghi, Abbaspour & Ghassemi, 2013). For instance, it has become difficult to run a business in the hotel industry without the help of IT. In the past, the check-in process at a hotel was manual, but now the check-in is performed with the use of software programs. The use of software has made the check-in process easy and time efficient. To evaluate the performance of the employees, hotel businesses are using different software programs such as Small Improvements, TribeHr or HRM Direcct With the help of IT, organizations are able to offer better product offering.
Many organizations offer customized products or services to their customers and it is possible only because of technology. Customization in the banking sector can be the best example of customized service offerings. Citibank improved its Internet site in 2002 to provide easy navigation and access for customers, which is the adoption of latest technology in their organization (Mininni, n.d.). This adoption allows the customers of Citibank to set up a customized home page catered to their individual needs and preferences. On the home page, customers can keep the content in a layout that work in the best way for them. Technology plays a vital role in shaping organizational structure. Whisler (1970) argued that increasing vertical information results in centralization of information, and IT impacts the structure of the organization (Farhanghi, Abbaspour & Ghassemi, 2013). According to Church & Waclawski (1998, 2001), people are now in the era of information (Church, Gilbert, Oliver, Paquet & Surface, 2002).
For instance, if an individual wants some information about a specific hotel, he can use a laptop to find information about the hotel. He can reserve a room through online reservation. Hronec (1993), illustrated the role of information as “vital signs” to drive and evaluate initiatives related to organizational development (OD) and human resource development (HRD) which are more significant now than before (Church, Gilbert, Oliver, Paquet & Surface, 2002). For instance, most organizations are using performance appraisal software such as Trackstar Performance Appraisal, Wingspan, or Empxtrack for the performance appraisal of their employees. Most businesses are now operating either with computers or communication devices. These devices
allow the organization to organize information such as data base, personal schedule and so on (McGrath, 2008). In the view of Waclawski & Church (2002), technology has showed a different way to look at OD as a truly data-driven process (Church, Gilbert, Oliver, Paquet & Surface, 2002). Consistent with the view of Tippins (2002), to achieve the advancement in the field of OD, technology has brought more opportunities (Church, Gilbert, Oliver, Paquet & Surface, 2002).
Impacts of Technology on Organizational Development
Technology has various impacts, both positive and negative, on the development of the organization. Technology definitely has its place among the key parts that form a corporation. The formal structure or arrangements inside a corporation may be plagued by the arrival of recent technology; this does not need to be the case in every circumstances. A change may also occur when businesses change the way they operate. One futurist plan whose views are being validated is that the notion of the virtual geographical point (Kerman, 1995). The basic idea of this concept is that employees are able to work independently and will have accesses to information. The concept of not having a group workplace area definitely would be a modification from the standard routine of being physically present at the workplace from nine to five (ideally) and working.
Such a concept would clearly be obsessed on the duty to be accomplished. In the case of virtual work spaces, employees have the autonomy of doing their assigned jobs. Tasks would be more focused, target oriented and the performance evaluation would not be on the basis of face to face interactions rather on the basis of how employees are performing their appointed tasks. Computer networks permit people to react quickly, share ideas, and transfer information regardless of physical locations. This is how technology allows supervisors to monitor the activities of their subordinates without requiring subordinates reporting them physically. Technology provides additional profit to organization, though it has some cost as well. However, in terms of return, it brings more than the cost to the organization. For instance, if a restaurant creates a website and start taking orders online, it would have some costs associated with creation of the website; however the restaurant will be able to take more orders than before creating the website.
Technology helps to accumulate ability and reduces duplication of resource. It also enhances career developments and eases the communication among employees of an organization. For example, many organizations use information systems within the organization to allow employees to communicate with leadership and subordinates. Information systems enable easier communication between employees. Technology provides structure making work easier. It increases the safety of recognized sources and interdependencies, allows diversification, and increases accountability between departmental managers. Technology can change the total operating model. For a quality work life, it is important to have a technological advanced setting which supports reduce absences, turnover, and accidents, through the use of prime quality digital computer (Hackman, 1977). Additionally, technology improves company’s sales and services. It improves division work by permitting staff to use personal electronic devices to make sales displays, transmit orders and client information to the house from workplace. These electronic devices shorten the interval corporations spend receiving and delivering product or services, which can be a competitive advantage for the organization.
