Management Information Systems

Chapter 16
The Impacts of Information Technology on
Individuals, Organizations, and Society
Information Technology For Management 5th Edition
Turban, Leidner, McLean, Wetherbe
Lecture Slides by A. Lekacos,
Stony Brook University
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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Learning Objectives
• Describe some of the major impacts of information technology on
individuals, organizations, and society.
• Understand the changes that take place in the workplace and the lives of
individuals when information technology eliminates geographical
• and spatial barriers.
• Discuss the positive and negative effects associated with the abundance
of information made available by IT.
• Identify the issues that arise due to uneven diffusion of information
technology across countries and socioeconomic classes.
• Understand the complexity of effects of technological progress on labor
markets and individual employees.
• Discuss the impacts of information technology on the quality of life and
interpersonal relationships.
• Recognize the legal, ethical, and moral issues that become particularly
critical due to proliferation
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IT Positive Effects Only?
We assume that organizations will reap the fruits of new technology and
that computers have no major negative impact. But is this really true?
Will society have any control over the deployment of technology?
Where will technology critics be able to make their voices heard?
Who will investigate the costs and risks of technologies?
What about health and safety issues?
What impact will IT have on employment levels?
What impact will IT have on the quality of life?
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Impacts On Organizations
The use of computers and information technology has brought many
changes to organizations.
The manager’s job
Organizational structure, authority and power
Job content (Value and Supply Chain)
Employee career paths
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The Manager’s Job
The most important task of managers is making decisions. IT changes the
manner in which many decisions are made.
Automation of routine decisions
Less expertise required for many decisions.
More rapid identification of problems and opportunities
Less reliance on experts to provide support to top executives.
Empowerment of lower and middle levels of management.
Decision making undertaken by non-managerial employees.
Power redistribution among managers
Thinner organizations.
Organizational intelligence that is more timely, comprehensive, accurate,
and available
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Authority, Power, Job Content
The IT revolution has resulted in many changes in structure,
authority, power and job content.
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Impact On Personnel Issues
Many personnel-related questions arise as a
result of using IT.
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Impact On Individuals
Information systems affect individuals in various ways. What is a benefit to
one individual may be a constraint to another.
Dehumanization and other psychological impacts
Information anxiety
Job stress
Video display
Radiation exposure
Repetitive strain (stress) injuries
Lack of proper Ergonomics
Other Impacts …
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Other Impact On Individuals
Interactions between individuals and computers are numerous.
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Impact Society
IT has already had many direct beneficial effects on society, being used for
complicated human and social problems such as medical diagnosis,
computer assisted instruction, government-program planning,
environmental quality control, and law enforcement.
Opportunities for people with disabilities
Quality of Life improvements
Improvements in health care
Crime fighting
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Impact Society
Use of IT has raised the issues of invasion of privacy.
Scanning crowds for criminals
Cookies and individual privacy
Digital millennium copyright act
Providing Social services
Possible massive unemployment resulting from the increased
use of IT
The “digital divide” or gap between those who have
technology and those who do not.
Impact of globalization on culture
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Virtual Communities
A virtual (Internet) community is one in which the interaction among group
members that share a common interest takes place via the Internet rather
than face-to-face.
Types of Communities
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Virtual Communities
Virtual communities have commercial as well as social aspects.
Financial Viability of Communities
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The effects of offshore outsourcing. Offshore outsourcing may be either an
Managing and evaluating remote workers. Telecommuting increases the
Dealing with information overload. In many workplaces, the capacity of
opportunity or a threat to an organization. To improve organizational efficiency,
companies should explore the opportunities to outsource certain noncore activities to
firms in other parts of the world. However, managers should be aware of various legal
and ethical considerations surrounding this issue as well as the impact of outsourcing
on the size and morale of their workforce.
number of employees working away from the office. To manage these employees, it is
vital to place a greater emphasis on regular formal communications. Effective
performance evaluation is also different and requires a closer examination of the actual
outputs produced by each employee.
information systems to collect and generate information has outpaced the ability of
human employees to absorb it. The resulting information overload negatively impacts
employees and their productivity. A greater investment in knowledge management
systems, decision support systems, and related tools may help to solve this problem.
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Providing high-quality information. As companies continue to rely on
Displacement of employees with information technology. In any
Use of electronic surveillance. Proliferation of computer and white-collar crime
increasingly larger volumes of information, the issue of information quality becomes
critically important to the success of the organizations. Furthermore, recent laws, such
as the Sarbanes–Oxley Act, make CEOs and CFOs personally liable for the quality and
accuracy of financial information disclosed to the public.
occupation—blue-collar, clerical, or white-collar—machines are acquiring the capabilities
to perform “human” tasks more effectively and efficiently. Although this trend is unlikely
to result in massive worldwide unemployment, it can have dramatic results on individual
organizations and on individual employees. Thus, managers should be aware of the
potentially disruptive technologies that may displace them or their colleagues and
impels employers to use information technology to monitor their employees. While
electronic surveillance may reduce the incidence of unlawful activities, it may also
result in employee resentment and other unintended consequences.
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