Over the last sixty years of business activity, there has been new ways and means of conducting business through something we call technology. Technology is the advancement and use of electronic devices and other high-tech equipment to produce and progress knowledge into the future. Advancements in technology have affected management leadership in many ways over the last sixty years. New technology has altered leaders' consciousness, language, and the way they view their organization. Technological advancements have made things easier for those in management leadership roles. But as with anything, there are positive and negative aspects of technology on leadership. Some of the positive aspects of technology are: the availability and use of wireless networking, collaboration tools, digital video, handheld devices, and videoconferencing. On the other hand, the negative aspects of technology are: it offers less privacy, it allows for less interaction with others, and it runs a high risk of contact with viruses. On the more positive side, wireless networking allows leaders to share resources with their team operating by means of wireless media, such as microwaves, cellular technology, and radio frequencies. Wireless networking is paving the way for technology integration around the world. The use of collaboration tools allows ongoing conversations among leaders, their subordinates, board members, and community members. Professional development is one area where collaboration can have an enormous impact on management leadership. When leaders can casually share new approaches and practices with each other through a technology connection to their workplace, both leaders and their team will benefit. One way of doing this is to create an Internet mailing list where they can share questions, problems, solutions, successful techniques, and less successful techniques. The Internet is enabling digital video to achieve professional-quality and two-way interaction. This will be one of the rare cases where management leadership will be leading a technological shift in society as a whole. Hand-held devices are high-tech gadgets, now more powerful than early Windows or Macintosh machines. Handheld devices offer more versatility than full-size computers and are much more portable than the alternative personal device, the laptop. For leaders especially, this take-along advantage lets them develop a feeling of ownership, as the device is ever-present and ready to take on the current task. In addition, many of the newest handheld models can be wirelessly networked, which means leaders can send and receive e-mail and surf the Web without having to "synch up" to a computer. Video-conferencing is a three-dimensional, top-quality audio and video virtual reality telecommunication that will allow leaders to examine minute objects through remotely controlled microscopes. Videoconferencing technologies use a compressed video system to transmit information from one location to another either via the Internet or a telephone line. On a more negative note, when leaders are using some of the technological advantages as mentioned above, they run the risk of reducing the privacy of their organization. Privacy is a privilege that we take for granted in this country, yet it is strongly threatened by advances in technology. The ability of political and economic institutions to discover private information about individuals and organizations is overwhelming. Some of the various ways that information about an organization's activities can be collected without their knowledge or consent are: through cookies, browsers, search engines, electronic commerce, E-mail, and spam.
The threat of spyware and other security threats are unlikely to be eradicated. Hackers, criminals, and others with ill intent will always attempt to avoid the intentions and protections of users in an effort to exploit PCs and networks for vandalism or profit. Viruses...
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