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' The study of the relation between people and their occupation, equipment and environment, and particularly the application of anatomical, physiological and psychological knowledge to the problem arising therefrom' (millward 2005:339). Why technology is important in organisation? According to Mullins technology is important to raise productivity of workers, develop new products and services, innovate with new process and drive change across business sectors (Mullins : 2010:622).
Role of HR in international organizations:
Human Resource management is one of the key departments in today's international organisations; it is responsible in managing the resource involved in making the organization a success. HR helps in conducting training and organizing awareness campaigns to help employees understand the need, benefits and reason of technology '. From the report of Penna HR consultancy the Role of HR in international organization .
? Managing international mobile force
? Creating core international business
? Using technology to create global consistency
? Engaging with global workforce
? Knowledge management
These strategies were implemented by the HR department at Xansa international organization which works between India and UK. By the year 2008 they faced an issue that they were not able to meet the target, due to lack of technology acceptance. HR department of both countries worked together to solve the issue. That was the case where the strategies was found and result was they identified the core business and they was overwhelmed with positive feedback from the managers and employees'. Other than these roles of HR , performance management is also one of the task that should be considered. Performance management is done through feedback. This helps employee's motivation to their work. Best example is the feedback of the assignments at Coventry University. Which really helps us to improve our work next time? So this task should be done by HR.
Implementation of technology at work place:
'Change is defined as a pervasive influence, where all aspects are subjected to continual change of one form or another' (Mullins, 2005:909). He argues that change is an inescapable part of both social and organizational life. Because of the rapid rate of technological innovation, changes are becoming important. The major area of change is the equipment. The technological change attempts to integrate product design with planning, control and operation. The change process involves learning something new. Changes will not occur unless there is motivation to change'.According to the CIPD 2005 research the major issue HRM are facing in organisation is the technological changes and its adoption. Lewin's change model is used to evaluate the change in relation to technology and also how managers respond to the changes.
Lewin's change model:
Lewin's change model is often referred as 'Force model' developed by Kurt Lewin in 1951. According to him organisation are held in constant state of 'equilibrium' by equal and opposite forces. It also suggests a rage of 'driving forces' and balanced by opposing 'resisting force'. These forces urging change due to new technologies4. Lewin model consist of 3 stages:
This is the stage to create motivation for change. At this stage organization should be prepared for any change to occur. This stage also involves investigation of resisting forces. According to Lewin model, be met by an equal and opposite increase in resisting force. He also states that without motivation change cannot occur in organisation. Lewin states that the only force resisting to technological change is the culture of organization. Being HR in organisations there are the methods used to unfreeze an organisational system.
' Creation of guild
' Psychological safety by reducing threads caused by past failures.
' Sharing the knowledge of change process with employees and stake holders.
This is the stage of equilibrium. According to Robbin this stage provides employees with new information, behavioural models and also new ways of looking things. And help employees learn new concepts by role models, experts and benchmarking against world class organisation (Robbin, 1990). Implementation of change is done through three approaches
Change will be stabilized during the Refreezing stage. This is accomplished by giving employees the chance to exhibit the new behaviours. Robbin states that coaching and modelling can also be used to reinforce the stability of change.
Employee attitudes to technology at work place:
Here Employee attitudes at work place can be evaluated using socio technical system theory. This theory provides 'optimal balance between technical and social subsystem'. Eason found that socio technical system theory is useful to adopt in organisation, because it motivates employees by giving equal importance for their talent. He states that whenever human and technology works together the organisation can meet its challenges of the workforce.
According to Eason many employees are devoted much of their careers and there are concerned about quality of working life, they doesn't matter about job design, job satisfaction and work democracy. So the employees move towards ICT based organisations where Socio technical system theory is not implemented. But most of the organization has implemented this theory the main reason behind that is employees are motivated through challenging jobs. And the employees of these organisations are concerned about job satisfaction and they look for technical systems that help them cope and do not become additional barriers. Best example would be call centres, where work on job design and job satisfaction remains important. So they call centre job as White collar assembly lines because computers controls the employees and employees are allocated calls and good job design is implemented . Call centre is the place where technology and employees are given equal importance. Whereas when ICT is implemented there is no chance of major organisational change5.
The organisation which is no 1 in global market due to technology innovation is the Taiwan bicycle. This organisation is best example for technology late comer in global market. Even though U.S.A and E.U are most competitive world markets for bicycle. Taiwan bicycle focused on how technology innovations can be implemented on bicycle to overcome its competitive disadvantages and to respond to market demand. Taiwan bicycle thereby has able to upgrade itself in the global market and learn about advance technology. According to Mei-chih CEO of Taiwan bicycle has no disadvantage in relation to technology. Only disadvantage which not exactly due to technology is the increase in competitors due to new technologies6.
According to Mayorking , the world has become global village . He states that as the information flows from one region to another by the click of mouse. So he states that other than technology innovation workplace communication is also important7. My personal experience at Coventry university London campus is that, our studies is mainly based on technology. And we use E-mail as the basic source to communicate within the university as well as outside. E-mail helps us to increase the flow of information. It facilitates inter and intra organisation communication. It plays major role in social networking and it provides connection between work and non- work life.
Media richness theory is the best theory for the electronic communication. ' Media richness theory predicts that individuals will tend to use the communication media the best fits the task. The less straightforward the message, the richer the medium needs to be' (Daft and Lengel: 1986). This theory is used to improve the individual work performance at wok by matching media characteristics to the needs of the organisation.
The main disadvantage of using this theory in electronic communication is inappropriate reliance of electronic communication and also it doesn't reflect actual use of media. It also ignores the symbolism use in communication (moodle : 2011).
Implications of new technology:
' we have modified our environment so radically that we must modify ourselves in order to exist in this environment'( Wiener: 1957). An article from child 2005 states that communication between organisations is increasing as the cost is reduced. The organisations are only separated geographically but they work together. The fact behind is that, the development of chat rooms, video and teleconferencing between organisations. Many organisations now involving in secondary activities like networking to start a collaborative work. Due to the implication of technology many organisations have internationalized their operations and they manage them from distance (child: 2005:34).
Adopting new technology is a challenging factor for HRM. As Roobin said HR managers can use Lewin's change model to adopt technological changes .Finally I would like to conclude that, Even though it is challenging every organisation should adopt to new technology like Tiwan bicycle to stand in the competitive market. As wiener said we have to modify our self to exist in this competitive environment.