Image sourced from: telecomfuturecentre
Society has become very dependent on technology as evident with the worlds economy now being intertwined in our networked society. Consequently, many business’s have developed their business hierarchy and strategies around our networked society. Many processes within a business structure have taken on an intangible form, for example my current work place provided training through online readings and quizzes rather than hiring an individual to train me. This allows them to train a group of individuals faster and at an effective cost.
This could be seen as part of the new flatter form of organisation where organisations are distributed and decentralized. They are breaking down the hierarchy of workers therefore, when you flatten an organisation a section of the hierarchy must be relocated or let go. With the example of my current employment, it is clear they have limited their hierarchy and have removed the layer of trainers for new employees. Although the invention of new technologies, especially within factories, have seen the loss of jobs; on the other end of the spectrum it has also caused the expansion of careers in other areas; Bradwell (2008) states how firms are now developing in new sectors such as silicon design and Bluetooth technology just to name a few. We are seeing old sectors of business’s close down, however, we are also seeing new sectors opening, expanding and excelling.
However, these technological advances in the business structure are changing transaction costs (Bradwell 2008 p.29). As Mitew (2013) discussed, when you view the business structure of Android you will see fairly cheap transaction costs due to the delegation of activities from Android being an open platform. However, in a company such as Apple, where they have a tight hierarchical structure from owning closed devices, it would be speculated that their transaction costs would be quite high.
Though moving away from cost and employment Bradwell (2008) notes the “rippling” effects that can occur within a business that is networked. Bradwell (2008 p.31) states that an individuals sole act can;
“ripple across others” within their local business and “across the world”
Bradwell (2008 ) goes on to state that employees of a networked business need to better understand their responsibilities in a networked business structure. This is a point that really stood out to me. I view this point as a virus moving through a village, once one person has the pathogen (unless they are isolated or cured) they will continue to pass it on. This seems to be the same in a business as once one franchise has a complication, if it is networked with other franchises across the nation or globally, it could potentially effect these business’s as well. A great example for my analogy is the Global Economic crisis where the debt from mortgage’s in America is said to have lead to global economic downturn.
Therefore, a networked business seems to be effective and as Bradwell(2008 p.27) also states “networked firms are happy firms” , however, we can see that often networked business can lead to unemployment and complications spreading to each firm.
*Bradwell, P., and Reeves, R. (2008) Economies. In Networked Citizens (pp. 25-31)
Mitew, T 2013, ‘Liquid Labour: global media industries and the price of immaterial production’ prezi slides, DIGC202, University Of Wollongong, viewed 20th August 2013 .