I. Introduction

A. Leadership

"Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing that we see too late the one that is open."Alexander Graham Bell
1. Leadership is the "process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent"(1997). It is the ability to influence change. Areas of technology where changes have occurred is communication, transportation, medicine, agriculture, and manufacturing. Leaders have their own beliefs and styles in how things should be done. Effective leaders will have a fundamental way of showing group or team members how to accomplish certain tasks. A truly good leader will stay out of the way. Leadership can be provided by one person or a group of people There are many aspects of leadership to explore and how they are used.An example of a leader is Indra Nooyi. She is the CEO of PepsiCo. She "reinvented the company and directed it towards a healthier pathway as well as make it more valuable"(Useem, 2008)

B. Technology

1. The role of technology is to benefit mankind. Some leaders invent the new technology and implement it. Other leaders use existing technology and create a need for it. Additionally, leaders use appropriate technology to organize tasks, and motivate others. Leaders have the ability to identify appropriate technology in order to accomplish tasks efficiently. For example, Steve Jobs was a very influential in this area. He was the CEO of Apple. He "introduced the concept of the personal computer and using the mouse to navigate them by clicking on images on the screen"(Griggs, 2011) He also introduced the iphone, ipod, and ipad in the past couple years. Without these devices, it would be imposssible to communicate and run the business world.

Some other examples of this include the following:

  • discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming in 1928 (Li, 2005)
  • invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 (2006)
  • introduction of mass technology in manufacturing by Henry Ford (2003)
  • discovery of transistor by John Bardeen in 1947 (Bellis, 2011)

C. Leadership and Technology

1. Leadership and technology are combined in order for people to be effective in the work place. Leaders provide a vision for the utilization of technology use their organizational skills to implement the technology. Throughout this , we will disover in depth aspects of both sides and their relationship to each other.
"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't- you are right."Henry Ford
II. Body

A. Leadership

"Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; Leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall."- Stephen Covey.

1. Leadership Styles

a. Autocratic (Authoritarian) Style
i. Definition:
In autocratic leadership, the leader has the power to make decisions by himself. The leader tells people what to do, issues orders and expects them to follow the orders without questioning. The autocratic leader controls everything around him and believes to have the right to treat others as he wants. In some cases, it's the best way to enhance company's productivity.
ii. Advantages and Disadvantages:
  • Advantages: Autocratic style has proved to be very efficient in some situations and conditions in the workplace, especially during the emergency and stressful cases. When it comes to stress and when it requires an emergence decision, most people get confused and they are not able to reach a common solution. During such times, having an autocratic leader would be great as he would take the reins in his hand and would direct the workers or employees to move forward. Another situation where autocratic leader plays a strong role is in group projects. Many group projects tend to fail because group members depend on each other to make decisions. Such situations demand the need of an authoritative leader who can make decisions for the groups. The leader should determine the ways in which the project would be done, divide the job among the members, and also set a deadline for completion of the project.
  • Disadvantages: Even though autocratic style of leadership brings benefits to companies, it is seen as undesirable in most cases. The creativity and leadership skills of the employees become restrictive since autocratic leadership style concentrates on a one sided decision-making. Because the leader take the control over the group, there is a chance that he would exploit his employees. It is also said that having an autocratic leader hinders communication and socialization, which is important in the workplace.

b. Laissez-faire (Free Reign) Style
i. Definition:
In laissez-faire leadership, the leader provides little or no direction to the team members. For that reason, the laissez faire style is sometimes described as a "hands off" leadership. It allows team members to have complete freedom to make decisions concerning the completion of their work or ask questions of the leader. And, the leader provides the team members with the materials they need to accomplish their goals and answers the follower's questions.


c. Participative (Democratic)
i. Definition:
In participative leadership, the leader involves all members of a team in identifying essential goals and developing procedures or strategies to reach those goals. From this perspective, participative leadership can be seen as a leadership style that relies heavily on the leader functioning as a facilitator rather than simply issuing orders or making assignments. This type of involved leadership style can be utilized in business settings, volunteer organizations and even in the function of the home.


2. Role of a Leader

a. Job Functions
i. Vision: It defines the purpose, or "What to do?" A leader identifies a vision. It includes determining the next product or feature,
finding new markets for the product, and adoption of new technology, etc.
ii. Strategy: It articulates the plans, "How to achieve the vision?" Plans or strategies demonstrate the knowledge of the job or the skills of a
leader. It includes restructuring organization, product management, and strategic management, etc.
iii. People: "Who should carry out the Strategy?" A leader figures out how to make people accomplish the strategy and hence the goal and
who will do what. This includes providing inspiration and motivation to people, establishing relationship, and intelligently using
power and position of leadership, etc.

The most important skill that bridges the three job functions is "making decisions."

b. Role of a Leader
  • Setting the right standard and expectations
  • Providing directions for the organizations or groups
  • Managing and resolving conflict
  • Supporting the organizations or groups

360 Leader
a. Definition: 360-degree leadership is the concept that at some level we ALL are leaders, that we all impact others by our emotions, thoughts, and actions.


