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Computer Technology and the Networked Organization

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The assignment revolves around the issue of how an organization's workspace both shapes and is shaped by the information technology choices that the organization makes. To focus your thoughts on this question, please read the following article:

Mary Colette Wallace (2000) Complexity of New Office Designs: Thinking Through Your Future Workplace. Searcher 8(10)

http://www.infotoday.com/searcher/nov00/wallace.htm

An interesting case of the interaction of information technology and structure is provided by Oticon Corp., a Danish-owned company specializing in hearing aids and other related devices, that has been one of the "poster children" for information technology-driven change. They have been written up in many places. One reasonably complete and largely non-technical report on this effort is:

Lagace, M. (2003). Stuck in Gear: Why Managers Don't Act. Harvard Business School - Working Knowledge For Business leaders - Research & Ideas,

http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/3501.html.

Also, you can look at this article that talks about the more recent changes in organizations due to use of technology.

Griscom, J. (2009). How Telecommunications Is Changing Work for Nonprofits. Retrieved, 2010, from the World Wide Web:

http://www.techsoup.org/learningcenter/networks/page12202.cfm

Once you have read both articles and had a chance to examine some of the background materials and/or any other information bearing on this question that you can find, please discuss this question:

"Is Oticon a good model for effectively integrating information technology into the office?. What is the role of IT in organizations? Do you know of any other organization that has been transformed by IT? How? Would you enjoy working in such environment?"

You want to consider the points raised in Ms. Wallace's article about office design and the degree to which IT can or should drive decisions about the structure and functioning of workplaces. You'll also want to consider some of the points discussed in the background readings regarding technology choices. At some point in your discussion, you should also consider the question of whether you yourself would enjoy working in a company like the restructured Oticon. Be sure to justify your answer with appropriate references to the readings or other sources you locate.

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Solution Summary

This paper will cover whether Oticon is a good model for effectively integrating information technology into the office. It will address the role of information technology in organizations. The paper will provide another example of an organization that has been transformed by information technology and also whether that is an amenable environment.

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Discussion of Computer Technology & Networked Organization

Scenario: This exercise intends to ensure that you can:
(a) Describe the general structure of a computer network.
(b) Present some typical procedures for securing and maintaining networks.
(c) Identify the links between the technological components and the overall sociotechnical framework of the firm.

Network Structure: http://www.pcmech.com/article/network-structure/
Network Structure Design: http://www.geeksnerds.co.uk/it-support/computer-network/
Securing your network with Policies and Procedures: http://www.brighthub.com/computing/smb-security/articles/4776.aspx
Ten steps to securing Networks: http://howto.techworld.com/security/1862/ten-steps-to-secure-networking/
Sociotechnical systems in the 21st century: http://www.bayswaterinst.org/storage/Sociotechnical%20systems%20theory%20in%20the%2021st%20Century.pdf
Sociotechnical knowledge creation and storage in organizations: http://www.iriboffice.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=6n0yNKnHr5A%3D&tabid=245&mid=636

Now, imagine you are starting a new business; you are opening a medium-sized food store in your hometown. (if a food store does not suit you, then any similar-sized business is fine for this assignment.) Specifically, you now must design the technology and networking architecture for your business.

For this case, write description and justification for the technology and network architecture you decide upon and design. Be sure to articulate the structure, your procedure for securing and maintaining the network, and discuss and rationalize the socio-technical linkages that you design between your organization and the technology.

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