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Managing the Rough Landscape of the Flat World: The Role of Information Technology in the Time of Unreason By Bob Travica, Ph.D. University of Manitoba.

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Presentation on theme: "Managing the Rough Landscape of the Flat World: The Role of Information Technology in the Time of Unreason By Bob Travica, Ph.D. University of Manitoba."— Presentation transcript:

1 Managing the Rough Landscape of the Flat World: The Role of Information Technology in the Time of Unreason By Bob Travica, Ph.D. University of Manitoba Canada INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON MANAGING INFORMATION IN THE DIGITAL ERA U NIVERSITY OF B OTSWANA G ABORONE O CTOBER 14-16, 2009

2 Outline Presentation and conference topics Theoretical framework Globalization concept Globalization 20 years after IT is globalization force What to do? Shaping globalization with IT Summary Dr. Bob Travica2 of 14MANAGING INFORMATION IN THE DIGITAL ERA

3 Mapping Presentation to Conference Topics Touching on these conference topics: –Knowledge Management –ICT and Information Literacy in the changing environment –Digital Divide –Information Management –Digital Library –E-commerce –E-government –Information & IT Policy Dr. Bob Travica3 of 14MANAGING INFORMATION IN THE DIGITAL ERA

4 Theoretical Framework “Flat world” (zealous proponents of globalization) – globalization literature “Rough Landscape” (globalization critics & alternative globalizers) – globalization literature “Time of Unreason” (Handy, 1989, 1995) Information Technology (IT, ICT), Information systems (IS) Information/Informing View of Organization (Travica, 2003, 2005) Informing Science (Cohen, 1999; 2009) Dr. Bob Travica4 of 14MANAGING INFORMATION IN THE DIGITAL ERA

5 Globalization Concept Definition: Reducing boundaries between countries and regions. Economic – Reducing trade barriers, allowing for free movement of goods, services, money, and labor. Political – Freer flow of political information across borders; insertion of supra-national organizations in states (watchdogs, alliances, NGOs) Cultural – Freer exchange of artistic content and communication or transfer of lifestyles, entertainment, dress codes, cuisines... Regulatory – Creation of international organizations, legislation, and enforcement. Dr. Bob Travica5 of 14MANAGING INFORMATION IN THE DIGITAL ERA

6 Globalization 20 Years After Some economic progress in economies in transition (East Europe, China, India), but 50% of world lives below $2/day Global access to consumer goods including luxury products, but the middle class is shrinking – everywhere Knowledge can reach far via Internet (schools, digital libraries), but education funds drop with widespread cuts in public spending Hopes of growing democracy ended with new, ineffective multi-party establishments in East, old political machines in West intact, and democracy’s nemesis* in East and South * Trans-National Corporations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank… Dr. Bob Travica6 of 14MANAGING INFORMATION IN THE DIGITAL ERA

7 Globalization 20 Years After Salsa dancing, Bollywood film, and Afro-pop head North and West, but Western pop culture still crosses borders most easily Spreading various cultural imagery and lifestyles enabled by global media, but Internet is 50% Anglophone, and dominating cultural values are unison in media (consumerism, egotism, competition…) Digital divide is alive and well Dr. Bob Travica7 of 14MANAGING INFORMATION IN THE DIGITAL ERA

8 IT is Globalization Force Economic impacts of IT: –Provide the engine and network environment for trans-national corporations (TNCs) –Weave global electronic networks engendering global supply chains (“informational capitalism,” Castells 1996, 2000) –Power “techno-economy” (Jones, 2003) rich in IT, knowledge and capital vs. “grunge-economy” (temps, routine, less lucrative) –Deskilling & unemployment (white collar sector) Dr. Bob Travica8 of 14MANAGING INFORMATION IN THE DIGITAL ERA

9 IT is Globalization Force Cultural impacts of IT: –Western thing (language-exclusive, values of time, control, organizing) –channels for disseminating culture of the Center) Political impacts of IT: –Control via communication technology Beniger (1986) –Information pool & push by employers, sellers, governments, scammers IT challenges management: –Productivity paradox & strategic dilemma –User conundrum Dr. Bob Travica9 of 14MANAGING INFORMATION IN THE DIGITAL ERA * (http://a2.vox.com/6a00c225239a5e8fdb00f48cf08d7a pi)http://a2.vox.com/6a00c225239a5e8fdb00f48cf08d7a pi (Source*)

