In the Age of the Smart Machine: The Future of Work and Power

ISBN 10: 0465032125 / ISBN 13: 9780465032129
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Synopsis: A noted Harvard social scientist documents the pitfalls and promises of computerized technology in business life.

From Library Journal: Drawing on in-depth interviews with workers and managers in various industries, these two authors illustrate the impact automation will have on those using computers in the work place. Each expresses deep concern about how the ability to monitor employees electronically may be abused. The similarity ends here. Garson (a playwright) shows concern about the dehumanizing effect of computer instruction. She cites examples of how computer monitoring is being abused, and finds little that will change the direction computer use is taking in creating an electronic sweatshop. Zuboff (Harvard) sees this development as a turning point in history. We can either use computers to dehumanize the work place and take from people the gratification they get from work (Garson's feeling), or we can "informate" workers (Zuboff's term), i.e. give them the knowledge to make human judgments that can enhance productivity. Zuboff believes computers can be used humanely to create better jobs, but she also recognizes the risks. The Electronic Sweatshop is a popularly written view of the negative aspects of computers in the work place. In the Age of the Smart Machine is a scholarly look at the impact, positive and negative, of computers in organizations. Both deal with a growing concern of management and labor. If only one can be purchased, Zuboff's is the better choice. Michael D. Kathman, St. John's Univ. Lib., Collegeville, Minn.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Title: In the Age of the Smart Machine: The Future ...
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