The Management of New Office Technology: Choice, Control and Social Structure in the Insurance Industry

Storey, John (1987). The Management of New Office Technology: Choice, Control and Social Structure in the Insurance Industry. Journal of Management Studies, 24(1) pp. 43–62.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6486.1987.tb00446.x

Abstract

Amongst the growing literature on the technical and social aspects of microelectronics in work organizations, a considerable portion has direct or indirect pertinence to the question of managerial practice. That segment of the literature relating to new office technology is perhaps especially conscious of this angle — not least because this sphere of innovation has a clear bearing on the managerial role itself.

Drawing both on theoretical issues extracted from this literature, and on empirical studies in three insurance companies, it is argued that while control is of crucial long-term importance in shaping the general direction of organizational change using new technology, there are sound sociological reasons why the path which is beaten out in that direction remains a far from straight one. Moreover, while differences in organizational practice between these organizations are found to exist, these appear to be associated only indirectly with the diverse levels of technological sophistication.

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