The Impact of Videoconferencing in Organizations

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The Impact of Videoconferencing in Organizations This report analyses the various influences of videoconferencing, both positive and negative, and evaluates its usefulness in organisations. One of the major points of discussion is how face-to-face meetings, whether virtual or physical, have been affected by the embracing of this new technology by various organisations and groups. Due to the radical nature in which traditional meetings and appointments have been challenged by videoconferencing, many issues have arisen regarding its application, like whether video-conferencing actually improves communication? Another important discussion involves the cost-saving benefits to organisations, primarily through reducing travel, and how this affects organisations strategically as well as other industries (i.e. hotels, airlines). Since many organisations now compete and communicate internationally, this potential elimination of travel for businessmen and women has far-reaching consequences. This essay seeks to explore these and other issues using three major themes: ICTs have unexpected and paradoxical effects, costs and benefits of ICTs are unevenly distributed throughout organizations and society, and ICTs and socio-technical context are co-produced. INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY Videoconferencing is an emerging technology which enables people from any location, with the appropriate set of equipment, to communicate with each other in a virtual ‘face-to-face’ manner. The impact of videoconferencing on organizations has been extensive, with the effects of this technology growing as it becomes more user-friendly and the cost of equipment decreases. As a promising technological advance, videoconferencing has already had recent impacts upon some organisations. From a positive perspective videoconferencing has permitted things like decreases in costs, greater flexibility, and heightened strategic opportunities. Nevertheless, caution must still be applied to videoconferencing, like any new device, with concern now emerging regarding the negative consequences of such technology. These extend too many areas for example interaction, psychological outcomes, and team dynamics. POSITIVE OUTCOMES A primary impact of videoconferencing is that it allows more people to conduct work from home. This has many implications such as reducing the levels of trav... ... middle of paper ... ...ay, Sarah. ‘The world of e-mail and videoconferencing has its advantages and disadvantages’. Financial Times. 5/6/02, p.3 17. Narraway, Gwyn. ‘Take back the power’. Chartered Accountants Journal of New Zealand, Volume 82 No5: 58, 2003 18. Neuman, Scott. ‘Executives on a leash’. Far Eastern Economic Review, Volume 166 No.27: 35, 2003 19. Powell, Dave. ‘Videoconferencing: A wise strategy’. Computer World, Volume 32 No28: 63-68, 1999 20. Rosen, Sheir. ‘Keeping technology in its place’. Communication World, Volume 11 No6: 56, 1994 21. Schneider, Ivan. ‘Videoconferencing a hit in China’. Bank Systems and Technology, Volume 40 No2: 12, 2003 22. Vine, Phillipa. ‘A meeting of minds’. The British Journal of Administrative Management, Volume 7 No4 12-13, 1999 23. Whittaker, Steve. ‘Rethinking video as a technology for interpersonal communications: theory and design implications’. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, Volume 42 No5: 501-529, 1995 24. Wong, Edward. ‘Even After Sars Airlines Suffer On Asian Routes’. New York Times. 12/8/03. p.4 25. Zielinski, Dave. ‘Face Value’. Presentations, Volume 14 No6: 58-70, 2000

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