Consumers’ strategic alliances
A mass production, mass consumption culture, however, could not have developed without the development of mass communications. Radio, television, newspapers and magazines, and advertising brought information, news, and entertainment and cultural content to an information-starved society, but all played fundamental roles in creating a mass consumption and mass production society. One of their most significant effects was through advertising. In the book Communications in History, William Leiss, Stephen Kline, and Sut Jhally wrote, The developed phase of the market industrial society is the consumer society.
. . . What marketers had realized was that, with the population as a whole having far greater discretionary income, leisure time, and employment security than ever before, work was no longer the focus of everyday life. The sphere of consumption could take its place. By linking consumption through electronic media to popular entertainment and sports, marketers and advertisers eventually fashioned a richly decorated setting for an elaborate play of messages, increasingly in imagistic or iconic form, about the way to happiness and social success.
(William Leiss, Stephen Kline, and Sut Jhally, p. 176). To keep their factories operating at maximum capacity and efficiency, in effect, to “move the goods” cascading off their assembly lines, business had
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According to Daniel Pope, as early as 1920, “the lead in advertising had passed to manufacturers of nationally distributed brand-named goods. . . . it was in the formation of the national consumer market that the advertising industry as we know it these days was born and nurtured” (Daniel Pope, 1983). Companies are not the only ones who have gained from advances in modern information technology. Consumers and interest groups have created strategic alliances and now capable to coordinate their activities as well as exchange ideas and thoughts through a number of database and network systems. For instance, owners of personal computers can subscribe to a computer network and without difficulty retrieve information on the products and corporations on line.
Such information can also without problems be transmitted to other users. This huge use of technology by both consumers and companies affects, but the way business is run today. These consumer strategic alliances know no geographical limitations; oftentimes, they are global in nature, particularly among the industrialized nations. As companies can get in enormous profits from the better coordination, greater product elasticity, improved quality, leaner production, and more time-based competitiveness that information technology offers, they also facades the threat that can come from these consumers’ strategic alliances.
For instance, corporations can no longer ignore consumer demands for constant product quality, reliability and respect for the environment, or timely delivery of services. As we move toward more and more advanced technologies, the labor force must be retrained. This training must not only expose workers to the technical matters adjoining the new process but also to the new focus of the organization. They have to be made responsive of the importance of advanced technology in improving work methods and in remaining competitive.
Employee compulsion to the new process is imperative. Advanced technology by itself adds little or no value to an organization. There should be organizational as well as employee dedication to exploit the technology to the maximum. For instance, with ever-increasing use of computer-integrated manufacturing systems, and the stream of technical documentation that accompanies it, employees have to be skilled of recognizing the critical information at the right time.
Once that information is recognized and properly interpreted, there must be an organizational dedication to use the information to make better decisions. Without this potential, the organization cannot take advantage from new technologies. Human resources’ management, therefore, will persist to be a critical factor in the survival of any organization. We sum up the influence of information technology on human resources as follows: