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Information Technology (IT) CSR
The modern day businesses are more globalized based on which economic and corporate concerns have given rise to the concept of corporate social responsibility. The new economy has had a great effect on the knowledge that the stakeholders now have. One of the main aims of corporate social responsibility is that corporations being an important part of the society and communities must address various environmental and societal concerns. Based on this, many companies by the help of implementing CSR have worked on the importance and implementation of human rights, environmental standards, as well as labor. Here it needs to be added that the corporate social responsibility extends outside the doors of an organization into the communities and societies in which the organization operates. The boundaries of corporate social responsibility of the organization involves not only the employees and workers of the organizations but the stakeholders, suppliers, NGOs, public authorities, business partners, and the people from the communities (Horrigan, 2010, p. 45).
These days, information technology has taken over almost all business fields. Data storage and data manipulation has changed in many ways as compared to the previous years. With the advancements in email and internet, dissemination of information is faster now. When information technology is applied in corporate social responsibility, many advantages can be expected. The communities can be served in a much better manner as compared to the CSR being provided in an absence of IT. Technologies can play great roles in changing the ways people live but in some ways, these are not very appreciable or likeable. An important example of implementation of IT in CSR is the use of internet and emailing by the banks to make banking easier for their customers. However, there are much stronger examples that can show that IT in CSR has had a bad impact on the community. One example can be air conditioning that makes people sit enclosed in their rooms. This is not very likeable these days when older days are taken into consideration when people used to sit with their neighbors and enjoy the weather hot or cold. In order to illustrate this fact, two most well-known organizations will be taken into account, Facebook and IBM. These organizations have been well-known for their values in CSR that extend to the community but since the application of IT in the field of CSR, the community has been facing a bad impact (Bueble, 2009, p. 30).
Linking many people together on one platform by the use of information technology that uses internet and emailing is the main aim of one of the world's most famous social networking platforms, Facebook. However, has this aim been completely and successfully achieved with all the positivity? The answer would be in negative. It is not a hidden fact that although the aim itself is positive but the effects that the concept of social networking is having on the community is negative. With the use of IT in the field of CSR, one of the main promises made by Facebook was the achievement of civic journalism and to make sure that public life in the communities can be enhanced and given energy and a spark to generate civil actions (Veer, 2010, p. 67). The question is, is there any enhancement in community and public life? Is there any change in the frequency of civil actions? The answer would be in negative. The impact that Facebook has had on the society and the community can be called as 'anti-social'. Instead of creating a spark in the social lives of the people of the community, Facebook website being more addictive is the one that makes a person sit on the computer/laptop in the room all day long with no social interaction and no energy for a civil action. The website being more addictive makes an individual brag about him or her all day long consistently updating his or her status. On the other hand, it has been seen that Facebook has had some privacy issues that also were greatly recognized and prioritized in the community. Personal information of an individual is the main requirement of Facebook. The companies that post their ads on Facebook and the companies that design applications for Facebook use this information. The personal information that is used by the companies includes travelling information, contact details, likes, dislikes, and personal information. One of the main facts that have been reported in the case of Facebook is that most of the time, strangers are added in the friends' lists. This allows people to call upon strangers in their personal lives. If this fact into consideration in relation to an internet life, this can be an ignorable point but in the real life, strangers stepping in your personal and private life is considered illegal or unwanted. Deception and cheating are some of the common modes that can be used to cheat and deceive people using Facebook. In many cases, stalking has been reported to be much easier in the case of Facebook (Editors of Bottletree Books LLC, 2007, p. 48).
Rather than generating any community life, or any spark in the younger generation, Facebook has been the one reason of creating more loner teenagers. It is seen that teenagers sit inside their living rooms, instead of being out on the streets with the energy required, update statuses on Facebook, and are found chatting on Facebook. Internet, emailing and chatting are beneficial for the community. However, being used in a way that can help deceiving, cheating, stalking and invasion of privacy shows that IT is having a bad impact on the community, which on the other hand should have been gaining advantages from the IT used.
2. IBM's Watson
Since the last three years, the masterminds in IBM have been manufacturing and settling a machine that will be able to answer all queries set up by the human minds in relation to the situations faced in their daily lives. Watson is the super computer developed at IBM that will be able to understand the queries put in and it will respond in the simple language comprehensive by a common person. The human beings have only dreamed technologies like this since the invention of the computers where the computers would recognize the simpler language being used by the human beings and without any need of inputting keywords to ask questions, complete queries can be given to the super computers (Bueble, 2009, p. 98). Some of the main challenging tasks that have been given to Watson include making important calculations and interpretations in the insurance sector, treating patients with cancer in the health sector and soon it will be launched with all its efficiencies in the education sector as well. there is no doubt about the fact that the roles being played by the super computers in a number of industries are a dream come true but the main questions that arises here is if Watson has had any positive impacts on the society or is it just the industries or organizations benefitting as a whole?
When healthcare industry is taken into account, it can be seen that three or four major benefits can be enjoyed. These include great reduction in costs as the time given to the patients by the physicians and the doctors is reduced, there will be greater chances that in the presence of Watson, there will be a great reduction in the misconduct suits. Secondly, additional revenues can be generated as the new patients come in as more patients can be dealt with in the presence of expertise being given from Watson and new bonds can be set with the insurance companies. With healthcare expertise being given from a super computer, greater quality of care can be expected with more perfection. The calculations have suggested that only 5% of the total time of the doctors will be used for the patients in the presence of Watson, which will assumingly reduce the costs to more than 10% thereby generating savings of more than U.S. $5 billion (Williams, 2011, p. 56). The advantages are countless but only for the health care industry as a whole. The community is gaining no advantages.
Taking the most important part, the community into account, the question is how many human hands and the new super computer, Watson, is replacing labor. In simple, how many-employed human labor is being pushed into unemployment when more than 90% of the labor has been taken over by Watson. It has been seen that with the rise of super computers, the employment rates have fallen from 7% to below average. The supercomputers like Watson replace millions of human hands at the workplaces thereby the organizations in the wake of cutting costs are made to terminate thousands of employees. Does this seem to leave a positive impact on the community? Technology faces a rise with a great rise in the revenues, but the same technology has been the main reason…[continue]
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