Many organisations carry out technological changes depending on various reasons. These changes are done to improve the quality and quantity of output of the organisations. This paper will critically review various forms of literature that discuss the issue of technological change in organisations and the main reasons why it is done.
The impact of technology on organisational procedures and performance has become very crucial. Many organisations have realised that technological advancements shape performance levels in workers employed by the organisation. The management personnel in the organisation need to ensure that the technological changes that are introduced are managed effectively.
Technological change in a company can only be successful if the existing organisational culture allows for it (Song 2008, p. 203). All the participants in the organisation need to be aware of the benefits of technological change and their role in contributing to technological change. Many organisations have introduced newer technological processes, which have significant impacts on their users.
Technological changes help in improving efficiency and performance levels in the organisation. Employees need to know how they can use these technologies and the results that are likely to be obtained from them. It has become vital for organisations to manage the changes in work procedures that are brought about by technology in the direction of improving job satisfaction.
The issue of organisational culture is a critical component that managers should consider before any technological change is adopted. Song (2008) states that the chosen technological change needs to suit the work environment or the organisation it is chosen for.
The management of the organisation must examine the technical and social factors that affect its personnel to understand the right approach that should be used when introducing new technology.
Technology has a big influence on the methods that are used by a company in the manufacture of its goods as well as the quality of production. It is a crucial issue, which impacts on organisational performance and output. Technology is constantly changing and consequently, organisations need to understand how these changes can add quality to their internal and external operations.
Dauda and Akingbade (2011, p. 33) argue that technology consists of innovative systems, knowledge and skills that are used by the organisation to improve performance.
Technological change is the approach taken by organisations to use revolutionary technical skills and processes, which are important in helping firms to meet their objectives. There is a connection between labour, technology and expenditure. Technological changes cannot be effective if these three aspects of organisational performance are not linked properly.
The management should not overstate technological changes at the expense of their existing personnel. Some labour intensive industries require both skilled manpower and advanced equipment for work processes to be effective. Organisations should not alienate their workers when introducing new technology as this can result in strained labour relations and industrial action.
Technological change should not be seen as a workers’ replacement but as a complementary aid meant to improve levels of performance and achieve positive results (Dauda & Akingbade 2011, p.35). Technological changes adopted in the organisation should not only improve competitiveness of the company’s products but also allow for the transfer of knowledge and skills to its workforce.
ICT based changes have revolutionised the methods of communication adopted by organisations. Dauda and Akingbade (2011, p. 37) reveal that internal systems in organisations have been affected by ICT, which has improved the way managers and employees communicate.
These changes have made managers and their workers more connected to each other through networked computerised platforms. Many organisational processes are done through networked computers, which have changed the manner in which HR functions are done.
Advancements in ICT technology have also brought about changes in the way many organisations transact business with their clients, suppliers and other parties who are not within their boundaries. All these changes have streamlined many organisations’ operations, which has reduced wastage of time and other resources.
Technological advancement is a crucial factor in determining the level of competitiveness within a firm. Technological advancements increase the pace at which change in the organisation takes place. However, this can only be possible if the technology introduced is tested to determine if it can bring positive outcomes to the organisation.
Technological changes should bring about improvements in knowledge, efficiency and profitability within the organisation. Dessler (2008, p. 59) stresses that the technological changes that are adopted by the organisation need to justify the large costs incurred while investing in them. Other regulatory concerns need to be met to ensure that the changes that are being introduced meet all the requirements put in place by the authorities.
The period in which the technological changes are adopted is also a crucial factor. The technology chosen should not be obsolete as this will not result in improved efficiency and performance in the organisation.
The organisation should only choose those technologies that are likely to bring medium and long-term positive results. The technology that is chosen by the organisation should last several years before the management upgrades it. This ensures that the organisation does not spend a lot of money on acquiring new technological systems after short durations (Dessler 2008, p. 65).
The adjustments that should be realised in organisational work processes must be considered before technological changes are adopted. Technological changes can have a big impact on the creation of staff teams within the organisation.
Technological change in the organisation can result in changes in job design; these transformations bring about flexibility within the work station, which can have positive effects such as improving expected outcomes. Lorenzi and Riley (2004, p. 85) reveal that one of the main consequences of technological change is that most functions become automated, which significantly reduces labour costs incurred by the firm.