B. Technology

1.Purpose of Technology in the Work Place:

The main purpose of technology in a workplace is to communicate effectively. It helps different departments to communicate effectively from one part of the world to another.It has helped lot of multinational companies to setup their offices in different countries. In fact, most of them have their call centers in different locations. Without technology, it would be so hard for the corporations to run the businesses. The economy is expanding because of technology. These days, within an office people communicate with their co-workers using Instant Messaging. This way the company saves its cost spent on a call conference. Email, is the most important way of communication for everyone these days. For example, if we are working in US and we have to contact a particular department in India, we would not want to call them because if the time difference. In such case, we would prefer emailing them and wait for the response.
Technology has taken over everyone's life. One of the greatest leader of technology is, Steve Jobs who came up with the significant idea of introducing a smartphone which could do anything in just a few seconds.Technology in workplace has changed the company's lifestyle. It also helps the companies to keep a track of their budget. In past years, people used to make files for each and every expense or cost that has occurred. Now, with the technology, they can use Excel spreadsheet to record their expenses.

2. Channels of Communication (e.g. skype/facetime)

Video Chatting or conferencing is one of the most common means of communication in workplace. Some recruiters prefer to interview over skype or video call if they are based overseas. This helps the company to save their traveling expenses.For example, most of the companies use Skype which is a free chatting tool and is very efficient.

Facetime, is another video chatting tool which provides face to face conversations, no matter how far you are from each other. But, Facetime is only applicable for iPhone 4 users or iPad users. Not everyone has one of these gadgets; therefore, people prefer to use Skype or Oovo or Gmail messenger to do video calls. Video calls are easy to setup. one just needs a laptop, a webcam, and a microphone/headsets to start the conversation.

The most common and convenient way of chatting is Skype and is being widely used by people to expand their businesses globally.

C. How Leadership and Technology go together?

Since the invention of the telegraph 1850, technology had drastically impacted organizations and the order in which they function. From the telephone to the fax machine to the recent advancements in wireless communications, our jobs rely on and revolve around these products and their software. While they help employers immensely, they can bring down productivity if policies are enforced properly.

Given that we are in the 21st century, technology blends into life every day both inside and outside the workplace. Although it seems viable and easier, technology also clashes with traditional leadership style. With traditional leadership, for example, employers and employees receive effective feedbacks face to face. Technology however allows workers to “hide” behind their screen. By avoiding face to face communication, constructive criticisms could be neglected. This is not the case for participative leadership. Applications such as Skype bring everyone together no matter their place on the map allowing a leader to oversee the conversation or meeting yet allowing everyone to contribute their opinions/ideas.
In a workplace, one of the main elements that drives the work environment is time. Every worker should have an idea of good time management, but implementing new technology with high learning curves can hinder that. A few minutes on the phone can solve a problem faster than 7 emails sending back and forth trying to figure out the solution to a problem.
To successfully integrate technology in a workplace, leaders must present the following points to ensure a smooth transition:
  • Understanding: Inquire members about the technology, whether or not it is welcomed. If it isn’t welcomed it is usually the lack of understanding of that new technology haven’t been fully explained.
  • Identify Supporters: Involving members to use the new technology can strengthen the implementation of the new tech.
  • Experts: Leaders would sometimes invite in an expert to help employees understand the new tech and futher their involvement.
  • Involvement: At every meeting, leaders would utilize the technology as part of the planning process.

Proper training of managers and leaders is crucial for technology to fulfill its role. If employees have a better understanding of the technology in use than those overseeing them, their is a high risk of loss of control over workers farther down the chain of command. Therefore, adopting new technologies can be a rough task for supervisors as they must take the time to learn the new procedures while still carrying out their leadership role. In many cases a plan must be put into place so employees can be monitored. Finding the balance of supervision and employee freedom is one of the greatest and most consequential tasks a leader will face to keep up job satisfaction and a trusting relationship with his staff.

III. Conclusion

Technology in the workplace has been around and progressing since the late 1800s changing how we live our everyday lives. With smartphones like the iPhone and applications like Skype and Siri, communication is far more advanced and answers can be obtained in seconds. Leaders need this to interact with their teams when every second counts. With the technology available today, one person can do a job that may have required 3 or 4 people in the past. Saving valuable resources and having the ability to communicate on the fly opens doors to new possibilities and holds the key to a bright, successful future.

(1997, May 11). In The Art and Science of Leadership. Retrieved November 10, 2011
(2003, February 20). In The Life of Henry Ford. Retrieved November 2, 2011
(2006, January 25). In Alexander Graham Bell. Retrieved November 5, 2011
Bellis, M. (2011, July 27). In The Humble Transistor. Retrieved November 3, 2011
Li, H. (2005, March 11). In Alexander Fleming. Retrieved November 2, 2011
Griggs, B. (2011, October 5). In Steve Jobs, Apple Founder, dies. Retrieved November 1, 2011
Useem, M. (2008, November 19). In America's Best Leaders: Indra Nooyi. Retrieved November 1, 2011

Created By:
Rashi Bhargava (II-B. Technology)
Rita Deysarkar (I- Introduction)
Phuong Nguyen (II-A. Leadership)
Go Eun Kim (II-A. Leadership)
Atisak Suwannapeng (C. Leadership and Technology/ Conclusion)
Jake Hobbs (C. Leadership and Technology/ Conclusion)