Advances in the Technology of Managing People: Contemporary Issues in Business

Cover of Advances in the Technology of Managing People: Contemporary Issues in Business


Table of contents

(18 chapters)

There is no lack of information on technology. This topic seems to prevail in a variety of publications and media channels. The subject of globalization is equally popular and widely discussed. Scarce resources reaffirm the idea that globalization, as the socio-economic reality, became possible only because of the astounding advances in technology. Consistent developments in technology contributed to the intensified globalization of the modern world, as we know it today. The role of technology in shaping the world’s history, trade, people’s wellbeing, social interactions, and other valuable exchanges of economic, social, and cultural capital is undoubtedly beyond compare. This chapter illuminates the impact of technology on the progress made in business and workplace practices, competitiveness of organizations, and management innovations.

Both private and public sector organizations continue to be challenged by the need to determine and assess the applicability and viability of information technology (IT) advances to their situations. Traditionally, IT has not been perceived as a major contributing factor in developing and supporting the strategic direction of organizations. Yet the many diverse advances in IT can present both positive and negative influences on an organization especially in a rapidly changing global environment. Some organizations do not conduct formal strategic planning due to a perception that the effort will be outdated before it is completed. Others may undertake the planning process but fail to continue to implementation. Regardless of whether there is formal, informal, or non-existent strategic planning, the importance of assessing relevant IT advances is seldom considered as a critical factor to be integrated into an organization’s long-term direction.

This chapter utilizes both primary research and case studies to propose that IT advances need to be appropriately incorporated into an organization’s strategic direction. Supporting rationale will be presented for a variety of private and public sector entities and situations. Some IT advances that are addressed include the following:

  • Stakeholder involvement in assessing appropriate IT advances

  • Technology strategy planning for mergers and acquisitions

  • Mobile device integration in future organizational planning

  • IT outsourcing vs. insourcing implications

Stakeholder involvement in assessing appropriate IT advances

Technology strategy planning for mergers and acquisitions

Mobile device integration in future organizational planning

IT outsourcing vs. insourcing implications

This chapter examines emerging trends in the use of advancing technologies in human resource development (HRD). The use of technology in the workplace to increase productivity and optimize business results is not a new concept; however, the use of technology to capture vital HRD data and create innovative organizational development strategies and programs is now the cornerstone of many HRD organizations. In dealing with the challenges of a global, multigenerational workforce, having to do more with less, and the constant demand to remain competitive, organizations seek innovative ways to integrate technology into its organizational development practices. The use of technology in human resource development has proven to save time, costs, and provide a more accurate assessment of the state of the workforce regarding skills, competencies, culture, and talent acquisition over previous methods. While advancing technologies in human resource development offer significant value and benefits, it also presents challenges and issues. For this reason, it is vital for organizations to gain a holistic understanding of the positive and negative implications that advancing technologies have on human resource development practices. This chapter explores four areas of focus in advancing technologies in HRD: (1) emerging trends; (2) value and benefits; (3) challenges and issues; and (4) opportunities for use.

Technology is changing more rapidly than most companies can implement it. This chapter presents a digitized Human Resource Development (dHRD) Framework Model that organizational leaders can use to meet the needs of current and future workforces via avatar-mediated learning in 3D virtual learning environments (VLEs). The dHRD Framework Model leverages 3D VLE technology as a tool to engage employees and achieve strategic objectives in an efficient and cost-effective manner for managing people. The dHRD Framework Model can inform practice and advance employee engagement outcomes for effective HR decision-making, which includes legal and ethical considerations for mitigating risks in the 3D VLE. The Theory of Gamification, including psychological theories, provides the lens to explain dynamic learning and relationship building using the dHRD Framework Model to engage employees in the 3D VLE.

