Introduction Of Information And Communication Technologies Commerce Essay

In this epoch of modernization, Information and Communication Technologies ( ICT ) play a critical function in concerns and houses of all sizes. The term ICT has progressed and evolved to include many facets of calculating and engineering, and has so become really distinguishable. In this essay, the ways in which the debut of ICT affects power dealingss in the workplace will be discussed. First, a definition of the phrases ‘ICT ‘ and ‘power dealingss in the workplace ‘ will be provided.

In what follows, I will set up the peculiar effects that ICT straight brings to the workplace – viz. surveillance, a alteration to organisation construction, increased communicating every bit good as how it skills and deskills workers. Explanation on how these effects later affect power dealingss in the workplace will so be provided.The Information Technology Association of America defines ‘ICT ‘ as “ the survey, design, development, execution, support or direction of computer-based information systems, peculiarly package applications and computing machine hardware ” . ICT involves change overing, protecting, reassigning, maintaining and having information. This is all done with the assistance of computing machines and package.On the other manus, ‘power ‘ refers to the ability to interpret influence or do a difference.

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The actions of one individual affect that of another. Harmonizing to Foucault ( 1988 ) , within the field of power dealingss, what one individual does affects a 2nd, which affects a 3rd, and so on. The feature of power dealingss is that, as agents in the construction, some work forces can more or less determine other work forces ‘s behavior, but ne’er thoroughly ( David Owen, 1994 ) . Power dealingss precipitate all “ the schemes, the webs, the mechanisms, all those techniques by which a determination is accepted and by which that determination could non but be taken in the manner it was ” . Foucault goes on to state that “ Power dealingss are multiple ; they have different signifiers, they can be in drama in household dealingss, or within an establishment, or an disposal – or between a dominating and a dominated category ” . In this essay, it can be summarized that power dealingss in the workplace means the ability to impact how other people within the workplace do work.


The debut of Scientific Management, besides known as Taylorism saw an epoch where directors strived for control over workers.

The debut of ICT to the workplace has allowed directors to pattern methods of worker surveillance that have ne’er been seen before. ICT has given directors the ability to prise on their staff by making things like key stroke numeration, listening in on phone conversations ( to supervise quality of service provided by staff ) , telephone call accounting ( registering information about the clip, continuance, finish and cost of phone calls ) , entry and issue controls utilizing “ smart cards ” ( which give information on staff whereabouts ) , electronic hard currency registries and merchandise scanning systems ( provides inside informations on who handles what ware, volume handled and how expeditiously ) , the reading of electronic mail and the usage of picture cameras for picture surveillance ( After ILO, 1993, pp. 12 – 13 ) .In the past, directors were merely able to supervise the public presentation of whole sections by supervising things like measure and quality of merchandises produced. However, new information engineerings have enabled employers to garner extremely elaborate public presentation related informations sing non merely the work but each person worker itself. This can now be done on a minute by infinitesimal footing and frequently without the employee being cognizant ( Gandy, 1993 ; Lyon, 1994 ) .

The information gathered by directors is most of the clip excessively overpowering to travel through strictly. Power dealingss become relevant when this huge information about worker public presentation is collected. This is because directors must now make up one’s mind if or how to utilize the information gathered on worker public presentation. Due to the economic demands to go more efficient and more profitable, directors are pressured to utilize the information at manus to hopefully heighten public presentation and efficiency of workers ( Susan Bryant, 1995 ) . Managers or employers will be able to take classs of action based on the worker public presentation information. For case, censuring single employees for blue public presentation or altering standard operating processs.

