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Introduction

In the contemporary world, technology plays an imperative role in organizations. Use of e-mail and internet enhances the profitability, popularity and productivity of an organization. The use of these tools has brought a drastic turn around in the communication patterns, marketing behavior and above all, the organizational structure. However, the use of these technological tools is immensely tempting to the employees to misuse, and as a result, could lead to low productivity. Therefore, ethical guidelines and standards need to be instituted, so as to regulate the work environment. This paper will discuss how companies use technology to set guidelines and ethical standards as well as its effect on the working environment of a company. It will also focus on how using technology to perform human resources functions affects company culture.

Technology use enables companies to track productivity and communication activities of their employees. Moreover, technology allows for guidelines and ethical standards to be posted to the public through the internet. Furthermore, updates, regarding guidelines and ethical standards, are easily communicated to the members of an organization through a memo. Therefore, technology serves many roles in setting and managing ethical guidelines and standards (De George, 2003).

One way that the technology has been found useful is through monitoring of employee activities. For instance, the use of technology enables companies to monitor the activities and communication of employees on their computers and telephone systems. In most companies, the e-mail system is reviewed, maintained and owned by the company. Therefore, any messages sent within the organization as well as those sent from an individual department to another institution are subject to monitoring by the employer. The monitoring holds for all the hot mail and yahoo messages. Furthermore, any messages that are received or sent within the organization framework directly go to the company’s records. Therefore, companies are able to observe the actions of their workers and manage their ethical guidelines (Martin & Freeman, 2004).

Furthermore, companies use technology to provide employees with a publicly accessible place, containing all the ethical guidelines and standards, required by the company. The use of websites has been the latest innovation, mostly used by companies to list their ethical standards. In fact, other companies have customized their websites to ensure that every time employees need to access the information, they login. Therefore, the ease of updating websites and use of emails has enhanced better communication in companies. These technological tools, in the recent years, have enabled companies to update and set guidelines with ease (Lotarski, 2004).

Most companies use the internet to source out for information. The companies usually stress on the use of the internet, and they require all employees to source out for information that is only related to the company. The company also requires that information acquired be applicable to its standards and use. At the end of the working period, the information technology department caries out a review of the information and various sites, accessed by a specific user (De George, 2003). For instance, if the review shows internet abuse, network privileges may be revoked. In some cases, legal action is usually taken. Therefore, most companies are able to set guidelines and on top of that ensure that the guidelines are followed to the letter. For instance, uploading or downloading of any pornographic or incriminating materials is strictly frowned upon (De George, 2003).

Use of technology in enhancing ethical standard naturally affects the company culture and work environment. The use of technology in managing and monitoring ethical standards in the work place enables workers to understand that the management is dedicated to upholding ethical guidelines (Martin & Freeman, 2004). Therefore, proper use and positive use of technology shapes the work environment and culture of a company in embracing the benefits of technology and allowing for innovation (Martin & Freeman, 2004).

The work environment is usually influenced by the use of technology in negative and positive ways. First of all, technology usually has a direct relationship with productivity in the company. As much as technology causes accountability and hard work in a company, feelings of uneasiness and criticism are likely to crop up (Lotarski, 2004). The mixed reactions in the work place usually occur due to the different reactions to technology by individuals. Some fell intimidated, while others feel inspired. Therefore, technology should not extend the limits of an organization, but should instill efficiency in an endeavor to shape the working culture and environment (Lotarski, 2004).

Using technology to set up ethical standard in the work environment leads to embracing of innovation and inventions. Company culture is heavily influenced by the company’s ethical standards as well as collective beliefs of workers. For instance, if an organization uses technology to enhance productivity and motivate employees, the company culture is going to be impacted positively. Allowing employees to be innovative and assisting them with resources, fosters a strong culture and the general employee satisfaction (De George, 2003).

There is no doubt that technology is the driving force for many companies. It impacts heavily on company’s ethical standards, work environment, employee’s accountability, efficiency and the general attitude of workers towards work. It is evident that promoting technology in setting ethical guidelines and standards fosters a positive and accommodating work setting. On the contrary, if a company chooses to enhance negative effects of technology in enhancing ethical standards, then, the workers are likely to remain de-motivated and unhappy. If workers develop a negative attitude towards technology, then, it becomes difficult to implement or introduce new technology in the future (De George, 2003).

Staffing is usually conducted by a Human Resource manager. In the contemporary world, the word staffing has evolved from staffing to human resource. Therefore, HR managers usually have unlimited uses for technology in an effort to affect the company’s culture. Each company usually has its own cultural background that makes it unique. The cultural background is usually enriched by the different employees in the organization (DeCenzo & Robbins, 2007). The abundance of information, regarding employees’ cultures, enables HR managers gain understanding on how to handle each and every employee. After HR managers obtain this information, they make copies, containing the information, and make it a compulsory duty for all employees to learn the diverse cultures. The learning of the different cultures is made compulsory even to managers to ensure that there exists synchronization in the company’s workplace (DeCenzo & Robbins, 2007).

Endeavors by HR managers to reduce conflicts and offending behaviors have been successful. The managers have instituted strict policies that give guidelines on the use of emails, malicious software and internet, surfing in sites that could offend people. Technology can be used either destructively or effectively to shape a company’s culture and set ethical standards (DeCenzo & Robbins, 2007). HR managers are instrumental in determining the direction of a company’s culture. HR managers are usually able to maintain a productive culture, since they deal with a variety of different people. Therefore, managers are always looking for new ways to effectively shape their company’s culture.

Conclusion

It is essential to understand that although internet and e-mail usage policies are reasonable from the organizational protection and security stand point, caution should be taken to ensure that employees do not get the feeling that they are being confined at the work place. In addition, it serves the interest of both employees and employer, if the employee is informed of the techniques an organization uses to monitor them. Therefore, keeping in mind what is required of the employees through policies; production is enhanced as well as efficiency.

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