Knowledge workers labor to meet their business goals with the support of practical information technology (IT) tools. IT advances can be organizational enablers, when aligned with business goals, and when selectively applied. Workplace leaders and their workers often experience a productivity paradox. This paradox forms an operational limit for current knowledge workers and organizational success. Performance management steps within a Balanced Scorecard (BSC) framework can help overcome workplace productivity paradoxes. The BSC frames and tabulates lagging and leading indicators of IT tools’ usage and soft skill engagements. These adaptive measures dashboard workplace progress and success for organizations of all sizes and in public and private sectors. Lessons can be learned from BSC deployment successes in several business sectors. Valued practices exist to pick / monitor / adapt organizational capability objectives, measures and HR initiatives. Can right IT tool(s) or application(s) help achieve aligned business goals? Yes. Certain IT applications can favorably frame learning and development (L&D) efforts and metrics for knowledge workers as most valuable players, or MVPs.How do knowledge workers and their business leaders manage and leverage these IT applications for employee L&D to improve organizational capabilities? How do they address and adapt to complex and chaotic business conditions, and manage disruptive technologies: a. Artificial Intelligence (AI), b. The Internet of Things (IoT), and c. Data Analytics? Prudent managers and workers can accommodate these conditions and disruptions with agile, productive BSC approaches to generate productivity-ware and to attain their aligned business goals.

Technology moves fast. If you do ot iterate and plan with agility, a new approach will come along, and you will miss it. This premise from Ferris Bueller. Cheesy or not, it does not make it any less factual. The author learned many new concepts in doing the research for this chapter. There were several “aha!” moments that warrant sharing. The research here garnered an opinion that relates to the concept of balance. The moment an organism or organization is closest to “balanced” is when it has optimal performance. Modern IT projects require Agile methodologies. Many organizations do not necessitate the same agility in the departments that the IT organization supports. It is the author’s opinion that this imbalance can cause problems with IT or company projects before they start.

As far as technologies the only thing that anyone can say definitively is that technology will change and that those changes will accelerate. Given that information, the best that any practitioner can do is write programming logic that uses robust, clean baseline technology that follows an existing pattern or standard, and then hope that the next piece of sliced bread builds on the premise of the previous loaf. The way people interface with technology is shifting with the advent of smartphones and tablets. The engineers of the future must understand and apply very sound logic in setting up new systems. The systems of the future are likely continuously deployed and a large portion of the programming logic will auto-generated based on the inputs coming into the system.

The alphabet is running out of letters to tag new generations of young people who are entering the workforce. Gen Xers are now executive managers as Gen Ys settles into corporate careers. But what happens when Gen Z moves into the workplace? It seems oddly appropriate that these true digital natives will close out the alphabet because they are poised to reinvent the very nature of what we think of as work and business. Globalization and automation are both decisive factors in the creation of goods and services, often with less and less human oversight. At the same time, technology is creating a new, decentralized and digitized workforce that work more as free agents than company employees. This article will examine how companies can manage the transition of a workforce that is automated and can work from anywhere.

Many of today’s top organizations have implemented formal mentoring programs as a vital strategy to attract, develop, and retain talent. Human resource professionals have long recognized mentoring programs as an effective method to grow their organization’s intellectual capital and remain competitive. Both qualitative and quantitative research found that mentored employees experience job satisfaction, productivity and career advancement, which in turn creates profitability and cost savings for organizations. Historically, formal workplace mentoring programs were for a select number of employees. Due to time and geography constraints, face-to-face meetings between mentor and protégé were difficult to coordinate. While traditional mentoring programs provide benefit, logistics prohibit these relationships from taking full progression, giving rise to a new alternative: E-Mentoring. E-Mentoring lowers hurdles to participation using synchronous and asynchronous computer-mediated means. Technological advances and forms of computer-mediated communication such as emails, chat groups, and video conferencing offer the potential for enhancing the E-Mentoring process. These new methods help to transcend functional, sectoral, and hierarchical barriers of formal mentoring relationships. Also, the non-face-to-face nature of the E-Mentoring relationship overcomes traditional barriers of age, race, gender, and status, which might negatively affect a traditional mentoring relationship. This chapter defines and compares traditional mentoring with E-Mentoring. It discusses the benefits and challenges of using technology or computer-mediated communication (CMC) for mentoring purposes. The chapter concludes with a discussion of how organizations can implement E-Mentoring as a professional development tool in the age of technology.

