It’s been a fantastic internship—you’ve learned quite a lot about the application of information technologies in a small enterprise, and you’ve become somewhat of an expert on the restaurant business. Many of your IT recommendations are being considered by the owners, and you are anticipating a systems-related job offer from them after you graduate. As you consider the changes you have recommended and how the new systems would make The Wireless Café more efficient and effective, you also pause to think about some of the social consequences of these changes.
1. Many people in the hospitality industry are peopleoriented, and they enjoy the person-to-person interaction and helping people to enjoy themselves. Many of the recommended systems, such as the SCM, CRM, decision support, and intelligent applications you have recommended appear to dehumanize tasks. What are some of the social consequences of these changes, and how should Jeremy and Barabara address them with their employees?
2. What social opportunities do the new information systems at The Wireless Café present to management to contribute to their community? For example, can employment opportunities be expanded to people with disabilities who wouldn’t otherwise be successful there? Can The Wireless Café provide Web site information and activities that would benefit community members on the “other side” of the digital divide? Propose some ways that you, as a member of a local civic organization, could leverage The Wireless Café’s new technologies for the benefit of the community.
3. Discuss the expectations regarding responsibility, accountability, and liability for information by the waitstaff, the head cook, and the owners. Responsibility means that you accept the potential costs, duties, and obligations for the decisions you make. Accountability is a feature of systems and social institutions that allows the determination of who is responsible. Liability is a feature of political systems that permits individuals to recover damages done to them by responsible individuals or organizations.