However, automation can cause conflicts in labour intensive processes because workers may feel that they are being sidelined in favour of advanced technological processes.
Automation of crucial work processes in labour intensive industries should not negatively affect the relationship the organisation’s management has with its employees.
The company’s employees should be subjected to induction on how to operate the new technological processes being introduced at their work stations. This reduces the hostility employees have to the changes in the management styles and operations that are introduced to the company through technology.
Technological changes can sometimes result in restructuring of various operations in the organisation. This restructuring can result in new departments being formed and some of the old departments could get merged for greater efficiency. The management needs to ensure that the restructuring of its operations, which is usually scheduled to occur after the introduction of new technologies, has positive results.
It is necessary for managers to forecast the likely impacts the organisation might experience after restructuring has been done. The inclusion of technology aided processes should not adversely affect other crucial departments, which are critical for the organisation’s survival (Lorenzi & Riley 2004, p. 93).
The management needs to ensure that the technological changes it adopts do not lead to unnecessary restructuring of operations in the organisation.
Lorenzi and Riley (2004, pp. 103-106) argue that the organisation’s management needs to ensure that all the employees are trained effectively to deal with the changes that occur during the introduction of new technologies. Older workers are usually disadvantaged when new work processes are being introduced and consequently, the technological changes that are adopted should not sideline them.
It is necessary for the management to make older workers acquainted with ICT based processes, which significantly change the working procedures. Technological changes encourage innovation within a firm and as a result, all the workers need to feel that they have something unique to offer the organisation.
Old workers have a lot of skills and experience, which the organisation needs for its continued existence. Older workers should not be negatively affected by any technological change that is adopted by the organisation.
Managers need to analyse the skills that workers in their organisations have and establish if improvements in technology can help them become more talented. Volti (2009, p. 62) argues that the introduction of new technologies should be guided by how they are likely to make the workers more knowledgeable on their roles and responsibilities.
Managers should ensure that the technologies that are introduced make the workers more competitive in their work assignments and responsibilities. Technological changes introduced by a firm should make employees more innovative even as they perform their duties.
The success of a new technological process can only be determined by the quality of results the organisation gets out of it. Technological changes should improve not only the quality but the quantity of output in the organisation.
A firm needs to liaise with the companies that provide new technological solutions to ensure that its workers understand the value of changing the technology it uses in its operations. Organisations need to sustain mutual relationships with manufacturers of new technological components to ensure they perform at the desired optimum level.
This ensures that the new technologies that are adopted by the organisation effectively satisfy its needs. Any breakdowns that result should be quickly resolved to ensure that the operations of a firm are not negatively affected.
It may take longer than expected for the company’s workers to be familiar with how new technological systems work and operate (Volti 2009, p. 67). Manufacturers of technological equipment that is introduced in a company can train workers on how to operate the complex production processes associated with it.
Organisations should adopt technological changes that are not only efficient but also cost-effective in terms of their operations. Volti (2009, p. 72) reveals that the management of the organisation needs to be aware of its financial position before introducing new technologies.
Some technological changes are very costly and can expose a firm to cash flow problems, which may result in losses. Companies should choose technological solutions that are not too costly to avoid interfering with the other crucial processes that are necessary for them to continue operating. Managers should choose technologies that are flexible and which offer positive returns on investment.
In conclusion, technological change is a process that never ends and improves the way the organisation carries out its functions. Technological changes adopted within a firm should enable it to experience a higher level of efficiency in its operations.
It is necessary for organisations to choose new technologies that bring about positive returns on their operations. Appropriate technology helps a firm to improve its performance and meet its long-term objectives.
Dauda, YA & Akingbade, WA 2011, ‘Technological change and employee performance in selected manufacturing industry in Lagos state of Nigeria’, Australian Journal of Business and Management Research, vol. 1, no. 5, pp. 32-43.
Dessler, G 2008, Human resources management, Prentice Hall, London.
Lorenzi, NM & Riley, RT 2004, Managing technological change: organisational aspects of health informatics, Springer, New York.
Song, Y 2008, ‘Training, technological changes and displacement’, Journal of Labour Research, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 201-218.
Volti, R 2009, Society and technological change, 6th edn, Worth Publishers, New York.