Does technology increase or decrease empowerment?
Recent technological innovation has had an enormous impact on both political and organizational processes. The introduction of web technology, mobile phones, email and social media has changed the way people work as well as how they participate in the civils society. In politics, platforms like Rousseau, the possibility of real-time polling as well as the personalization of political representation through social media has given citizens the possibility of a more direct influence on political decision making. In organizations, emails, websites and telecommunications have increased the speed of information exchange as well as facilitated cooperation across borders and time zones.
Currently, both governments and organizations have been relying heavily on technology to supress the pandemic and manage its consequences: apps with geolocalization to trace infections and contacts, drones to control lockdowns, videoconferencing and the cloud to facilitate home working. Technological innovation is being stimulated to help the world mitigate the negative effects of the pandemic.
But what will happen after the pandemic? Will citizens have more influence on the political decision making process thanks to technology? Or will governments disempower citizens and use technology to keep them under control? In organizations, will employees be more empowered to decide when, how and where to do their job? Or will the phones and emails that already can reach anyone anytime anywhere result in more control by their hierarchy?