Orr - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Course Date Significance of Technicians Technicians are one of the most important elements an efficient work practice. A good part of history of technology puts more emphasis on either creators/developers or consumers of that technology that has been created…
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Significance of Technicians Technicians are one of the most important elements an efficient work practice. A good part of history of technology puts more emphasis on either creators/developers or consumers of that technology that has been created. For anyone that has taken time waiting for a hardware repair or the outcome of a medical test, is aware that current technologies also have a third set of technocrats who are technicians. When technologies work seamlessly, those men and women go unnoticed; when systems breakdown we heavily rely on their skills and service. Looking at this arrangement of actors in these systems and focusing on the concept of work, it can be true to draw the conclusion that technicians are responsible for the upkeep of more than just machines. Most technicians work under within complex and well-structured networks of technician. A single machine or workplace relies on the services or expertise of a single technician who will fix all or most of their problems, the tasks dealt with require the smooth running of functional social network for various reasons. To begin with the work of a technician is investigative in nature, from Orr’s book we learn that the highly experienced technicians are able to analyze a problem and are able to correctly identify the problem and solve it in an efficient manner and this ability is true across multiple problems that several organizations may experience. Despite the existence of this highly experienced technician, it is not common practice to find a technician that is skilled in all aspects of an industry for example information technology. Some technicians are more specialized at certain jobs more than others. In today’s modern society technicians have multiple avenues through which to exchange ideas and also present issues that one has not been able to solve. Some of these avenues include social networks, internet forums, coffee shops etc. During these interactions the technicians share a “collective knowledge” during the exchange of ideas and solution to real life problems. From networking of technicians it can be deduced that a single technician has a huge role to play; that one technician is a link between the organization and the network of other technicians, which is a valuable resource. Additionally, some technical components are very expensive and not every technician can have access to these tools. These networks of technicians are able to provide a platform through which these tools are shared. The sharing is not just of tools but also of spare parts that are no readily available in the open market. Orr defines the technicians’ community as an “occupational community”. An individual or team might have a heavy workload, and this is a phenomenon that is not so rare. Technicians are able to rally enough numbers within their established infrastructure to help them do the work within a reasonable time. In most organizations, technical support is being centralized; this is not advisable. These organizations try to maximize the resources available and cutting costs as much as they could. The centralizing process involves reducing staff and also cutting down on budgets of the technical department. This is especially damaging since no technician is perfect in all aspects of their field. Despite how minimal the individual role a technician plays in the organization, his/her input to the overall collective cannot be ignored. Reducing the amount of resources the technical department by cutting down budgets could also compromise how efficient the technical team is. A problem that would take a few minutes to solve would extend to hours: this delay would affect the overall performance and morale of other departments within the organization. Another demerit of centralization of the technical department is the fact that it will limit how diverse the expertise of the technical department will be and this will force the organization to outsource this work to an external firm and this might in some cases increase the operational cost of the firm. The relation between technicians and customers is important. In any organization, the main objective is to keep the customer satisfied. Machines cannot perform the role of a technician. While discussing the jurisdiction of technicians, Orr says that “technicians worry more about the social damage another technician can do in their territory than about what might happen to the machine” (2006). Orr also outlines how the technicians make an effort to relate to customers in a more social. Orr gives multiple situations where technician and customer relationships are fostered and shows the importance of this kind of interaction. The interaction between technicians and machines is significant. The relationship between machines and technicians sophisticated and complex; Orr identifies that machine irritate technicians, especially when the technician identifies a problem and they know the repair done is temporary (35). He demonstrates the complexity of this relationship and shows how the technicians are appreciative to the machines. If the machines don’t fail the technician will be out of a job. In conclusion Technical team will still remain essential to any organization. They cannot have an alternative be it operational manuals. Orr gives a situation where the Xerox Corporation gives its technician machine manuals, but these were only used by beginners or as the last resort. The work done by a technician is mostly by reference and one need hands on experience to do this; there is no alternative for this. Work Cited Julian Edgerton Orr. Talking About Machines: Ethnography of a Modern Job. London: Cambridge University Press, 2006. Print. Read More
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