1. The development of large organizations in the contemporary business environment is characterized by the growing need of these organizations in the introduction of new technologies, which can improve the organizational performance. Moreover, the introduction of new information technologies can improve consistently the competitive position of organizations and put them into an advantageous position compared to their major rivals. At the same time, such large organizations as Langley which have a huge technological potential, material, financial and human resources, face problems which are quite unexpected for smaller organizations.
To put it more precisely, Langley does not actually face a problem of the lack of information technologies and innovations that can be introduced within the organization. In stark contrast, Langley has a lot of new technologies and ideas which can be implemented within the organization successfully. In fact, the organization has already developed a number of new information technologies which facilitate the organizational performance. However, the problem of Langley is not in information technologies proper, but the major arises when the organization starts to implement the new information technologies.
To put it more precisely, the major problem of Langley is management and organizational concerns. In actuality, this means that the organization cannot implement new information technologies because it is constantly faces the problem of poor management of the introduction of the technological change. In this respect, it should be said that Langley apparently failed to prepare specialists working within the organization to the introduction of technological changes. As a result, after the introduction of technological changes, Langley had to focus on the training of professionals employed within the organization to learn how to use new technologies effectively. In such a situation, Langley lost time on the training of the personnel, while the information technologies which have been introduced by the organization, were not used effectively as long as the personnel remained untrained. In other words, at the beginning period of the introduction of new information technologies they could not be used at their full potential that apparently decreased positive effect of its introduction.
In addition, at the organizational level, the complex structure of Langley made the organization rather rigid and, therefore, the introduction of technological changes raised a number of organizational problems related to the necessity of substitution of existing technologies by new ones and their adaptation to the work of the entire organization. In this respect, it is worth mentioning the fact that smaller organizations are in an advantageous position in this regard, because smaller organizations are more flexible. In fact, they can easily introduce a technological change and adapt the innovation fast due to the small size of organizations and, therefore, smaller number of employees who need training and less time spent on both the introduction of a new technology and training of the personnel.
2. On analyzing factors affecting the problem related to the Langley’s case, it should be said that there are several factors, both external and internal that affect the problem of the organization described in the case. In this respect, it should be said that Langley faces the problem of the introduction of new information technologies. At first glance, the introduction of new technologies should facilitate the organizational functioning and performance, but, as it has been already mentioned above, Langley faces management and organizational problems, while introducing technological changes. Therefore, it should be said that the organization suffers from a number of internal problems. At this point, it is possible to define major factors which provoke problems of the organization.
First of all, it is the ineffective organizational structure, which proves to be ineffective since it is rigid and unable to adapt change fast and, what is more, the introduced information technologies cannot be used at their full potential immediately after their introduction.
Therefore, the organizational structure slows down the introduction of new technologies and decreases their effectiveness. Another important factor is the imperfect system of training of employees working at Langley. As the matter of fact, the organization does not have a clear, universal system of training which can be introduced immediately or even prior to the introduction of a technological change.
Furthermore, another factor that affects consistently the effectiveness of the introduction of technological changes is the lack of the involvement of professionals working at Langley in the development and introduction of technological changes. What is meant here is the fact that Langley introduces advanced technologies but these technologies are developed by a narrow circle of specialists, while the overwhelming majority of specialists working at the organization can be even unaware of the development of new information technologies that are about to be introduced within Langley. As a result, the overwhelming majority of employees are simply unprepared to the technological change introduced within the organization that leads to the emergence of other factors that decrease the effectiveness of technological changes, including the waste of time, low effectiveness of use of new technologies and training of the personnel.
At the same time, it is necessary to take into consideration external factors, since they also affect consistently the introduction of technological changes. In fact, the current situation forces Langley to introduce technologies in order to maintain its leading position. In such a way, Langley cannot stop introducing new technologies since it will result in the backwardness of the organization within several years. Therefore, the organization has to keep pace with competitors that are also focused on the introduction of new technologies. In such a situation, the ability of the organization to solve its internal problems becomes crucial.
3. Basically, the decision making process at Langley is characterized by the vertical structure. What is mean here is the fact that the decision making process is under a total control of the administration of the company. To put it more precisely, it is top executives of Langley that take decisions concerning the introduction of a technological change. In fact, it is top executives that initiate the introduction of new information technologies within the organization en mass. In such a situation, the position of their subordinates and employees is not taken into consideration. Instead, the decision taken on the top level is imposed on the entire organization and subordinates of top executives should implement this decision, i.e. the introduction of new change, and involve employees in the practical implementation of the change. In practice, the decision making process can be briefly described as follows. The decision concerning the development of a new information technology, the idea of which may be developed within the organization, is taken on the top level. After that, the concept of new technology is researched in details and the new technology is developed by the unit of specialists which are able to develop the new technology. Finally, as the new technology is tested, the decision concerning the introduction of new technology is taken on the top level and then descends down the organizational hierarchy to the lower level. In such a way, it is obvious that ordinary employees are practically excluded from the process of decision making that naturally raises the problem of the possible opposition of employees to the introduction of the change.
4. In actuality, Langley mainly faces problems with the management and organizational concerns in the process of introduction of new information technologies. At the same time, the information technologies developed within the company, such as Cicero or LANTERN are effective enough and can be successfully implied. At this point, it should be said that Langley should focus not only on the introduction of new information technologies but also and mainly on the introduction of more effective managerial approaches and solve organizational problems in order to introduce new information technologies effectively. At the same time, Langley needs to keep pace with the general progress of technologies and, therefore, the organization needs to adapt constantly new information systems and technologies. In this respect, taking into consideration the intellectual, financial and technological potential of Langley, the organization needs to focus on the introduction of its own new information technology which can be based on the existing technology, for instance, LANTERN.
5. On analyzing the current situation at Langley, it is possible to recommend the organization focusing on the improvement of its organizational structure and management, which can facilitate the introduction of new information technologies within the company and maximize their effectiveness. As it has been already mentioned above Langley has sufficient resources to develop new technologies, while the major problems arise at the stage of their practical introduction within the organization en mass. In this regard, it is possible to recommend focusing on three points: flexibility of organizational structure, involvement of employees in the decision making process and improvement of the training process.
The flexibility of the organizational structure can be achieved through the division of the organization on smaller units, which have a large autonomy. In such a way, each unit can operate autonomously and react adequately on the changes introduced within the organization as well as to changes in the external environment, which can influence their performance. As a result, when the change is introduced in a small and autonomous unit, employees are more likely to adapt the change easier and faster compared to the current practice when the change is introduced on the scale of the entire organization.
In such a context, the involvement of employees in the decision making process can facilitate the introduction of the change even more. To put it more precisely, employees should be informed on the introduction of the change and its essence. In such a way, the new technology will be familiar to employees when it is introduced. Moreover, employees should have an opportunity initiate the introduction of technological changes.
Finally, training programs should prepare employees of Langley to the introduction of new information technologies even before they are introduced. Moreover, training programs should stimulate employees to learn how to use new information technologies autonomously from trainers.