One of the side effects of this is that it legitimizes determinations to farther escalate worker surveillance for the benefit of profitableness and efficiency.Modern surveillance in the workplace can be modelled after Jeremy Bentham ‘s Panopticon – the prison composite designed whereby prison guards would be able to watch captives without being watched back ( Zuboff, 1988 ) . Nevertheless workplace surveillance utilizing ICT differs from Bentham ‘s Panopticon because workers are certain that they are being watched all the clip. The changeless ‘visibility ‘ and ‘unverifiability ‘ that employees experience through workplace surveillance may hold important positive deductions on the manner they work ( Zuboff, 1988, p. 321 ) .A phenomenon that Zuboff refers to as ‘anticipatory conformance ‘ frequently happens because of the mere being of surveillance.

Since workers are cognizant they are systematically being watched, a civilization of ego subject tends to take topographic point to ‘reduce the hazard of unwanted find ‘ . This is interesting because it allows alteration in the manner workers work without direction holding to take excess action. This worker ‘self discipline ‘ helps turn out Foucault ‘s statement ( 1979 ) that Oklahoman or subsequently, persons become ‘bearers of their ain surveillance ‘ . ( Lyon, 1994, pg. 133 ) Even if workers do n’t willingly self subject themselves, it is extremely likely that because of the readily available system generated information about each other ‘s public presentation, equal surveillance and intercession will acquire to them before direction intercession will ( Laabs, 1992 ; Lyon, 1994 ) . As employees become more and more accustomed to surveillance methods, employees may be able to acquire away with making less by working around bing systems to avoid sensing. However, such happenings are deemed to be less likely to go on compared to tendencies of conformance ( Zuboff, 1988 ) .

It may besides be argued that surveillance encourages workers to work harder and to go more productive as their attempts are now more easy recognized by direction. This means that single workers are more likely to be rewarded for seting in excess attempt. Furthermore, employees are less likely to be put at mistake for the wrongs of others. This phenomenon besides happens automatically because of the being of surveillance in the workplace without any direct intercession from direction ( Zuboff, 1988 ) .

The last two points show how the being of ICT in the workplace ( which allows for worker surveillance ) may let for direction to loosen up control over workers and at the same clip anticipate positive returns whilst holding to exercise less authorization or ‘power ‘ in the workplace.

Communication and Organization Structure

The debut of ICT has allowed us to interact at about same velocities – a affair of seconds – regardless of whether we are a few metres or a few stat mis off from one another. In the past two decennaries following the birth of public-service corporations like electronic mail and extremist fast cyberspace connexions, the workplace has experienced a important alteration in operating processs and construction due to this promotion in communicating capablenesss.

Firms are now able to work on a multinational footing. Directors from houses are able to run from their place states without holding to incur the fiscal, physical and chance cost of go forthing their place state ( or at least less frequently ) . The ability to pass on over distances and at such great velocity has allowed directors to run things 1000s of stat mis off on a existent clip footing.

The complexness of a house may alter from that of vertically complex to horizontally complex due to the ability of directors on top of the hierarchy to pass on with more people at a greater easiness. The demand for excess beds of hierarchy to depute undertakings becomes unneeded because of better communicating engineering.Workers at the lower end/bottom of hierarchy may happen it easier to flip thoughts because there may be less ‘red tape ‘ to travel through earlier their thought can be proposed.

On the other manus, CEOs may happen that instructions are conveyed to their subsidiaries more clearly and efficaciously because these instructions need non be passed on to excessively many degrees of direction before it reaches everyone.The ability to pass on with ICT may besides impact the ‘centralization ‘ of a house. A centralised house is one where determinations in the organisation are concentrated at one point. The debut of ICT will go a accelerator to the decentalisation of a house ( John Bratton, 2007 ) . With ICT, it is much easier for senior direction to beg information and thoughts from workers down the hierarchy. This is because, as mentioned, the agencies of communicating make conveyance and beging an thought much simpler than earlier. Prior to this, a physical meeting with high degree direction would be needed to flip an thought ; which means that it would virtually be impossible for a low rank worker to lend any thoughts to the house.

