ICT Impact and Transformation of Workplaces – A Discussion“The concept of community applies both online and offline. Online, community is a metaphor. Offline, the spirit of community is required to implement the changes that the Internet makes possible—to give customers more choices, citizens more voice, educators more capacity to improve children’s learning, and businesses greater market reach and internal efficiency. ”Rosabeth Moss Kanter. E-volve! : Succeeding in the Digital Culture of Tomorrow. (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2001) p. 197. Introduction The last three decades have seen unprecedented developments in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) throughout the world.
Australia too, has also been swept by the ICT wave and according to the Internet World Stats - World Internet Usage Statistics report, of the estimated population (2009), the number of internet users has gone up from 7,620,480 in the 2000 to 20,838,019 in the year 2009 with a penetration of 60.1 percent of the population. Growth percentage has been a laudable 173.4 % (http: //www. internetworldstats. com/stats. htm). So how has ICT affected and transformed the workplace, particularly the impact ICT has had on the role of the Administrative Manager or a Knowledge worker?
Has it helped to make their tasks easier, or has it indirectly made it more tedious? Has it helped to better human relations and interpersonal skills or has it worsened human relations by making the users more mechanical? These are some of the issues that shall be discussed in this essay which is based on an interview with a Middle-level Administrator in an Ad Agency in Melbourne, Australia. The name of the workplace and the interviewed person has been changed in order to preserve privacy.
The essay shall include relevant parts of the interview and analyze the transformation brought about with the help of ICT in interviewee’s workplace. It shall conclude with the observation that ICT has indeed brought about a positive change in the work environment albeit with some shortcomings in terms of adverse physical and to a lesser extent emotional health of users. ICT and Increased Numbers of Ad Media Ad agencies have often been dubbed as the ‘dream merchants’. The industry, like any other has its own norms and nuances; however, this industry can be associated with the Motivation Theory formulated by Taylor.
His first key assumption regarding human behaviour at the workplace that, human beings are “rational economic animals” concerned with getting the greatest “economic gain” (tutor2u. net) in any dealing is the paradigm underlying the ad industry. According to Ad Agency Administrator Isaac Woods, the ‘dream merchants’ should be interpreted as “harbingers of positive human vision” (2009, p. 1) rather than having any negative connotations. Woods added saying that however, the advent of ICT and introduction of new graphic tools has indeed given a dream-like tinge to the quality of ads produced these days. Automation and ICT has totally transformed the way advertisement agencies function and work today as compared to what they were some twenty-five years or even seventeen years back.
While previously the agency mainly dealt with press ads, hoardings and banners, and television spot advertisements, the introduction of communication innovations like the computer, internet, mobile phones and social networking sites (SNS) have helped revolutionize the ad industry, offering them more media platforms to advertise their client’s products, and entirely new possibilities in advertising.