Corporations can also send sales representatives to multiple markets at a shortest possible time, permitting them to penetrate multiple markets with negligible costs. Each business must use technology to achieve competitive advantage. In today’s environment, time and competence are essential factors in business growth. To survive in business, people should take advantages of technologies. Technology has changed the life of people; it has brought revolutionary changes in each operational sector. Through technological advancement, corporations are able to increase productivity, reduce costs, minimize time, etc. Technological advancement is equally necessary to OD practitioners. OD practitioners can use technology to gather knowledge, analyze actual state of affairs, and provide outcomes. The use of technology within the organization will bring the best result when employees of the organization are connected to the technology.
Technological advancement increases competition, fosters rapid growth, and mitigates environmental changes imposing on the organization to reorganize themselves (Cummings & Worley, 2009). Technology dictates the pace of economic process within the space of information and communication technology (ICT) as this is often the main driver of processes. In the 21st century, developing countries are concentrating on adopting technology as much as possible within organizations. Developing countries are viewing the application of technology in organizations as an economic development. Many organizations from developed countries are doing outsourcing from the developing countries [provide an example here]. These outsourcings are playing a vital role in the economic development of developing countries. Technology has changed the life of people; it has brought revolutionary changes in each operational sector. Through technological advancement, corporations are able to increase productivity, reduce costs, minimize time, etc.
Technological advancement is equally necessary to OD practitioners. OD practitioners can use technology to gather knowledge, analyze actual state of affairs, and provide outcomes. The use of technology within the organization will bring the best result when employees of the organization are connected to the technology. Technological advancement increases competition, fosters rapid growth, and mitigates environmental changes imposing on the organization to reorganize themselves (Cummings & Worley, 2009). Technology dictates the pace of economic process within the space of information and communication technology (ICT) as this is often the main driver of processes. In the 21st century, developing countries are concentrating on adopting technology as much as possible within organizations. Developing countries are viewing the application of technology in organizations as an economic development.
Many organizations from developed countries are doing outsourcing from the developing countries. These outsourcings are playing a vital role in the economic development of developing countries. Technology helps organizations achieve goals. However, technologies have some blockade. First, technologies are expensive. Second, individuals have to be capable to use advanced technical instruments. Individuals cannot work effectively until there is a free flow of sound data and technology. Proper work results in an increase in profit for the organization. Organizations typically pay a lot for the installation and maintenance of their own technology. Organizations want to keep information secret and safe about their technology.
Output will be higher when employees have sound knowledge about the technology within their organization. Organizations have to take initiatives to teach their employees about technology. Once individuals have sound knowledge about technology then they have to know how to apply the application of their earned knowledge. It is the responsibility of the OD practitioner to find out when individuals need training. OD practitioners try to reduce barriers and increase gains.. Organizations need to provide training about performance, competitions, elaborate program design, and many more. With proper training, employees will be able to make the best use of technology. Thus the organization will be able to achieve the goals.
In the end it can be said that the installation of a technology in the organization will not be enough to achieve organizational goals. The overall success depends on some other factors as well. Installation of a technology is only the beginning. Organizations have to provide proper training to employees to achieve the maximum advantage from the installation of the technology. Organizations have to have a close look on the performance of the organization as well. OD practitioners play a vital role to get the best result from the use of technology. When a change comes to the organization there will always be some resistant. Some employees may not accept the change. OD practitioners have to deal with these issues. They have to create the readiness for change and overcome the resistance. It is the responsibility of OD practitioners to ensure consistent training for all employees. If training is not consistent among the members of a same group then there could be a probability of conflict among the group members. OD practitioners have to pay close attention to these issues as well. A combination of effort from all employees within the organization is needed to have the best result from the use of technology. To survive in the present competitive business world technological knowledge is must for any organization.