Discussion Papers

Klaus Lange

Gestaltungsfelder beim Mobilfunk in der Arbeitswelt
Nr. 108 / Mai 1993


For decades, mobile radio technology has already been in use in the world of work as an efficient - and now often indispensible - means of coordination. Considerable acceptance problems have not been recorded.

In the beginning discussion about the consequences of the increased use of new mobile radio technologies in the world of work, frequently speculations occur concerning indirect consequences on working processes and company structures without considering firmly those on intra-company communication processes.

This study deals with the question: How and to what extent are communication processes influenced by the transition from traditional private mobile radio to modern trunked mobile radio and mobile data communications. Four examples out of the traditional application domain of mobile radio technologies - the field of transportation and security - demonstrate how new features of mobile radio technologies rationalize intra-company communication and how potential acceptance problems could be solved at the same time.

A variety of design options and -problems which arise with the development and the use of new mobile radio technologies have to be taken into account in order to guarantee a social compatibility of the measure. It has to be prevented that the almost total accessibility achieved by modern mobile radio technology, has an unfavourable effect on employees. Stored communication connection data should not be used for performance control. The same is true for location data. Furthermore, the possibility of speech communication - if technically possible - should be maintained. Some further chances of unobserved private communication should be offered to increase the acceptance of mobile radio technologies. Unnecessary communication hierarchies should not be implemented; all mobile employees should have the possibility to initiate communication.

For a social compatible design and introduction of mobile radio technologies, it would be advantageous to include employees that is representatives of the employees in the implementation processes - at least in all cases in which computer supported mobile radio technologies are implemented in order to prevent problems of data protection.

If these proposals are taken into account, the implementation of modern mobile radio technologies will lead to the intended rationalization advantages on the one hand and will increase communication relationships in favour of the working quality of the employees on the other hand.

Only German language version available.

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