10 What to Do? (I’d like to change the world…) ImpactOpportunity to Reason & Act Provides foundations to overpowering TNCs Claim your stake in global supply chains respecting conditions needed for B2B e-commerce (Travica, 2002) - Drives “techno-capitalism” and “informational capitalism” creating Center and Periphery - Impart local needs and capabilities on globalization – globo-localization (cases by Lal, 2007; D’Costa, ed., 2006). Practical variants of free market concept. - Don’t dismantle state and local institutions (Roy, 2005). Causes deskilling and unemployment Use IT for re-skilling & job enrichment; Take advantage of new jobs/job enrichment (Internet, data analysts, knowledge worker) Embodies the Center’s logic, values, ideology - Be pragmatic & use IT for learning, education, your own needs. Domesticate IT via adoption process. - Influence development of Internet by participating in international forums (Cogburn, 2006). Dr. Bob Travica10 of 14MANAGING INFORMATION IN THE DIGITAL ERA Continues…

11 What to Do? Dr. Bob TravicaMANAGING INFORMATION IN THE DIGITAL ERA11 of 14 ImpactOpportunity to Reason & Act Disseminates the Center’s culture Communicate local culture via open Internet forums (digital video Websites, blogs, social nets) Serves Big Brother to limit freedoms -Engage in information governance in firms and push for e-government (Mayer-Schonbergrr & Lazer, 2007); - Use Internet for informing from your perspective; Seek/organize for alternative globalizing paths. Challenges managementNew organizational forms and analytical frameworks (Informing Science, Information View of Organization) Informing Science (Cohen 1999; Cohen & Gill, eds., 2009): Focus on improving informing processes. Delivery System ClientInformer Context

12 Information View of Organization Dr. Bob Travica12 of 14MANAGING INFORMATION IN THE DIGITAL ERA Infostructure Infoculture Infoprocesses Infopolitics Homo Informaticus Groupomatics IS Management Infoeconomics IS Adoption IS Design/Development IS Use IS Evaluation Org. Goals & Issues Individuals Work Groups Org. Processes Org. Economics Org. Politics Org. Culture Org. Structure INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DATA, MEANING KNOWLEDGE, WISDOM Travica (2003, 2005). Focus on optimizing relationship between traditional views of organization intersected with information, IT and IS aspects.

13 Shaping Globalization with IT (I-globalize) Journal of Information, Information Technology, and Organizations (JIITO), which I edit – a way of shaping global information space by using IT Global coverage of JIITO (a part; see - examples:http://jiito.org Maureen Tanner, Mauritius & South Africa, “Communication and Culture in Global Software Development: The Case of Mauritius and South Africa” Ada W. W. MA, Hong Kong, “Computer Supported Collaborative Learning and Social Creativity: A Case Study of Fashion Design” Ravi Sharma, SR Apoorva, Venkata M. & Varun J., India, Singapore, New Zealand, U.K., U.S.A., “Best Practices for Communication between Client and Vendor in IT Outsourcing Projects” Alf Steinar Sætre, Jan-Oddvar Sørnes, Larry D. Browning, and Keri K. Stephens, Norway & U.S.A, “Enacting Media Use in Organisations” Katia P. Thomaz, Brasil, “Critical Factors for Digital Records Preservation” Dr. Bob Travica13 o 14fMANAGING INFORMATION IN THE DIGITAL ERA

14 Summary Globalization process is not uniform (convergence & divergence, etc.) IT delivers antipode effects in economy, culture, politics, organizations There is no predetermination in either globalization or the role of IT Plenty of opportunities to reason in the flat/rugged world of unreason, and to enact globalization processes via managing IT This conference may be one step in that direction I’d like to continue this conversation throughout the conference… Please plan to publish in JIITO – visit ! Dr. Bob Travica14 of 14MANAGING INFORMATION IN THE DIGITAL ERA


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