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The Role Of Technology In The Workplace:

Globalization, Cultural Differences, and Cyberterrorism

Brynne Erskine

CSULB

Abstract

Technology is constantly advancing across the world, creating a more efficient workplace for businesses and international markets.  With the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, creation of better transformation systems, and modern advancements with the computer, internet, and cell phones, communication in and out of the workplace has soared.  Through business, the world is becoming much more globalized and integrated.  While international businesses thrive, communication inside the workplace may hinder.  Important workplace communication is essential for successful employee relationships, especially within diverse and culturally different backgrounds.  The focus on technology may hinder face-to-face communication, leading to discrimination and lack of understanding one another.  One other major technological challenge and effect is that of cyberterrorism.  While the world is becoming more globalized through technological advancements, technology and the internet are being taken advantage of and leading to cyberterrorism threats.

Keywords: technology, internet, globalized, communication, diverse, discrimination, cyberterrorism

The Role Of Technology In The Workplace: Globalization, Cultural Differences, and Cyberterrorism

As technology has advanced across the world, both the internal workplace and international businesses have seen grand development.  The relationship between the new trend in globalization and technological advancement is very strong and constantly growing.  With the rise of technology, we have encountered the ability to develop networks of individuals across the globe.  The innovation of new technology across the world is leading to a more globalized and connected world.  As technology advances, globalization is thriving as international trade and businesses encounter more opportunities.  It also permits developed and developing countries to harness technology in a more efficient manner, with the initiative of improving the standards of living for all nations involved (Stever & Muroyama, 1988).  Although technological advancements in the workplace are encouraging the rise of globalization, there are oftentimes conflicts involved such as cultural differences and cyberterrorism.  It has gotten to a point that the relationship between technological innovations and globalization is so vital to our world, that the global system now depends on these new technologies to drive efficient communication, information systems, and logistics to import and export goods out of countries.

Throughout the years, technology has made a significant amount of advancement and growth inhibiting an efficient and faster paced workplace.  Beginning with an extreme transformation of the rise of technology in the 18th century, the Industrial Revolution completely revolutionized a new form of innovation from a human and animal-based form of labor to that of one using machines (Chernotsky & Hobbs, 2016).  One very important innovation has been the development of different modes of transportation.  Automobiles, air travel, and even boats and water travel have enabled better access to international business and trade.  Trades and businesses have encountered more opportunities to share their products internationally and as technology has increased and advanced, firms have been required to constantly be innovating to avoid falling behind other countries producing new products and manufactured goods   (Dahlman, n.d.).  These new and modern technologies have completely changed how we live and interact with one another, in and out of work environments.  Another major innovation has been the computer and the internet.  Now, businesses have the power to communicate through media, internet, and electronic technology, as opposed to face to face communication.  Products have become so easy to be sold, it only takes a click of a button.  While the personal computer did not exist two decades ago, it is now filled with a vast variety of applications that can increase the ability to store and access any information (Cranmer, 1993).  Following the major technological advancements throughout the world, productivity has significantly increased, jobs have been both created and destroyed, and major changes in the workplace have taken place.

As the United States has been thought to be one of the leading countries in technological advancements, Japan has been a very competitive challenger.  In terms of electronics alone, Japan has been “the leading player in a host of crucial underlying technologies driving the information technology revolution” (Fingleton, 2015).  Japan has even taken a very great performance in international trade.  U.S. trade in industrial goods has decreased in strength throughout the years, as America has run over a billion dollar deficit.  While Asian countries are continuing to build strong exports of high-technology products and rely greatly on Japan, Japan has reached a billion dollar surplus, in contrast to the U.S. (Fingleton, 2015).  With two extremely advanced nations, comes competitive advantages.  Although technological advancements are encouraging the rise of globalization, there are oftentimes conflicts involved with nationalistic concerns to maintain comparative competitiveness across nations and economies, while fighting to maintain innovativeness, knowledgeable, and educated.  

In contrast to the United States and Japan, third world countries have struggled to meet the standards required to keep up in today’s rapidly growing world of technology.  Because of this, many countries are having difficulty moving up the economic ladder.  There are a few reasons for this.  One reason may be that these countries are unwilling to open up their markets and businesses internationally.  Even when these nations do open up their borders, they may be stuck in low and middle income levels, without the resources to do so.   Along with local monopoly power may come bad political institutions.  Strong dictatorship and political structures may cause these nations to stop developing, technologically and economically (Why Can’t Developing Countries Catch up? 2015).  As a result, developed countries are advancing, while developing countries are struggling to catch up.

