The role of technology in organizational change
Taking these erspectives into account when describing how theories apprehend and grasp something such as organizational change and technologys role in this proccess, Is very important as It provides knowledge Into what their position Is and their point of focus. As it is stated in Oxford Dictionaries, technology can be defined as: the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry – machinery and devices developed from scientific knowledge.
Regarding the role of technology In relation to organizational change give rise to the next questions which are the main themes of study: do organizations evolve simultaneously with technology? – is it easy to implement new technologies into organisations? We can formulate the folowlng preconceptions: technology is changing very rapidly and this changes seem to be accelerating, while organizational changes – how people think and behave, are still hard and slow.
According to Moore’s Law of the exponential growth of computing power, , Metcalfe’s Law of the exponential value of interconnections on expanding networks, and Kurzweil’s Law of accelerating returns – technology advances exponentially, while organizations absorb hanges logarithmically. It takes time for people to alter their thinking and change their behavior. When it comes about groups of people, where there are existing structures, processes, incentives, and cultural momentum, it takes even more effort to turn the ship. The larger the group, the greater the institutional resistance.
The great management dilemma of the 21st century is the relationship between these two curves: technology is changing faster than organizations can absorb change.. We also need to recognize how entwined organizational change is in technology strategy. It is not enough to decide which technological changes to embrace or to deal with the technical Implementations of those choices. To succeed, technology management must explicitly address how those technologies will be absorbed into the operations and the culture of the organization..
Studying modern organisations can not be done without taking In consideration organisational change. Theory of perception sais that only what moves is visible, therefore speaking about organisations without highliting the process of organisational change is like trying to describe a movie hrough an image, or at best a set of images – something that can not be correctly ‘OF3 done. For example a smootnly run, well routlnlzea organlsatlon does not offer mucn insight related to the waves of the change, either.
Things go well because they go well, and only a change in the events line can reveal the lacking or makings of succes. In terms of social phenomena things apear to be seen from a different perspective: during periods of stability people take their reality for granted without any atempt to anlyse it and, or explain it, while in times of change old practices are naturaly estroyed and replaced with new constructions – process which invites questioning and de-construction of the previous taken for granted realities.
Although we seem to be mesmerized by the strong illusion of stability projected by the social world, we find ourselves into a continuous construction procces, a continuous change. And, as Heraclitus said, “change is the only constant in life”, so we have to permanently evolve and adapt. To go even further, Haridimos Tsoukas and Robert Chia states that “.. organization is a pattern that is constituted, shaped and emerging from change. Organization aims at stemming change but, in the procces of doing so, it is generated by it. “.
Traditional ways of thinking about technological change have their roots in Lewin’s three-stage change model of ‘unfreezing, ‘change’ and ‘refreezing. According to this model, the organization prepares for change, then implements the change and in the end strives to regain stability as soon as possible. This model which treats change as an event to be managed during a specified period may have been appropriate for organizations that were relatively stable and bounded and whose unctionality was sufficiently fixed to allow for detailed specification.
Today, however, given more turbulent, flexible, and uncertain organizational and environmental conditions, such a model is becoming less appropriate – hence, the discrepancy between the theory and reality.. In many situations, therefore, predefining the technological changes to be implemented and accurately predicting their organizational impact is impractical and futile. Hence, the models of planned change that often inform implementation of new technologies are less than effective. Wanda J. Orlikowski and J.
Debra Hofman suggest that what would be more appropriate is “a way of thinking about change that reflects the unprecedented, uncertain, open- ended, complex, and flexible nature of the technologies and organizational initiatives involved. ” Thit kind of model would enable organizations to systematically absorb, and respond to unexpected events, evolving technological capabilities and unanticipated outcomes. Such a model for managing change would encourage experimentation, use, and learning – more as an ongoing improvisation rather than a staged event. The model rests on two major assumptions that differentiate it from raditional models of change: First, the changes associated with technology implementations constitute an ongoing process rather than an event with an end point after which the organization can expect to return to a reasonably steady state. Second, all the technological and organizational changes made during the ongoing process cannot, by definition, be anticipated ahead of time. Given these assumptions, our improvisational change model recognizes three different types of change: anticipated, emergent, and opportunity-based.
These change types are elaborations n Mintzbergs distinction between deliberate and emergent strategies. “. Noooay can aeny tne InvaluaDle role tnat tecnnology plays In organlsatlons ana individual’s life. As Richard Restak states in Mind: the Big Questions, technology is responsible for an impressive increase in IQ scores over the past few hundred years, particularly in world’s industrialized countries. In the period from 1947 to 2002, for example, Americans gaind 24 points in the area of IQ testing, and this seems to be the benefit of a progression from concrete to abstract levels of thinking and understanding, known as Flyn Effect..