Major Research Report
Length: about 2000 words (8 pages)
We live in a world where more and more of our lives — our working lives and our individual and social lives — are mediated by technology.
At work we work with information and we work in ways determined by information processes that dictate how and what we work on, measure our productivity, monitor our activities. And these information processes can be used to reward our work or to discipline us. And, the mobile tools of communication allows more and more of our work lives and work selves to intrude on and influence our personal private lives.
In our social and personal lives, we connect with others using technology or are connected to them through social networks. We use tools like texting or social media messages to remain in touch with friends and relatives. We navigate the world using digital maps or apps. We monitor our fitness using apps and wearable devices. We organize our homes using digital assistants. These tools give us freedom and independence but they also create demands on us to remain connected and online at all times. In addition, these devices and networks collect information about us which can be used to influence us through targeted advertising.
Ethical considerations are now more important than ever for those who work with the tools that the networked world has created to collect, manage, analyze, and use data and information. More and more consumers, employees, governments, and civil society are becoming aware of the power in the hands of those who control the networks. If popular suspicion and resentment of the power of tech companies continues, the ethical use of technology will become more and more important for managers and companies. People and their governments can attempt to protect personal privacy through direct action or legislation.
The focus of this term’s group project is NTK (need to know) – in other words, what basic information about specific trends and ideas does one (you) need to know to live and work successfully and ethically in the networked world.
This longer term report requires you to dig deeper into a topic of your choice that is relevant to the course. This could be a topic from the group project you or another group is working on or it could be a different topic (approved by me). For this report you will need to do research that shows an in-depth and well-researched understanding.
There are a number of perspectives or approaches you might use. However, some of the fundamental questions that we considered in the first part of the term could provide you with useful perspectives to research in relation to a specific topic. These could include issues like
ethical and responsible information technology
consumer / citizen backlash against the technology industry
Remember all of these topics will require research. Your ideas or opinions must be backed up with evidence. You might find some of the suggested starting points and case studies listed in the page of group topic links useful for your own research on this individual topic.
1，Management and Tech: As a future manager, what is it important to understand about both the positive and the negative aspects of Information Technology when managing people?
2，Your workplace: As a future employee, what is it important for you to look for in a future workplace in terms of that workplace’s use of Information Technology, and that workplace’s expectations of your use of and interaction with Information Technology?
3，Understanding Gen Z: What is it important for managers or companies to know about Gen Z — specifically their use of and dependence on technology — in order to engage them as customers or as employees?
4，Personal Privacy: What can you do as an individual to attempt to maintain your personal privacy? Is it possible for us to have privacy when there are so many things we do or must do that compromise our privacy? Research some opinions or some tactics people recommend for living a life under your own control.
5，Responding to the Techlash: There has been a backlash against technology companies. People rely on them but no longer trust them. Any company that works with personal data must now consider that consumers now expect more. When making decisions around managing data, protecting privacy, building ecosystems of partners, and training employees, what ethical standards now make sense for companies? Do some research and suggest three or four key steps companies need to make to create trust. (see Deloitte tech trends)
6，PO/PC Culture: We live in a world of PO-PC culture (Permanently Online / Permanently Connected). Based on research and on topics such as privacy and the panopticon which we have discussed this term, what are the benefits and downsides to this culture for you as a person and as an employee?
7，Facial-Recognition: We have read for some time about the use of mass surveillance using cameras with facial-recognition capabilities in China. However, recent news reports show that this technology is now being used in a number of large cities in the US and Canada and in the UK as well as other European countries. What are several (two or three) key issues with this technology? You can consider both advantages and disadvantages.
8， Define Trust: In the past few years, general faith or trust in technology companies to do the right thing has been challenged by revelations of their practices. How can you use the ideas we have talked about this term around privacy and surveillance to define what trust means in the networked world.
Remember that this is a research report. So, research is required, and proper documentation in APA style — in-text citations and a complete list of References.
Your essay / report must make convincing arguments based on credible evidence and research. It is fine to begin with your own beliefs or ideas about this question, but make sure you can find research to support them.