Ongoing advancements in technology provide the opportunity to build and to improve successful virtual teams. Organizational leaders are facing a dynamic and competitive environment that requires levels of flexibility and fast responses to the global marketplace. The virtual team structure is built on communication that is impacted by the ability of the team members to engage with integrated collaborative technology. Advances in technology enable team members of virtual teams to communicate crucial information and to be perceived as inclusive. Communication technologies have characteristics and capabilities that allow for different levels of communication richness, which refers to the quantity and quality of the shared information provided by the technology. There are two broad categories of collaboration technology: communication-focused technology and coordination-focused technology. Communication-focused technologies are considered key contributors to building trust in virtual teams. Coordination-focused technology refers to a complementary set of tools that can be leveraged to enhance trust and coordination among team members. Advances in technology that are discussed: real-time communications protocols enhances video calls through any type of device including wearable technology; Internet of Things making it easier and more natural for people to interact with the objects to stay connected; higher video resolution continues to improve in terms of price, quality, and performance, which will increase the number and type of devices for communication.

This study sought to gain an understanding of employee perspectives during technology implementations in a Caribbean bureaucratic organization. Twenty-three case study participants expressed their perceptions of their environment. There were 18 participants involved in answering the semi-structured open-ended interview questions, and five participants contributed responses, and emotional states, which control how employees view their work identity. Insights into how employees react during technology implementation might improve future success outcomes when used to determine management actions undertaken during these projects. This could have a positive effect on the adoption rate of newly implemented technology. The data supported the assertion that employees’ emotions are rooted in their environment as well as how they perceived themselves at work. This study evaluated the effect of the technology change on the employees both emotionally and how the change impacted their jobs; framing the findings by combining theories that currently stand alone. The study results described the connectedness between models that explain how and why employees accept technology changes within their environment.

The public relies upon the government for many areas of their lives such as: obtaining a driver’s license, applying for a job, licensing pets, applying for a business license, paying taxes, buying a home, or even applying for college admission. Starting from humble beginnings the invention of the computer system opened pathways for the community to interact with government agencies. In the early years of the computer and internet the federal government was known for their advances and for being at the forefront of technology. However, the same was not true for state and local governments who found themselves left behind the technological race. Somewhere in the early 2000’s even the federal government found themselves behind the private sector as integration and innovation became stagnate within government agencies. The workforce of these agencies did not change into a highly technical workforce until the costs of technology lowered and access and availability were more widely distributed to conduct business (Moon, 2002). Once technology started to trickle down to state and local governments it began to expand to all avenues of public service. In addition, the processes were streamlined for the public. However, issues such as lack of access, lack of computer skills, lack of government trust, and the risk to safety of personal information still hinder technological use at this level.


The awareness of probability was observed in ancient cultures through the discovery of primitive dice games made with animal bones. The history of analytics in the workplace, as it is currently known (defined as predictive analytics), probably started in ancient Roman times, when the concept of insurance was first created. While the previous example showed that analytics for business had been around for some time, it is only relatively recently that there is an increased emphasis on the use of analytics in the modern firm. Credit card firms and retail catalog companies relied on analytics to drive their business models, for most of the latter half of the twentieth century. The use of advanced analytics for business also grew around the Millennium since the widespread use of data warehousing and relational databases on client servers. Moreover, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Techniques, which have been around for many decades, have had very few breakthrough successful applications up until recently when cloud computing and being able to take advantage of the infrastructure of companies, such as Amazon and Google, with their Cloud Services enabled these algorithms to be used to their full extent in firms. This powerful infrastructure availability coupled with BIG DATA is creating breakthrough applications across many business models on a consistent basis. This chapter explores the use of advanced analytics across different business functional areas. It also introduces some breakthrough models, which include Netflix, Pandora, eHarmony, Zillow, and Amazon, and explores how these are not only changing the lives of consumers but also changing the nature of the workplace and creating new issues for firms such as data protection and liabilities for the actions of automated algorithms.

Technology proliferation is on a movement to outpace an 18th-century computing industry paradigm known as “Moore’s law.” This law establishes the rate of technological advancements. The premise of this edict is evident in our coupled workplace with the integration of an emerging technology known as Ambient Intelligence (Aml).

The modernization of the traditional office is designed to be collaborative and environment-friendly. Modernization is primarily due to ambient intelligence. “Opportunities for process and business improvements will derive from a “real-world Web” of smart objects and ambient intelligence, and from consumer-oriented trends such as Web business platforms, aesthetic design, and mobile robots as they move into the business world” (Fenn and Smith, 2005, para. 1). It is safe to reason that ambient intelligence is on a trendy trajectory in many business-oriented workplaces, worksites and workspaces. The business culture is inconspicuously changing before our eyes. Architects and designers are seamlessly incorporating this trend into their respective end-to-end processes of constructing new or retrofitting existing office spaces.

