Information Technology Usage and Its Relationship With Job Characteristics among Administrative Support Personnel in the Malaysian Service Industry
Raja Mustapha, Raja Munirah (2002) Information Technology Usage and Its Relationship With Job Characteristics among Administrative Support Personnel in the Malaysian Service Industry. PhD thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia.
Information technologies have fostered changes in job responsibilities, task content, and human interactions. The changing tools, methods and strategies of businesses compel workers worldwide in all capacities to re-examine and re-evaluate their skills and knowledge. Consequently, this change has also resulted in a need to re-evaluate and redesign office jobs systematically. This study examines the relationship between information technology and the job of the administrative support personnel captured through their use of information processing technologies. An empirical survey involving 506 administrative support personnel from service industries was carried out via a structured mail questionnaire. Results indicated that respondents used elementary to intermediate levels of both technical and non-technical skills with most information technologies. A major conclusion is that administrative support personnel are not assuming greater responsibility for performing high-level tasks, such as managerial tasks, that involved the use of non-text handling technologies. This is contrary to reports and claims made by management that administrative support personnel were operating in an administrative capacity, performing tasks at a managerial level, and assuming greater responsibility. Findings in this study have also indicated that information technology skill levels affect support workers' perception of the job characteristics. However, it was concluded that the more skilled administrative support personnel are in using information technologies, the higher their perceptions of internal work motivation. This study is aimed at providing input in designing and redesigning of office jobs that are both meaningful to the workers as well as the employers and for educators to deliver curricula that are relevant and competitive.Therefore, management must redesign administrative support jobs to take advantage of information technologies to perform higher-levels administrative and managerial tasks so as to enhance workers' job satisfaction levels. More importantly, office management educators must provide students with higher and advanced information technologies knowledge and skills so that they are able to accept new challenges and excel in their profession upon entering the job market.
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