Although many countries are struggling to advance technologically, many businesses are communicating and thriving through technology.  Communication is crucial when it comes to a successful business in terms of operation and systems.   Modern technology has become completely integrated in business interaction both in and out of the workplace (Golden, n.d.).  The major technologies that have allowed companies fast and global access are networking, the internet, wireless innovations, and cloud computing.  Networking has allowed easy access to businesses for collaboration, programming, and even virtual partnerships.  Networking is how most business communicate today.  The internet also allows for extremely fast streaming, communication, and exchanges.  Anyone in the world can have access to information that is posted online and dynamic and static communication are used, as a result (Golden, n.d.).  Wireless communication allows for instant communication such as cell phone use.  It is quickly evolving and distributing immediate information with only signal use.  Finally, cloud computing allows for storage and programs in drives and computers.  It eliminates the possibility of lost data in workplaces, avoiding networking and business problems.  

Although companies are able to communicate with other international businesses through the advancement of technology, but technological advancements have great effects on communication that takes place inside the workplace, as well.  Many of these effects may in fact be negative.  Because we are so dependent on cell phones, computers, and the internet, face to face communication inside the workplace may not be as present.  Without proper workplace communication, it may make it more difficult to effectively form teams, make things completely clear, deal with problems, or even complete more tasks.  Although technology is commonly used in a beneficial manner to complete tasks inside work environments, it may also hinder the success of the needed face to face interaction.

Lack of face to face communication because of technology may have an effect on the acceptance of cultural difference and diversity.  Without proper communication, workers may not be able to share and properly communicate differences and needs based on their own cultural backgrounds.  With a mix of races, ethnicities, genders, religions, and work styles, it is easy for people to dismiss other’s differences, offend each other, encounter discrimination, and misinterpret different behaviors that they may not be used to (Sherman, 2018).  This makes it even more essential for the workplace to have good communication and partnering skills.  Communication for a diverse workforce requires a significant amount of understanding of how diverse employees may perceive their businesses and that of business communication (Mayhew, n.d.).  Face to face meetings may encourage a better understanding of how employees feel and can learn to accept one another, while providing stronger workplace communication.  Although face-to-face communication may seem ideal, some may prefer to utilize technology as a form of communication between one another by sending messages and emails.  Either way, cultural differences in the workplace play a vital role in ensuring effective communication, especially as technology advances and workers are tied to their computers and cellphones.  

As technology advances and companies rely on computers and the internet for marketing and business, cyberterrorism has increased and become a significant global threat.  The internet contains a vast exchange of information and we are constantly reliant on these devices of information such as our phones and computers.  With this, cyberterrorism has become a threat of attacks against computer networks and information to further a political agenda (Chernotsky & Hobbs, 2016).  Cyberterrorism is thought to threaten many vulnerable points in the physical and virtual world (Curran, 2016).  As ISIS has become a very powerful and active terrorist group, it is very possible that they can turn to cyber threats based on the crimes and terror they are causing in the physical world.  It is very important to maintain awareness as we have become so dependent on technology and devices that can easily be invaded by cyberterrorists.

Innovations and technology are constantly advancing across the world, leading to more efficient workplace for businesses and international markets.  With the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, creation of better transformation systems, and modern advancements with the computer, internet, and cell phones, communication in and out of the workplace has soared and become more globalized.  The focus on technology may hinder face-to-face communication, leading to discrimination and lack of understanding one another.  While the world is becoming more globalized through technological advancements, we must continue to focus on using technology for the betterment of society and efficiently growing our businesses and markets across the world.

References

Stever, G., & Muroyama, J. (1988). Globalization of technology: International perspectives.

Retrieved from: https://www.nap.edu/read/1101/chapter/2#11

Dahlman, C. (n.d.) Technology, globalization, and international competitiveness: Challenges for

developing countries. Retrieved from:

http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/publications/industrial_development/1_2.pdf

Chernotsky, H. I., & Hobbs, H. H. (2016). Crossing borders: International studies for the 21st

century. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Fingleton, Eamonn. (2015). It is Japan, not the U.S., that leads in serious technology, says top

Reagan technology advisor. Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/eamonnfingleton/2015/11/22/it-is-japan-not-the-u-s-that-leads-in-serious-technology-says-top-reagan-technology-advisor/#2c54f3344023

Cranmer, David. (1993). Influence of technology on the workplace and worker-management

relations. Retrieved from:

https://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1436&context=key_workplace

Why can’t developing countries catch up? (2015). Retrieved from:

https://www.stlouisfed.org/on-the-economy/2015/december/why-cant-developing-countries-catch-up

Golden, Roger. (n.d.). How today’s technology is used in business to communicate. Retrieved

from:

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/todays-technology-used-business-communicate-27351.html

Mayhew, Ruth. (n.d.) Communication & diversity in the workplace. Retrieved from:

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/communication-diversity-workplace-11389.html

Curran, Paul. (2016). Cyber terrorism - how real is the threat? Retrieved from:

https://www.checkmarx.com/2016/05/04/cyber-terrorism-real-threat-2/

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