Sample Term Paper
This term paper is about how information technology impacts managers. When technology isolates individuals from their social context, the resulting lack of communication with peers has a negative effect on employees (Zuboff, 1988). Such isolation also lessens opportunities for employees to develop shared interpretations and learn from each other.
When technology isolates individuals from their social context, the resulting lack of communication with peers has a negative effect on employees (Zuboff, 1988). Such isolation also lessens opportunities for employees to develop shared interpretations and learn from each other. While the social structure of work appears to be undergoing some major changes (King et al., 1998), the use of knowledge repositories does not emerge to be a contributing factor. Although repositories are a layer of technology between knowledge seekers and providers, it seems doubtful that the use of knowledge repositories by itself will contribute either to employee isolation or depersonalization.
By contributing some part of their unique knowledge to a knowledge repository, managers give up sole claim to the benefits stemming from that knowledge. Davenport and Prusak (1998) have recommended that such “knowledge is power” thinking is a product of organizational settings that do not reward knowledge sharing efforts, and argue that firms must build up cultures and/or compensation systems that provide sufficient incentive to overcome the individual’s loss of uniqueness.
Mintzberg (1973) makes a similar argument with respect to managers:
The manager clearly occupies a central position in the movement of a certain kind of information within his organization … The flow of non-routine information in an organization focuses on its manager.
Though it is conceptualized as “non-routine information”, what Mintzberg is actually writing about is a manager’s unique knowledge of what is going on within his or her area of responsibility. His unique access to all subordinates and to special outside contacts … enables the manager to increase a powerful database of external and internal information. In effect, the manager is his organization’s generalist, with the best store of non-routine information.
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