With the improved ability to pass on amongst workers and direction, senior direction might be willing to give more determination doing autonomy to workers since their input would be more accessible. This has a major impact on power dealingss in a house because communicating may let for control to be relaxed as determination doing input may come from both sides of the hierarchy.Having said that, the extended usage of electronic mail and electronic communicating in the workplace means people rarely of all time have to run into ( Argyll and Cook, 1976 ) .

Not physically run intoing takes off the ability to analyse the personal concept of others ( Adam – Webber, 1981 ) . Personal concept theory trades with a scope of professional societal accomplishments that enable people to analyse interactions from different positions and do opinions about people ‘s personalities and significances. These accomplishments are drawn from physical interaction with persons.

The effects of this are inauspicious because small or no consideration will be taken about workers ‘ feelings and personality.

Deskilling and ‘Enskilling ‘ Argument

Deskilling is defined as a decrease in the proficiency needed to execute a specific occupation, which leads to a corresponding decrease in the rewards paid for that occupation ( Bratton, 2007 ) . In the Taylorist context, the deskilling statement focuses on the division of mental and physical labor and the interrupting up of complex undertakings into smaller, more distinct 1s. The ‘logic ‘ of capitalist production requires the changeless transmutation of techniques of production. This involves an addition in mechanisation, mechanization which consequences in the supplanting of accomplishments ( Penn & A ; Scattergood, 1985 ) . The work force becomes even more debauched and deskilled.

For case, fast nutrient or retail mercantile establishments have electronic boulder claies that scan, calculate and state the cashier how much money to return to the client as alteration. The teller ‘s occupation is insistent, comparatively simple and easy to maintain an oculus on because everything is electronic. The chief end of this is to non merely guarantee worker efficiency but to increase the grade of control the direction has over workers. Very small is taken into consideration about worker satisfaction or fulfillment. Harry Braverman notes that the end of the labour procedure under capitalist economy is to bring forth managerial control for maximization of efficiency and profitableness ( Glenn and Feldberg, 1979 ) .

Due to the fact that workers under this status merely concentrate on specific undertakings, they lack the accomplishments to make things out of their occupation demand, possibly because they have neglected and therefore hold forgotten about those accomplishments.On the other manus, allow us see the ‘enskilling ‘ statement. Enskilling is described as alterations in work frequently affecting engineering that consequence in an addition in the skill degree of workers ( Bratton, 2007 ) .

Many persons would hold been retrenched due to engineering doing certain manual occupations automated. However, for those who still have their occupations, their occupation range would hold increased. ICT enables more people do more things. For case, an editor in a publication house in the seventiess would merely hold adequate expertness and proceedingss in a twenty-four hours to be in charge of reading and redacting manus written manuscripts whilst holding to direct them back and Forth to the writer through traditional postal mail.With ICT, manuscripts may be written, edited, and transmitted digitally ; which saves clip. ICT besides makes it easy plenty for the twenty-first century editor to get other custodies on accomplishments such as picture redaction and in writing design ; undertakings that would hold once been left to specialist in those Fieldss.

In add-on, one would be would be required to exert many other distinct competences such as transcript redaction, selling accomplishments and negociating ability ( Barry, Chandler, Clark, Johnston, Needle, 2000 ) .Here, it is possible to detect an addition in skill assortment, undertaking individuality and undertaking feedback. The increased accomplishment of the worker allows directors to give more liberty to them. This efficaciously means that direction may loosen its control over workers loosen uping power dealingss between direction and workers. However, some have argued that this ‘enskilling ‘ of workers allow directors to command workers to a higher extent because undertakings are now centralized on less persons compared to when they were spread out over big sums of people in scientific direction.


I have displayed how the debut of ICT to the workplace has caused an addition in worker surveillance, a greater capableness to pass on and the ‘enskilling’/deskilling phenomena. I have so shown how the mentioned effects of ICT have affected power dealingss within the workplace by changing the magnitude ( addition and lessening ) of control, authorization and influence direction has over workers.


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