Location Value

Location Value

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0240-3.ch007
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Abstract

Understanding that location value is a critical factor to organizations with regards to people and technology is what this chapter strives to achieve. Location value can be synonymous with power. It can represent power of position, power to generate revenue, power to leverage resources, and power to serve as a catalyst for change. As with any source of power, it has the ability to provide an asset or to be a liability. The location value of people and technology in the workplace can serve as asset or liability depending upon placement. Maidique and Hayes (1984) also noted that “organizational agility seems to be associated with organizational flexibility–frequent realignments of people and responsibilities as the firm attempts to maintain its balance on shifting competitive sands” (p.21). Making the necessary realignments of people requires knowledge of their location value within the organization. This chapter addresses examples of technology location value, which includes capital expense, engineering expertise, and infrastructure changes against people location value, which includes cohesiveness in assigned environment, organizational culture, and career development. The author suggests that there seems to be reluctance on part of the organizations to fully commit the same resources for people location value as they do for technology location value.
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Introduction

Location, location, location is the mantra often heard from real estate executives. It is understood from the real estate market that location adds value to a commodity or entity (Figueroa, 1999; Gallimore, Fletcher, & Carter, 1996; Thériault, Des Rosiers, Villeneuve, & Kestens, 2003). Sometimes location value is inherent and obvious. At other times it must be created and marketed for premium effect. Location is just as important to organizations’ competitive advantage. Leaders spend inordinate amounts of time and resources locating the perfect placement for technology within and outside the organization. Information technology companies compete aggressively for the location to place communication towers. Location of the towers to transmit signals is critical to maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty in their cellular phone businesses. AT&T, Verizon and Sprint understand the value of technology location outside the organization. They also invest in technology location inside the organization as they seek to house servers in buildings that are conducive to their remaining operational at all times. The country of Japan and subsequently all countries that have nuclear facilities are evaluating the feasibility of placing nuclear reactors in earth quake zones since the 2011 earth quake and tsunami disaster. Do these and all other organizations understand the location value of people inside and outside the organization?

Maidique and Hayes (1984) noted that:

“Even a superficial analysis of the most successful high-technology firms leads one to conclude that they are highly focused. With few exceptions, the leaders in high-technology fields, such as computers, aerospace, semiconductors, biotechnology, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, electronic instruments, and duplicating machines, realize the great bulk of their sales either from a single product line or from a closely related set of product lines.” (p. 19)

Knowing the focus is equivalent to understanding the location value of the business and the technology’s purpose. Most organizations do their best not to diversify away from their strengths. Yet, they may not know the location value of their people and may routinely ask them to diversify away from their strength; leading to reduced effectiveness.

Understanding that location value is a critical factor to organizations with regards to people and technology is what this chapter strives to achieve. Location value can be synonymous with power. It can represent power of position, power to generate revenue, power to leverage resources, and power to serve as a catalyst for change. As with any source of power, it has the ability to provide an asset or to be a liability. The location value of people and technology in the workplace can serve as asset or liability depending upon placement. Maidique and Hayes (1984) also noted that “organizational agility seems to be associated with organizational flexibility – frequent realignments of people and responsibilities as the firm attempts to maintain its balance on shifting competitive sands” (p.21). Making the necessary realignments of people requires knowledge of their location value within the organization.

This chapter addresses examples of technology location value which includes capital expense, engineering expertise, and infrastructure changes against people location value which includes cohesiveness in assigned environment, organizational culture, and career development. The author suggests that there seems to be reluctance on part of the organizations to fully commit the same resources for people location value as they do for technology location value.

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