In Age of Smart Mach

Shoshana Zuboff, Author Basic Books $19.95 (468p) ISBN 978-0-465-03212-9
While recognizing that computer-based information systems threaten to subvert the traditional manager's role, Zuboff, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, asserts that the computer is paving the way for a redistribution of authority in the workplace. As she sees it, computers allow clerical staff to take on more decision-making, help top managers rationalize overall efficiency and give blue-collar workers a deeper understanding of the science that undergirds industrial operations. But this optimistic picture of computerization is far from inevitable, she writes. Her five-year study of eight organizationsa pharmaceutical giant, Global Bank Brazil, a Bell System operating company, pulp and paper mills, a dental-claims outfit among themreveals that human resistance to computers can undermine the new technology at every level. Geared to managers and information-systems experts, her findings, though ponderously written, will be a value to those who want to get the most knowledge and power from computerization. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
Paperback - 468 pages - 978-0-465-03211-2
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