The impacts of ICT on work and communities


“[E]ducation, knowledge, information and communication are at the core of human progress, endeavour and wellbeing… Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have an immense impact on virtually all aspects of our lives. The rapid progress of these technologies opens completely new opportunities to attain higher levels of development.”

Declaration of Principles, United Nations World Summit on the Information Society, 2003.


Information and Communication Technology is ever changing and changing the way we run our lives and our businesses; we want new technology to assist us to change for the better. A multidisciplinary team centred at the Waikato Management School has completed a major study analysing the ways that ICT is influencing and will further influence social outcomes.

Their research has covered ICT effects on employment patterns, labour productivity, community cohesion, work practices and quality of work life. They have also looked at the social, cultural and economic advancement of all New Zealanders - particularly specific minority and disadvantaged groups, including Māori, Chinese, Samoan and Somali. Initiatives arising from the e-local government strategy have also been evaluated. More than 1000 volunteer and community groups have been surveyed, as have farmers, health sector workers, online at-home workers, and others.

Most recently the researchers have replicated earlier studies to monitor changes and advancements in ICT that will help identify opportunities that should empower New Zealanders to create wealth from these new technologies as well as enhance our culture and identity.

A team of about 20 has carried out the research - mostly from Waikato, but also from the University of Canterbury and Victoria University of Wellington, led by Professor Ted Zorn from Waikato Management School.

External funding gratefully acknowledged: Foundation for Research, Science and Technology.


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