Its unnoticeably embedded adoption is in conference rooms, doorways, elevators, escalators, lighting, meeting rooms, phone displays, and walkways. As ambient technology naturally collides with the functional way an office professional interactively operates through a usual workday, its adaptation becomes seemingly smart and swift. The interesting facet of this technology is that one would not know it unless it was pointed out.

Although there are equipment and devices that offer a singular approach of being convenient and hands-free, there exist common misconceptions and unassuming annoyances that are in place as inherent issues. Once the work environment impedes productivity or natural flow of movement, we realize something is different. These differences align to the surrounding tangible and intangible cues. The information presented in this chapter will disclose the underlying issues at a practical level.

Blockchain is creating many opportunities for business as it is transforming the way sustaining technologies operate in organizations. In blockchain, transactions are recorded as digital blocks and contain immutable properties to preserve data validation, encryption, and algorithms. The goal is to provide uniqueness and resistant to fraud. For example, digital currencies use a shared network to permanently record transactions but operate in decentralized mode to secure independence among participants. The potential applications of blockchain are unlimited and proliferating although several initiatives are still in development. Many industries are already capitalizing on experimental blockchain projects. Leaders in those industries are partnering with R&D and start-up companies to determine opportunities. Also, research universities have dedicated labs to focus on new theoretical concepts or improvements that can be leveraged in healthcare, global rights management, and decentralized publishing to name a few. Blockchain is called as “trustless system” because it can disrupt entire industries. This chapter explores the blockchain origins and its underlying technologies to understand concepts and become familiar with the latest development. A crypto-digital currency like Bitcoin will be introduced in some detail to bring awareness to the benefits, risks, and ethical concerns. A discussion on regulations will be included to investigate how government policy affects cryptocurrencies and related security. In the interest of blockchain inspired projects, the chapter will also introduce a broader discussion on new ventures adopting blockchain attributes and the trends of gradual technology implementation among early adapters.

In a past era, alchemists believed they could magically transmute lead into valuable gold. Science has progressed a substantial distance since then and for decades nuclear and particle physicists could change various materials into gold. When considering technology, leaders are faced with a comparable challenge: How does one leverage technology to create unique organizational value? To manage emerging technologies effectively to create organizational value, managers will need to lead the producers and practitioners of technology effectively. In the age of global interdependence, organizations must abandon old outdated perspectives.

Technology is a force which drives itself. Organizations must adopt to emerging technology or risk being obsolete. Leveraging technology to create value involves more then circumferentially managing technology. To create value, leaders must encourage staff to transmute technology. The principles and practices of quantum leadership provide for this possibility. This chapter will irradiate why simply managing technology does not offer organizations the maximum value from technology. The reader will be introduced to the four core features of quantum leadership: duality, superposition, entanglement, and observation. With this groundwork, the principles and practices of this leadership perspective will be discussed in context of transmuting technology into unique organizational value. Which lens one uses to see which possibility becomes reality are exclusively in the eyes of the viewer. Using information systems technology, artificial intelligence (AI), and 5G technology as the exemplars, readers can decide whether to accept, reject, or suspend judgement on using quantum leadership as the perspective to transmute technology into valuable organizational gold.

The scandals associated with breaches in business ethics has had a negative impact on companies and governments. Numerous scandals have brought to the forefront the influence of power and profit as they relate to how business is conducted. This behavior in corporations could impact technological advancements. The advancements being recognized in quantum computing will have a profound impact on how business is conducted and business communications. The primary areas of concern are the teleportation of information and teleportation of matter. Given the abundance of ethical breaches within corporations and governments around the globe, it is necessary for business ethics to be revised as it relates to enforcement and accountability. The wealth possessed by companies and their immunity from portions of the law has placed business ethics at a crisis level. Quantum teleportation has the potential to resolve some of these issues, however, the scientific community must participate by building in safeguards such as cryptography that prevents third party access to information.

Cover of Advances in the Technology of Managing People: Contemporary Issues in Business
Publication date
Book series
The Changing Context of Managing People
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited