"In considering the influence that technology in general or any single technology has over human affairs, it is ... necessary to consider not only the technology and its presumed "imperatives," but also the key human agents of the technology, the organisations in which they operate, and how these influence the course of technological change" (Rudi, 257).
Over the years, technology has become a developing existence in companies and inevitably, companies are trying to integrate technology into their work processes. Today, technology has become a necessity in a company and it has been viewed often as an improvement in the efficiency of the workplace by companies. However, there has been a number of different views as to how technology will impact the organizations, the management and the employees. Modern and critical perspectives will be taken to provide different insights on how technology is been viewed and understand. Since critical theory perspective is focused on challenging the modern theory perspective, we will be able to have a greater depth of understanding on technology environmental relationships. The modernist theory emphasize on the need for power and control for profit maximization. The critical theory on the other hand, provide a social perspective on how technology has an impact to the workers and the working environment. In this essay, we will take a look at how the development of technology is perceived differently by different factors namely the modernist and critical perspectives. Modernist Theory
Modern theory perspective believes in objectivism and that objective truths are vital in the management of an organization (Green & Crother, 2004). Modernist seeks truths that are objective and honest. First and foremost, employing the use of electronic technologies such as surveillance can enlarge the managerial power where it is used to monitor the workers and keep track of their work behavior. (Volti Rudi 2012). An example can be found in the device called the Business Microscope which will send information on the duration that each staff spends out of their seats even to the extent of the duration they spent in the toilet.(John Hall, 2014) This displayed a high level of agency theory whereby managers are given the power of supervision so that they will act according to the owner's best interest. Also, by making use of surveillance control, the management will be able to access the workers' performance and based on their performance, the performing staffs will be rewarded accordingly. In the modernist point of view, the usage of surveillance technology might be a good way to monitor and keep track of every staff's movements to ensure that they do not skive. From the critical theory point of view however, the staffs are working under a very stressful working environment as they are constantly being "spied on" by the management. Although a working environment whereby everyone in the workplace are working to their fullest is achieved, the staff will not be happy working there and leads to individual resistance to the work place like playing absenteeism, looking for other work that has a greater autonomy. Secondly, how the organization runs is dependent on the type of technology complexity that was used. Simple production technologies like mass-production requires routinized processes, defined job scope, and hierarchical authority that is able to keep a close watch (Volti Rudi 2005) which shows a high level of bureaucratic theory as there is a need for rules and regulations to keep the workers in place. In other words, mass production is heading more towards strict supervision orientation. Other production technologies that requires a higher skill level on the other hand like unit production and continuous process production, has more flexibility and the worker-management communication does not have to go through a hierarchy (Volti Rudi 2005) which further proves the...
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