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The Multimodal Theme of Information Technology Report

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Abstract

This report compares the integration of the multimodal theme of information technology in the strategic, learning process and belief system of an organization in order to determine the feasibility of information technology integration in organizational cultures. The method for comparison was in the broad application of information technology on the performance and efficiency in problem solving capacity of information technology on each of the themes. The study concludes that information technology is best applicable in the mentorship and learning processes in an organization because the strategy and belief system themes are more human dependent and are more dynamic in nature. However, the learning and mentorship process is consistent with the values of an organization and the knowledge acquired by new members through the learning process is applicable even with a change in strategy and beliefs.

Introduction

This report describes the multimodal theme of technology integration that would enhance the functioning and output capacity of different organizational cultures. Organizational culture is basically the overall characteristics of an organization. It covers the system of beliefs and shared values among the personnel in the organization and entails the standard code of conduct and problem solving processes. In a broader sense, organization culture covers the core values within the people, structures, and control systems to produce behavioral norms in an organization. According to Brown, “Organizational culture refers to the pattern of beliefs, values and learned ways of coping with experience that have developed during the course of an organization’s history, and which tend to be manifested in its material arrangements and in the behaviors of its members.” (Brown, 1998, p.9) There exists different perspectives of organizational culture and this report shall illustrate the integration of information technology in all the themes of organizational cultures.

Background

According to Maull, Brown and Cliffe, organizational culture can be divided into three distinct themes (Maull et al, 2001, p. 312).

Strategy

Organizational culture and strategy are intricately intertwined because culture and organization are not mutually exclusive. Changes in strategy will inevitably bring about changes in culture. Conversely, changes in culture inevitably lead to changes in strategy. Strategy is therefore an integral part of organizational cultures and is a major component of organizational culture themes.

Learning and mentorship

This theme identifies the human resource present in an organization as a pace setter for new members. Older or experienced personnel have over time been challenged with several problems which they have learnt to solve. By accepting, coping and solving multiple challenges, these employees have become valuable to the organization (Boar, 2001). They have also learnt a standardized procedure on how to cope with problems and the measures needed to solve a given problem. Through the learning process, the have also developed a distinct code of conduct and an objective mode of thinking, reasoning and perspective (Brown, 1998, p.42). Such qualified employees are thus considered to be mentors who new employees should look up to and learn from. This theme underscores the fact that culture is used as a guideline for new employees allowing for the steady growth of an organization.

Belief system

The belief system organizational culture theme covers the fundamental guiding beliefs and daily beliefs. Fundamental guiding beliefs provide the framework for the practical beliefs in life, that is to say, they essentially provide the direction for daily beliefs. As fundamental guiding beliefs, they are consistent and rarely change since they are the basic beliefs that embrace universal truth. Conversely, daily beliefs are the rules and opinions about everyday behavior. These beliefs are dynamic and constantly change to fit a given situation.

The Multimodal theme of integration of information is the use of a number of functions and conditions in which two or more different methods, procedures or forms of information technology are used in delivery and retrieval of information.

Discussion

The integration of information technology discussed involves the multimodal theme of information integration on the different organizational cultures in any organization or company. Each organizational culture theme may utilize different technology and systems, hence, prior to the conceptualization and application of multimodal integration, the system integration planning should be comprehensively conducted (Boar, 2001). The system integration activities should include the planning and study of system compatibility and possible flaws, identification of available systems values and specifications developed to address the identified flaws, identification of data elements required in the multimodal and multiple user operation, project system security management, data security and risk assessment (Brown, 1998, p.116), analysis of data flow between organizational departments, intellectual property rights, integration of new capacity into existing systems, information systems for administration, support and maintenance(Oviatt, 1996, p. 95-102). The techniques that can be used for the integration study may include common media and system compatibility verification laboratory, industry systems applicability study (Watkins & Marsick, 1993), definition of required data elements, gap analysis on systems and data, system security and risk management (Boar, 2001).

Integrating information technology in organizational strategy

The integration of information technology on a strategic aspect includes the assessment of the internal and external organizational factors and the proposed method for intentional change the organization’s position within the industry to provide the necessary steps needed to be ahead of the competition (Boar, 2001). The evaluation activities basically involve the identification of the organization’s major prospects and the competitors, and the continual monitoring and constant review of additional environmental changes and their effects to the organization (Oviatt, 1996, p. 95-102). The analysis techniques include the market analysis, investor evaluation analysis, competitor analysis, output and input analysis, service area analysis, demographic and client projections, industrial relation analysis as well as forecasting of short and long term commercial trends(Watkins & Marsick, 1993). Before the establishment of the organization strategies, the organization is required to identify and analyze the market trends and dynamics in regards to the ever-changing consumer market in terms of geographical area, income level and population segments (Boar, 2001). The analysis techniques that relate to these factors are consumer oriented and need analysis, for example public image analysis, promotion and marketing service analysis, consumer satisfactions index, fair pricing analysis, public responsibility contribution, authority and legislation impact on the organization and consumer benefits, public safety and security procedures and standard(Oviatt, 1996, p. 95-102).

