Essay: Computer Technology and the Networked Organization

By | April 27, 2011

Sample Essay

Essay: Today, Information Technology (IT) has a key role in the guiding the organizations to achieve their goals ina cost-effective way. It has made available the tools that not only improve the productivity of the employees in an organization but also permit it to be more efficient and greener by reducing the infrastructure (Khosrowpour, 2006). The effects on IT are not limited to the performance of employees; it also impacts the workspace design. The converse of this also holds true. Any change, introduction or removal of processes within an office as well as changes made to the hierarchy of the organizations greatly impacts the deployed IT infrastructure.

The design of the workspace is not long a simple matter. The new workspace design also demands support for networks, data and communication technology along with other necessities such as power, phone, lighting and heating/cooling (Wallace, 2000).

In the case of Oticon, Lars Kolind who was its CEO in 1988, made numerous technological and organizations changes to Oticon in an attempt get Oticon back to its feet within two years. These changes not only increase the competitiveness of Oticon but also reduced te overhead cost of tasks, which at times went above the actual production cost. For example, Kolind introduced a hierarchical job structure along with project-based organization in which each employee of Oticon worked on one or more project at the same time. This change promoted the sharing of resources among the employees of Oticon and also significantly cut down the technological investment made by Oticon. Also, reducing the number of employees also meant that less technological resource were required by Oticon. In a significant move, Lars moved the headquarter of Oticon to an abandoned Tuborg beer factory which had large workspace and no enclosed offices. This allowed Oticon employees to share the lighting and other electrical equipment, reducing the electrical and lighting cost of the company (Lagace, 2003). In addition, Kolind sold all the hardwood furniture of Oticon and brought in wheeled trolleys or cart in order to facilitate the physical mobility. The carts contained a computer, a phone and also had limited space for storing files, and introduced the employees to a new way of sharing information and communication resources. Lars also made changes to organizational hierarchy as well where he reduced the structure of only top management and rest of the employees layers. Furthermore, employees were given more responsibilities and were encouraged to take on roles of other departments, which reduced the dependency of Oticon on dedicated information systems (Larsen, 2002).

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