Discussion: Processing IT Changes

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Discussion: Processing IT Changes

Discussion: Processing IT Changes

Facebook Messenger or Skype. Without knowledge of the recipients’ preferences for how to receive the message, the sender is likely to be unsuccessful in communicating with the recipients over the proper channel. A sender who doesn’t know which medium the recipient prefers might use one medium (e.g., e‐mail) to see whether the recipient is open to using another medium (e.g., phone).

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Similarly, IT is changing the communication patterns of employees. There are still some employees who do not need to communicate with others for the bulk of their workday. For example, many truck drivers do not interact with others in their organization while driving to their destination. But there are other ways communication tech- nologies have changed the work done by truck drivers. Consider the example of a Walmart driver who picks up goods dropped off by manufacturers at the Walmart distribution center and then delivers them in small batches to one or more Walmart stores. Walmart has provided its drivers with radios and satellite systems so that, on short notice, on their way back to the distribution center to load up for the next delivery, they can opportunistically pick up goods from manufacturers and take them to the distribution center. In this way, the company saves the delivery charges from that manufacturer and conserves energy in the process. Walmart office staff and drivers therefore use IT to save money by enhancing their communications with suppliers.16

Many changes in communication have been supported, if not propelled, by IT. Some communication technol- ogies, such as social networking and microblogs, are rather new and unfamiliar, motivating managers in many orga- nizations to understand how to apply them to work‐related applications in a way that adds value to their business. These and other communication tools help make large companies feel smaller by bringing together employees from geographic disparate locations and from a variety of divisions and levels in the organization. Large companies can feel smaller because communications technology enables individuals to find each other despite the organiza- tion’s size. These tools also help small companies feel like large companies because, to some degree, they level the playing field in the ways companies communicate and collaborate. Thomas Friedman, the author of the popular The World Is Flat and other books, argues that collaboration is the way that small companies can “act big” and flourish in today’s flat world. The key to success is for such companies “to take advantage of all the new tools for collaboration to reach farther, faster, wider and deeper.”17 For example, any company can have a Facebook page or a Twitter feed, making it difficult to distinguish between small and large organizations simply by interacting over these technologies.

Changing Organizational Decision Making and Information Processing IT changes not only organizational decision‐making processes but also the information used in making those decisions. Data processed to create more accurate and timely information are being captured earlier in a process. Analytics (see Chapter 12) have made it possible to mine data stores and identify insights, make predictions, and even suggest decisions. Through information technologies, information that employees need to do their job can be pushed to them in real time or saved and made available when they need it.


You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.

Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.

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