Automation and alienation: a study of office and factory workers
This study explores the following question: Does a worker's relationship to technology and degree of job specialization influence in a predictable way his integration into or alienation from work? The book shows that the degree of differentiation in the division of labor is related to technology in a similar manner in both the office and factory and that automated technology reduces the levels of alienation among both office employees and factory workers. The author samples three man-machine relationships in the office and factory: (1) workers in non-mechanized production systems; (2) machine operators in mechanized production systems; and (3) operators or monitors in automated production systems. In addition to separate chapters on office and factory workers, one chapter compares degrees and types of alienation among office employees as compared to factory workers.
This book is one of the last in a series of research studies on the impact of computers completed by the Industrial Relations Section of the Alfred P. Sloan School of Management at M.I.T. In a foreword to the book, Charles A. Myers notes that "this important study puts to rest extreme fears about the alienation of workers as a consequence of automation. Professor Shepard's study provides new insights about the impact of advanced mechanization and automation in offices, which computers and allied information technology are invading at a rapid rate...As a sociologist among economists, [he] has brought fresh perspective to this series of research reports."
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Dimensions of Alienation and Research Methods
The Changing Nature of Office Work
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alienation dimension attitudes auto automated technology Automation in Offices automobile blue-collar workers Bureau of Labor clerical employees clerical workers computer operators computer software personnel computer system computerization continuous-process control room Correlations division of labor electronic data processing Enid Mumford factory and office factory workers Faunce freedom and control functional specialization Harvard Business Review Instrumental Work Orientation job enlargement job specialization large insurance company less alienated levels of alienation machine relationship machine-operating jobs males and females Mechanisation and Automation mechanized jobs ment monitors nonmechanized clerical nonmechanized jobs occupational office and factory Office Automation office employees office machine operators office workers oil refinery percent perform phases Powerlessness scale production system programmers and systems punched-card puter relationships to technology Review scale median Self-Evaluative Involvement Seymour Martin Lipset significantly skilled small insurance companies Social status recognition systems analysts tasks tion Total Sample U.S. Department U.S. Government Printing white-collar workers
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Computer-supported Cooperative Work: A Book of Readings
No preview available - 1988