The Information Age is characterized by the production and distribution of information as a key economic activity. Thus the reliance on information as an industrial raw material has implications for managers and executives.
Developments in technology have provided man with a host of new communication capabilities. At the heart of this 'information society' are pervasive influences where one seems destined to experience more print in the form of vision, audio and electronic text presentations than from the paper page. One such development is referred to as teleconferencing. 'Will this require change in our traditional thoughts about literacy? learning to speak into a microphone or camera is hardly comparable to learning to read and write.
In modem business the convention centre has performed an important role by providing for the function of group communication. However, the face-to-face mode of conferencing is not always the most appropriate for managerial communication. Perhaps with the increased usage of teleconferencing the business communication function will be improved. A prime function of this report is to evaluate the truth of this proposal as well as to outline the implication of design in providing for teleconferencing.
Teleconferencing is a completely different medium with application quite distinct from those to which the face-to-face medium has been applied:- there is an aspect present in the face-to-face medium which cannot be simulated by teleconferencing - social presence. Therefore, teleconferencing's capabilities are such as to make it an adjunct to the traditional medium. For teleconferencing to be an effective adjunct to the traditional face-to-face conference involves many variables. Technology develops its own momentum and the adoption of technology must be welcomed unequivocally but one must assert the right to choose, (or not to choose) appropriate types of technology for one's own and organizational needs. Optimistically,. Australian business managers will have the intelligence, to implement democratic and pluralist forms of communication technologies.
Much of the report is an exploratory study which attempt to establish when teleconferencing is preferable to face-to-face conferencing and vis a versa. Despite developments in sophisticated communication technology, it would appear the conference industry in Australia has not felt the impact of teleconferencing to any large extent, and the face-to-face conference still has an important role to play in effective managerial communication. However, managers and executives must familiarize themselves with office automation techniques, such at teleconferencing, if they wish to achieve a competitive advantage in today’s information revolution and business environment.
Even though teleology has been far more influential than ideology, political struggles, or education in changing the way business is done, this report does not follow technocratic principles of projoralively promoting decisions essentially based on technical capacity rather than organizational needs. Executives and managers face an extraordinarily ambiguous future. Technology can be used to promote greater economic equity, more freedom of choice, and participatory democracy. Conversely, it can be used to intensify the worst aspects of a competitive society, to widen the gap between rich and poor, to make democratic goals irrelevant, and institute a technocracy.
Information technology however, can and does allow us to integrate the total management function. In this age of hi-tech communication, one can predict with reasonable confidence that substitution of teleconferencing for face-to-face meetings will only occur for those activities which are not affected by the medium. Simply replacing travel and substituting telemeetings for face-to-face conferences won't be enough. Instead, teleconferencing must be a tool that can be used to increase productivity in a wide range of business activities.