.. ne members could type in their ideas, respond to other ideas proposed, and remain uninterrupted in the expression of their opinions. The uninhibited flow of ideas provided for more creative solutions to problems and a faster completion of the objectives as well. In the flow of ideas, I have often had to hold my tongue while others spoke. Likewise, I am sure others have remained silent while I have spoken.
This is terribly inefficient if one thinks about it. The IRL group brainstorming, although it is supposed to be more efficient with the increase input by its members, forces people to not speak their ideas. The ideas can be forgotten and lost in the process. Moreover, it decreases the productivity of the listeners. It can even create hostility within the group.
The forcing of inhibition of ideas causes me to become less receptive to others’ ideas and even hostile towards them because they are an obstacle to my expression. No such problem exists in an online group where ideas flow as freely as a person can type. I find this method to be much more ideal for the creation of ideas as well as creative solutions. A final interesting aspect of the internet in the workplace is the opinions of the minority, as shown in the following passage: On the surface, we might suppose that a person who holds a dissenting opinion from the rest of the [online] workgroup would fee freer to express that opinion in the online setting .. [However,] it appears that dissenters do feel more liberated to express their views online than off but their online remarks have less influence on the rest of the group.
(82) I found this to be interesting because it is something that I would not have predicted. The entire section in the book demonstrates how the online workgroup can aid in the expression of ideas by its members. It would only be logical to believe that the minority would have a louder voice in an online group as well. I suppose, though, that since everyone’s voice gets louder, the minority’s voice should not have a significant change from its IRL group counterpart. Applications in the Philippine Context As a developing nation, the Philippines has little access to the internet compared to other developed nations. Considering that only about 1 in 50 people have telephones, it is no surprise that the internet business application is not as prevalent here as it is in the United States.
However, for the privileged few, online workgroups have the potential to increase the productivity of its workers in several ways. One such benefit is the application of online groups using the group mentality of the Filipinos. As a culture, the Filipinos are very group-oriented. This follows into the workplace. The groups formed in person could easily be translated to the internet workgroups with people around the world.
As adept group workers, although the medium may be new, the concept behind it has been ingrained in Filipinos since they were born. In this way, we have the upper hand in the translation of one attribute to a new medium compared to other isolated cultures. Another benefit of the online workgroup for the Filipinos is the situation of overseas contract workers. As a culture, we readily export our labor to other nations. However, the exported labor is distant from helping our nation (aside from sending foreign currency back). The online workgroup medium allows workers on the other side of the world communicate their ideas back to the Philippines affordably and quickly.
Oil drilling companies in Micronesia can communicate the effective methods of drilling back to the companies here. Nurses can relate the newest methods of healing to hospitals in the provinces. Filipinos in the Philippines can even export their ideas to help companies outside the nation. The possibilities of working in groups over great distances are infinite. The online workgroup can even help our own university. If the students of the Ateneo could work with students from Harvard University, Yale University, and the University of Tokyo, the possibilities would be endless.
The sharing of cultural ideas along with ideas unique to each school’s train of thought would allow provide prestige for each university. Ideas could flow and be applied to the situations of each university. For example, if in Yale they need to study plants indigenous to tropical regions, who better to conduct the study than an Environmental Science student of the Ateneo? And if we all wanted to work on a study of the sun’s behavior at different places around the globe, the internet online group would be the perfect medium to produce a quality piece of research. Once again, the possibilities are infinite! Lastly, the online workgroups could help the Philippines play a larger role in the world community. Right now, the Philippines plays a very limited role in what happens in the world.
Allowing our diplomats and government agencies to work online with other countries’ diplomats and agencies would provide the Philippines a louder voice than right now. The opinions of the Filipinos could be heard throughout the world and allow for a larger influx of ideas into the Philippines. International policies and legislation could be passed with Filipinos having contributed to them. When the book spoke about online group members, it made no limitation as to who the members could be. With this in mind, the members of the online group could easily be entire nations! Conclusion The role of the internet workgroup is very applicable in the workplace today.
It can increase productivity by providing certain attributes absent in an IRL setting. Furthermore, I believe that it can not only help multinational companies, but entire nations. The Philippines, although it is still developing economically, can play a major role in the world community just because the internet provides a more level ground from which everyone can begin. As long as a person has a computer and a telephone line, the world can become one large community to him. This book provides the starting point from which the internet workgroup can become more effective.
The possibilities are only bounded by the limits of the human mind and ingenuity. Bibliography Wallace, Patricia. The Psychology of the Internet.