Contemporary, organizations and business enterprises particularly the manufacturing and construction businesses are experiencing numerous challenges associated with labor shortages, reduced productivity, inferior working conditions and reduced occupational safety. These increasing challenges have opened up the potentiality of a business’s revolution. A primary prospective solution that companies have adopted is the incorporation of innovative technologies within their working places. These innovative technologies include the use of robots and automation of various organization processes that were previously executed by humans.
Numerous scholars have argued that the use of innovative technologies is one way of increasing output quality, safety, and productivity within the workplaces. For instance, in the construction industry case scenario, the construction environment can be kept safer with the mechanization of the particular process. Subsequently, mechanized operations become more efficient to execute, increases the outcome’s consistency and increase control over the process of production. However, mechanization critics have argued that the use of robots and technological types of machinery within the organizations could potentially create unemployment, which has numerous side effects. The research purpose of this literature review is to explain and ascertain the impacts associated with the automation of workplaces processes in the future, the results reviewed are both positive and adverse.
The Impacts Of Robotics Use On Businesses
Today, some countries are already within the fourth industrial revolution such as China and the USA. However, some countries, particularly the third world countries of Africa are still struggling with technological adoption mainly due to the tremendous challenging experiences associated with technology. Still, the states already in the fourth industrial revolution are also facing critical challenges such as the often-changing preferences of customers as well as increased competitions from new business ventures. It is imperative for traditional companies to realize that their competitive advantage locus is mainly founded on the customer’s needs who are now demanding that the services offered should be brought closer to where they are without moving to the physical location of the business premises. This paper assesses whether automation and mechanization of business processes is the only way to provide customers services closer to their reach. Also, the paper evaluates the challenges faced by consumers and businesses as well in their pursuit to adopt technological innovations.
Information on mechanization, the use of robots and automation of the workplace process is gathered through a review of both industrial kinds of literature, academic literature and online research in this particular field. The review encompasses all the contemporary technologies and others that are still under examination. The objective of this review of literature is to authenticate the depth and extent of existing knowledge on automation, mechanization and the use of robots in different workplace environments. In this particular literature review, the paper has also focused on the financial service institutions as an industrial case study. Lastly, the literature review offers the general automation frameworks application within the workplaces.
For the readers to gain a comprehensive understanding of the robotic and automation concepts within the workplaces, it is imperative to find an acceptable and concise description of the terms used in the text. The first term that has been dramatically used is mechanization. According to Regan, Green and Maher (2015), industrialization within this context refers to the process of making unspontaneous or automatic. On the other hand, the word automation according to Loebbecke and Picot (2015) relates to the use and application of systems and types of machinery particularly for data processing and manufacturing purposes.
History and Timelines of Automation
Traditionally, the majority of the organizations and firms used to rely mainly on letters and emails for purposes of receiving and delivering information from business associates or the respective organizational branches (Schwah. 2017). During this time, the trend was appropriate and effective; however, due to the technologically changing environment, the organizations discovered that the traditional communication methods were not the best because compared to the newly advanced communication methods, and they were not only slow but also slogged down business growth. In this regard, some of the firms opted to increase their budget within the communication department and to cut the expenditures on another organizational department that were considered less important (Herbwet, Dhayalens and Scot, 2016). Computers were introduced during the third industrial revolution. Since then, the world has experienced tremendous changes the computational powers and technological progress. SAUPPE AND Mutlu (2015) Explains that new businesses, the use of robotics and automation of workplaces processes are the three significant tools on which the fourth industrial revolution is based. As a result, both businesses and individuals have been forced to rethink and establish new methods through which technology can be utilized. As Gress and Kalafsky (2015) argues, it is true that today, there are various circumstances where machines and humans interact in a seemingly progressive form. For example, a human-robot experience where either the human or the robot is ramping up while the human is ramping down (Svendson et al., 2018). The last ten years have experienced increasingly technological advancements including the use of cognitive robotics in hospitals and healthcare facilities for disease diagnosis (Kearney, Hershbern and Boddy, 2015). In other scenarios, robots have been used as babysitters or working in the elder’s care facilities, robot bank tellers, autonomous cars and robotic security guards.
