Culture and Technological Innovation in Organizations

Generation Y

Generation Y will change the workplace bureaucracy because it uses modern technology, which ensures the work done, is of high quality. This means that the workplace will change in a number of ways. The first change is the virtualization of offices where individuals meet and discuss issues online rather than face-to-face communication. Most of the workers will have their own modern equipment such as cameras, smartphones, and laptops that make it possible to pass information from one person to another. The second aspect, which is going to change with generation Y at the management, is the home-based work where individuals work from home rather than in the offices. Generation Y managers will also outsource labor from any part of the world because of globalization, where an individual will hire people from different time zones as well as different locations (Cabral, 2010).

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Based on this knowledge of Gen Y, how do you see the work environment changing as Gen Y enters management positions? Will Gen Y be more adept at managing distributed workers than baby boomer managers? Why or why not?

Generation Y will manage distributed workers well compared to the baby boomers generation for two major reasons. The first one is the increased intercommunication systems, which allow communication with workers who are in different places. This will save time because employees will not have to travel from their home to the workplace, which will make them more productive. With real-time communications, it is possible for the manager to schedule meeting with staff who are in different places at the same time, unlike in the baby boomer generation when communication was slow, and it was difficult to bring all the distributed workers together. The interconnectivity allows the managers to monitor the work progress even when the workers are far (Brake, 2008).

What is the effect of organizational culture on leadership style? How does organizational culture interact with personal leadership style? Provide examples to support your answers.

The culture that is predominant in an organization affects the leadership style of an organization in a number of ways. It determines how the leaders of the organization communicate with the members to elicit cooperation and participation in the achievement of results (Barge, 2010). The organization’s culture affects leadership in determining the measures taken by the leaders to maintain cohesiveness within the organization. In the case of a traditional organization where people operate in the same workplace and where routine rather than innovation is the culture, the leadership style that is appropriate for such a setting is the transactional model of leadership that is authoritative and does not require feedback from the employees. When the organization is Virtual with most of the employees operating from different locations at different time, the leadership must use a cooperative aspect where the opinions and suggestions of everyone matters. This is because the input to the results process is crucial where misunderstanding and conflict can be detrimental.

What are the differences between transactional and transformational leadership? How might each of them contribute to or hinder distributed team performance?

Transformational leadership is the leadership style that brings cooperation of the leaders and the subordinates where they work towards particular objectives. Transactional leadership is an authoritative model of leadership where power rests on one individual who makes decisions concerning the achievement of the set objectives.

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Culture in Organizations

Culture is the tradition, set of beliefs and practices accepted by an organization. The set of beliefs and practices, symbols, and ritual existing within an organization have a tremendous influence on the organization. Here, the discussion includes how the culture of an organization influences the distributed team’s performance. The distributed team is a team that works from different locations though they work towards achieving the same goals and objectives. The culture of the organization affects the motivation of the team, where they are encouraged to work hard in order to be more productive. The culture should have mechanisms of bringing the team together through meetings and collective activities that will promote similar values and cohesiveness between the team members. When dealing with a virtual team creating cohesiveness is a difficult task because the members have no physical communication. They meet online, and they come from different countries and cultures. They may not have the same religious or cultural background. Managing such a team is therefore difficult with proper planning and organization, it is possible to create a team that is intact and concerned about each other in the development of the work (Cabral, 2010).

Literature review

Technology and culture have a direct influence on the distributed learning team performance. Technology affects the learning team’s performance in a number of ways. The first way is by assisting the team in communicating (Brake, 2008). Though they are in different places and different time zones, technology allows the distributed learning teams to communicate with each other. Through this, they are able to keep up to date with the activities that every member of the group participates in. Technology also assists in interconnecting the team members such that even if they are in different locations, they feel as if they are working in the same environment and place. It also helps the team members to be effective in delivering results as they work at their convenience and mostly at the comfort of their own homes (Beyerlein, Beyerlein, Bradley & Nemiro, 2008).

The second way in which technology affects the distributed team learning performance is through globalization. This is the convergence of different places using integrated technologies, transport, and communication such that the world becomes a global village. This implies that people in different places can convey information and transport goods and services from one place to another at the right time (Bui, McNurlin, & Sprague, 2009).

Cloud computing has also affected virtual teams learning performance. This is combining managerial and technical technologies to provide a platform where members of the organization can relate virtually. This is evidenced using the Enterprise Resource Planning software that provides an easy way of managing and controlling different aspects of the workplace using software (Beyerlein et al., 2008).

Culture influences the performance of the individual team member. To understand the impact of culture on the distributed learning teams, it is important to approach it from two perspectives. Culture may be goal-oriented, where employees are rewarded for their good performance. When the culture is goal emphatic, the team leader has to communicate the objective clearly and then leave it for the employees to find out ways and means of achieving it. Most of the distributed teams apply this culture, where the organization leader communicates the goal to the team members wherever they are, then allow them to look for ways of achieving the goals on their own. This improves the performance of the team members, unlike in situations where the leader leaves it for the employees to decide which goal to achieve (Trompenaars, 2010).

The other perspective is reward-oriented culture. This is where the culture rewards the work accomplished by the team members. It provides the reason for the employees to work hard because their efforts are always recognized. This perspective may be very appropriate for the distributed learning teams as it gives a reason for the employees to work when they are not supervised. Where cooperation is necessary, the team members cooperate to achieve rewards (Trompenaars, 2010).

