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Technology and Organizational Environment - Lesson Summary

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The key points from this module are:
Technology refers to the information, equipment, techniques, and process required to transform inputs into outputs in the organization.
Some examples of technology in an organization include:

Operation techniques used in workflow activities
Characteristics of the materials used in the workflow
The degree of continuous, fixed-sequence operation
The extent of automation
The degree of interdependence between work systems

The three types of production technology proposed by Woodward are:

Unit 
Mass 
Process 

The 3 types of Technology proposed by James Thompson are:

Long-linked Technology - Tasks/operations that are sequentially interdependent. i.e. A must be done before B.
Mediating Technology - This is one that links clients on both the input and output side of the organization. e.g. Banks, telephone utilities, dating services, etc.
Intensive Technology - This represents a customized response to an adverse set of contingencies. e.g. Hospitals, universities, research labs, consulting firms, etc.

The Environment is the set of pressures and forces surrounding an organization and has the potential to affect the way it operates and its ability to acquire scarce resources.
The Specific Environment includes Customers, distributors, government, unions, suppliers, competitors.
The General Environment includes Internal forces, political forces, demographic forces, economic forces, etc.
 
Burns and Stalker's types of Structures are:


Organic Structure
Mechanistic Structure

The four kinds of environment that an organization might confront according to Emery and Trist's are:

Placid - Randomized
Placid - Clustered
Disturbed - Reactive
Turbulent field.

Distinct assumptions of Population Ecology are:

It focuses on groups of populations of organization, not on individual organizations.
It defines organizational effectiveness as simply survival.
it assumes that the environment is totally determining.