Adoption of Technology within the Financial Services
As an industrial enterprise, automation and the use of technological innovativeness in the financial services has attracted much attention from different scholars in literature. The main focus of technological adoption in the financial institutions in the last five years has been the incorporation of Self—Service Technologies (SSTs) especially the use of mobile banking and the internet. However, the use of cognitive robotics on a personal best knowledge is yet to receive the needed academic review, particularly on the last five years. In this regard, this literature review will mainly focus more attention on what various researchers have compiled relating to Self-service Technologies in the banking sector. Simset et al. (2016) in an attempt to define SSTs argues that they are technologies that organizations mainly the financial service organizations provide with a specific purpose of enabling their service consumers to engage the business in self-service comportment. Goudey and Bonnin (2016) Studies the adoption and use of SSTs qualitatively. They found out that one of the most significant aspect SSTs is the perceived value. (Dirican, 2015) Pointed out that perceived value in SSTs resulted to an increased effort by consumers in using the services. Also, Lindblom and Alen-Jung, (2015) highlights that the potentiality of selecting from numerous options is also an important aspect with SSTs use mainly because of the perceived value described by Lindblom and Alen-Jung, (2015) results to increased flexibility while using the system. Typical examples of SSTs in the baking industry includes the use of ATM cards, Internet banking, and mobile banking. The purpose of cognitive robots as Akter and Wamba (2016) argues an almost similar role as SSTs, particularly in the sense that customers may interact the financial enterprises at their own convenience time without necessarily the need to physically communicate with the financial institution employees. Akter and Wamba (2016) Assessed the literature on the adoption and incorporation of the Internet and mobile banking within the financial institutions. The results showed that perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, compatibility, credulity, and trust were principal drivers of adoption. These qualities were found to be prevailing and significant in 55 out of 84 studies (Chen and Zhang, 2014). Another integrative literature review conducted by Kim, Trimi and Chung (2014) on the adoption of Interment banking, in particular, revealed that numerous psychological theories are used in explaining the factors influencing the adoption of internet banking. These theories include the Theory of Reason Action by and the Theory of Planned Behaviour (Kim, Trimi and Chung, 2014). In general, the approval of mobile SSTs within the banking sector is based on performance expectancy, habit, and hedonic motivation. However, the literature on technological adoption within the banking sector has been criticized for its limited contribution, therefore, impacting less progress (Walker, 2014). Additionally, Schoenher and Spever-pro (2018) suggests that the use and adoption of more and significantly fundamental variables would offer additional discernments on the existing literature. In this regard, I suggest that future research literature should go beyond the traditional technological constructs established on psychological backgrounds.
Efficacies of Automating Business Processes
A research study conducted by Walker (2014) on the perceptions of customers on the utilization of SSTs concluded that SSTs particularly the banking teller machines are a convenient method of electronic banking. The research was conducted on 220 respondents sourced from the banking industry of India. The purpose of the study was to assess the critical factors determining the quality of automated services. The research’s results indicated that there was an increasing number of banks using technological innovativeness in the delivery of quality services to the customers. Dirican (2015) Also researched to evaluate numerous ways in which organizations could improve the workplace processes and subsequently augment workplace efficiency. The study estimates diverse ways through which businesses can automate workplace processes to reduce expenditure, increase profitability while reducing the labor intensity. The study indicated that through the use of technological software, companies could potentially improve efficiencies within their workplaces which would consecutively enhance the organization’s outcomes and profitability (Gandomi and Haider, 2015). A different study by Battiston et al. (2016) that evaluated the use of technological software on the back office and the administrative process indicated that organizational processes within the organizations were geared and improved by automation. Walker (2014) Argues that the back office is the backbone to all the business process. In this regard, it is advisable to automate the back office because this is the department that enhances efficiency and control in the organization. However, as Akter and Wamba (2016) argues, for technological improvements to be fruitful, a smooth transition from the traditional communication methods to the modern communication processes is required.
Challenges and Limitations of Automation
To acquire a critical comprehension of the technological implementation processes within the workplaces, it is not only significant to recognize the industrial willingness to be innovative, but also it is vital if the industries understand and appreciate the barriers towards the accomplishment and incorporation of technologies. As Dirican (2015) argues, the transportation and manufacturing industries have been perceived as the most innovative fields closely followed by the manufacturing and construction fields. However, one potential barrier that is common within all these fields is that some of the industries mainly the construction industry has dramatically resisted the adoption and incorporation of new technologies. Simset et al. (2016) Attributes the slow adoption of technology within some of the industrial sectors such as the construction industry to the industrial fragmentation that makes it more difficult for a single company to invest and incorporate technologies that would increase efficiency within the company. Moreover, as Goudey and Bonnin (2016) argues, industries are unique and diverse. As such, each sector has to cope with circumstances that are unique from the others. Also, there are extensively high investments required in incorporating the technologies for use within the organizations. The high cost is a barrier because substantial financial commitment is demanded in the implementation and actualization of technological innovations. The last challenge proposed by Loebbeck and Picot (2015) is the human factor and cultural problem. According to Schwat (2017), each country has unique organizational cultures that execute critical roles as barriers to technological implementation. These barriers include institutional barriers as well as workers union that are against incorporation of these technologies because they are perceived as threats to the human factor within the organizations and technologies would replace their role resulting to unemployment.
Based on the literature review findings, there is clear and convincing evidence of the implementation of mechanization and the use of robotics in the general industrial sector is majorly influenced by the company’s attributes and characteristics. The research has also discussed the barriers and available opportunities for the implementation of automation processes within the organizations. The research review dramatically contributes to the enhancing of the already existing knowledge on the increasing adoption of robotics within the workplaces. The research has also offered diverse perspectives related to technological advancements in the banking sector; this has established the groundwork required to further the research in depth.
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