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Employment Issues

Several of these have been touched on above. The principle issues relating to employment are:

Job Security and Status Employees worry that introduction of IT will result in redundancy. Even when this is not an issue, they may worry that their job will be de-skilled, that their experience will no longer be needed and that their job will consequently lose status.
Career Prospects Opportunities for promotion may be reduced. This is particularly true when middle management information handling tasks are taken over by computers and can therefore be performed by lower grade workers.
Change in Work Pattern Employees may worry that they will be stuck at a workstation with no chance for social interaction. Their work may be more closely monitored and they may worry that their working environment will become impersonal.
Worry about Capability Employees may worry about their ability to work with the new system. They may have to change work methods that they have used throughout their working lives.

These problems can be minimized when a new system is introduced by adopting the following strategies

Involve Employees Employees should be kept informed of plans and involved in the design. They should be allowed to raise problems and make suggestions so that they feel ownership of the proposed system rather than having it imposed upon them
Explain Benefits The benefits to employees should be carefully explained. Firm more competitive therefore jobs more secure. Boring mundane tasks done by computer. More interesting and challenging tasks for them.
Training Employees should be made aware of training programmes that will introduce them to the new system. They will learn new skills which will make them more qualified for internal promotion or on the external job market.
Management

The introduction of the new system should be carefully planned, managed and monitored.

Job Loss and Job Creation

Historically automation has generally lead to job losses. However the introduction of IT has not lead to an overall job loss in Britain. This is because IT has created as many jobs as it has made jobs unnecessary. It is true that the nature of these jobs is different and their location may be different. Thus job losses have occurred to individuals and in certain locations.

Out sourcing is a separate issue. Many companies have found it favorable to hire companies to control their ICT functions. So for example a manufacturing company may get another company to perform its payroll function. The manufacturer may loose jobs in his payroll section, but the second company may need to employ more people. Since around 2000 this process has lead to overall job losses, as there has been a trend for the out sourcing company to set up a base in countries like India were employment costs are very low. ICT has made those jobs mobile on a global scale.

   

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