Premium Essay

Impact of Information Technology

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By
Words 4898
Pages 20


James C. Emery, Assistant Professor


November 1964



Paper to be delivered at the 24th Annual Meeting, Academy of Management Chicago, December 29, 1964



Introduction A discussion of the impact of information technology on organization is largely a matter of speculation, since we are just now beginning to per-

ceive its effects.

Speculation, though often interesting and occasionally

useful, presents some obvious hazards.
One hazard, of course, is that predictions may prove wrong. This is

not as great a danger as one might suppose, however, since the dramatic

developments in the field of information technology make it likely that any prediction, if it is sufficiently imaginative and glamorous, will eventually prove correct.
In any event, suitable hedging can minimize the probability

of error, and faulty memories will reduce the penalty of an error if the

prognosticator is indiscrete enough to make it obvious.

A more serious and immediate pitfall trite and commonplace.


that the speculation may be

This hazard is particularly treacherous when dis-

cussing information technology and organization, since we already have been

presented with such a rich abundance of speculation on the subject.


do not

claim that


have avoided this hazard altogether, but


have tried to reduce

the risk by confining my discussion to some of the less explored issues in-



Among the earliest and most perceptive, and Whisler (1958)


think, is the work of Leavitt






view the topic, information technology will affect organizational

structure primarily through the improvements it brings in the planning process,...

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