Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology

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Volume 61 Issue 2 (June 1988), Pages 113-194

Information technologies and organizations: Lessons from the 1980s and issues for the 1990s (pages 113-127)

Lessons from the past decade concerning the impact of the new information technologies on organizations are reviewed and an analysis is offered of possible approaches that psychologists interested in new technologies might develop. The paper begins with an assessment of predictions made in the late 1970s that the technologies would lead to job deskilling and increased organizational centralization. Lessons about the effective management of information technologies which emerged in subsequent years are considered, and the achievements of established psychological approaches highlighted. In contrast to the pessimism of early predictions, it is now evident that the technologies may be used in various ways and can have a range of effects on organizations. Nonetheless, recent analysis suggests that, versatile as they are, the new information technologies are not infinitely flexible. Attention is drawn to the limits of choice which appear to be associated with them in practice. It is concluded that, if psychologists are to play an effective part in helping to overcome pressures towards minimalist or conventional applications of the new technologies, present approaches need to be broadened and new intervention strategies developed.

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