Integration of information technology in organizational learning

With the multimodal integration of information technology, facets of integration and applications are used to cover the whole organizational learning paradigm. Application of automated mentorship solutions for the organization, may allow new members in the organization to acquire the necessary organizational beliefs and values in all levels in an organization through a centralized mechanism that takes into account the members of different departments (Oviatt, 1996, p. 95-102). Access to information is restricted and members are required to use identification modes such as contactless smart cards, speech recognition, or fingerprint and palm recognition, among others, to access their profile (Oviatt, 1996, p. 95-102). The learning process is saved on the main server through daily or weekly learning progress. The multimodal automated mentorship program creates a different means as to how new members can access information on problem solving behavior and at the same time acquire the extra set of skills essential to an organization(Watkins & Marsick, 1993). The multimodal automated mentorship program can be used to solve several key issues facing an organization, with minimum human interference. New members are required to access the automated mentorship program on a daily basis to acquire the beliefs, value and behavioral conduct to become productive members of the organization. Through stored information, the progressing members are tested along the process and results automatically evaluated to determine their validity in the organization (Watkins & Marsick, 1993). The solutions provided through information technology integration include the human resource and personnel management analysis (Oviatt, 1996, p. 95-102) and allocation that include recruitment, training, evaluation and promotion of administration, technical and operation staff. By reviewing the personnel profile, the organization can determine their operational and technical strength.

Integrating information technology in organizational belief system

Multimodal integration of information technology is two fold in terms of the beliefs in an organization. This is due to the fact that there are two sets of beliefs which are the fundamental and daily beliefs. Since fundamental beliefs are constant, information technology integration is applicable and effective in the daily beliefs set. Due to the fact that daily beliefs are dynamic and situational, the integration of information technology here considers the daily processes and problems to create room for a basic set of beliefs (Boar, 2001). Conversely, information is updated on a daily or situational basis to inform members of developing situations via speech or written text. The information is compartmentalized in accordance to the organizational departments most affected and delivered to those departments (Watkins & Marsick, 1993). These reviews provide the identification of gaps in the organization’s operational services offerings and the technical staff skills, thus determine whether the organization is more profitable and efficient using internal full service or outsourcing managed services (Oviatt, 1996, p. 95-102). There are a number of techniques for the analysis activities, which may include the technical and operation staff analysis; servicing area definition, evaluation of customer support management index, personnel performance index, systems support requirements definition, and operation management analysis(Watkins & Marsick, 1993). Additionally, fundamental beliefs can be integrated into the automated belief set to offer possible solutions to current or developing problems to allow for early problem solving and consequently, faster growth for the organization (Watkins & Marsick, 1993).

Conclusion

From the report, it is evident that the multimodal theme of information technology integration is applicable in all themes of the organizational culture. The end result is a more standardized code of conduct and values which void of any human element, likely to improve the output capacity of the personnel and overall performance of the organization. The analysis that precedes and follows the integration of information technology is also important in determining the overall direction of the organization and the most effective modes of operation. Consequently, organizations must be alert and receptive to the organizational dynamics and changing information systems, so as to take on a proactive perspective in organizational management and organizational cultures. The end result is acceleration in the rate of performance, efficiency and profit even with minimal personnel.

There is rapid growth in the information technology industry and many organizations are heavily reliant on information systems for their daily running. It is therefore prudent for an organization to embrace new information technology rather than have their competitors have the advantage. Information technology is of particular interest to the learning and mentorship of new members of an organization. This is a relatively an unexploited area of information technology but it is more or less highly potent in producing superlative results. In a far-sighted manner, organizations can incorporate the core beliefs and values of an organization to new members in the early stages of their introduction. The benefits here are numerous because for one, new members are able to cope faster with the underlying trend of an organization, allowing them to settle in and harness their potential earlier. Recruitment of new personnel will also be automated, removing any biased views that accompany human assessment. Additionally, there will be less human interaction in terms of learning and mentorship meaning new members will not have to constantly enquire from their seniors the measures to undertake when faced with a given problem.

Since learning and mentorship is automated, new employees will be guided as they progress in their work and the end result is there is less time wasted by the new and senior employees in their interaction to solve a problem. Such automated learning will ensure that new employees are capable of performing and behaving like senior employees in a relatively short time. Therefore, the added value to the organization is immense in terms of information retrieval and distribution and there are also potential benefits for the organization. The benefits include but not limited to reduced mentorship and training costs, increased output, higher growth rate and an increase in efficiency with few employees.

References

Boar, H., (2001). The Art of Strategic Planning for Information Technology, 2nd Edition. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Brown, A., (1998). Organizational Culture. (2nd Ed). Vancouver: Pitman Publishing, pp. 9-176.

Maull, R., Brown, P., and Cliffe, R., (2001). Organizational Culture and Quality Improvement. International Journal of Operations & Production Management. Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 302-326

Oviatt, L., (1996). Multimodal interfaces for dynamic interactive maps. New York: ACM Press, pp 95-102.

Watkins, K. and Marsick, V., (1993). Sculpting the Learning Organization. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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