Discussion on the analysis of the influence of culture on the learning team’s performance

According to the literature review, organizational culture and technology affect the distributed team performance. This performance is achieved in a number of ways, which includes the consequences of communication. For the distribution team, where the workers are in different places, failure to communicate is a great threat to the organization. The team members must communicate effectively. They must ensure that the objectives are defined clearly for every person to understand. This requires everyone’s participation and commitment (Bui, McNurlin, & Sprague, 2009).

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Trust is an integral part where people are working together as a team to ensure that every member participates. Because of the distance and the fact that people are in different places, it is very important for the team members to develop trust towards each other. Trust is developed when each of the team members honors the commitments. When this is done, the team performance improves, and all members benefit.

The era of globalization has made virtual workplaces remain competitive, and members must update their skills in order to be productive in their duties. This is in consideration that it is possible to outsource most of the work done by a team from another area in case the members fail to meet the obligations. To avoid this, team members must be updated with the new skills required to perform the work (Bui, McNurlin & Sprague, 2009).

The virtualization of the workplace may create resentment among members, especially when some of them feel neglected, and their problems not taken seriously. This is true because, with virtual offices, it is hard to know the challenges of the employees or team members. The fact that the team members are people from different social backgrounds, the means of expression may differ and become complicated. To succeed as a team, it is imperative for the members to express themselves and their feelings clearly without seeking to hurt others. The distributed workplace demands the team members work collaboratively as no one can succeed alone. The leaders of the team must communicate the objectives of the team to get the support of everyone. When setting the objectives, it is imperative to involve everyone so that the set objectives are reasonable and achievable by all members according to the time zones as well as availability to perform the work (O’Brien, 2011).

The other influence that technology has on the virtual workplace is where members collaborate; it can lead to high levels of performance. The group members achieve the objectives as they have the freedom to work from where they choose. It helps the learning members to concentrate on their assigned tasks and perform them well. The fact that one is away from people makes the environment conducive, and an individual team member can create an environment that is suitable for him or her (Clemons, 2008).

To ensure the participation of everyone, it is important for the organization or the team at the start of their assignment to have the defining values and philosophy that will govern the operations. Honesty and integrity will be important values in this teamwork, where members are honest with each other, and they do not have other motives (Bui, McNurlin, & Sprague 2009).

A discussion of how the Learning Team members’ experience within their own organizations aligns with existing research

Most of the learning team members agree that virtual workplaces have become a common phenomenon in the twenty-first century. With the prevalence of globalization and the integration of communication technologies, many people, especially generation Y, find the virtual workplace interesting in that it allows them to work in the comfort of their homes. However, before engaging in the work, it is imperative to understand the objectives and the task. The work done away from the office involves data entry, telesales, monitoring and assessment, report writing, web designing, and coding. Knowing the expected results makes it easy for the team member to deliver the desired results (Clemons, 2008).

The challenges that many of the learning team members encountered were due to confusion and misunderstanding on what was expected. Failure to incorporate them in the planning stages led to a communication breakdown between the members, which was the main cause of the confusion. This feeling of the distributed learning validates the literature on the virtual workspace and challenges experienced in such scenarios. However, when the objectives of the task are clear, and the organization’s culture emphasizes the rewards, it motivates the team members to be active and keep communicating to be successful in their duties (Brake, 2008).

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Recommendation for further research

The virtual workspace and specifically managing a distributed workforce is a wide area of study that requires more specialists. This is considering that most of the organizations are operating or planning to operate globally. Therefore, they will have to look for ways of managing their global workforce. This is possible if there are mechanisms to assist the company and the workforce has similar objectives, although they are in different places (Brake, 2008). Further study is needed in this area, especially on policies that organizations that engage in contracting a distributed workforce can adopt in order to have an appropriate organizational culture that takes into consideration the distributed workforce.

Conclusion

Culture and innovation is important and an integral part of the organization. This is because the new, improved technology brings about high-quality products and services according to the customer’s tastes and preferences. Developing a culture that accepts modern technology is imperative for any organization that hopes to succeed in the twenty-first century. The concept of the distributed workforce is gaining acceptance all over the world because of globalization and integrated communication technologies. The organization must take advantage of this development to increase efficiency, reduce the cost of operation, and outsource the best human resource possible from anywhere in the world. However, an appropriate mechanism that will encourage team cohesiveness and collaboration must be applied. Otherwise, working in such a setting will frustrate both the workers as well as the leaders of other organizations if there is no collaboration.

References

Avolio, B. (2009). Full leadership development: Building the vital forces in organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Barge, J. (2010). Leadership: Communication skills for organizations and groups. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Bass, B. (2011).Two Decades of Research and Development in Transformational Leadership. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 8: 9-32.

Beyerlein, M., Beyerlein, S., Bradley, L., & Nemiro, J. (2008). The handbook of high-performance virtual teams: A toolkit for collaborating across boundaries. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Brake, T. (2008). Where in the world is my team? Making a success of your virtual global workplace. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Bui, T., McNurlin, B., & Sprague, R. (2009). Information systems management in practice (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Cabral, J. (2010). Is Generation Y Addicted to Social Media. The Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communication, 2: 5-13.

Clemons, K. (2008). IS for Sustainable Competitive Advantage. Information & Management, 11: 131–136.

O’Brien, J. (2011). Management Information Systems. New York: McGraw-Hill, Irwin.

Trompenaars, F. (2010). Servant-leadership across cultures: harnessing the strength of the world’s most powerful management philosophy. New York: McGraw-Hill.

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