In the Age of the Smart Machine : Future of Work and Power
In 1978 the author set out to research into the effects of the emerging new technology on workers and their workplaces, the results of which are presented in this book. Zuboff interviewed people at every level of a variety of organizations engaged in disparate forms of work. The approach was intended to combine participant observations with semiclinical interviews and small group discussions. The author wanted to understand both the practical problems that have to be confronted in order to manage the new computerized workplace and also the human problems and reactions. He hoped that with such data it would be possible to identify generic patterns of psychological and organizational experience associated with the emerging technological conditions of work. The data presented here reflects not only the emergence of new patterns in the workplace but also the concrete ways in which old patterns and assumptions assert themselves and can dull the impact of change.
- Hardback | 488 pages
- 150 x 230mm | 97g
- 26 Sep 1988
- ELSEVIER SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
- Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd
- Oxford, United Kingdom
- notes, index
Table of contents
Introduction: dilemmmas of transformation in the age of the smart machine. Part 1 Knowledge and computer-mediated work: the labouring body - suffering and skill in production work; the abstraction of industrial work; the white-collar body in history; office technology as exile and integration; mastering the electronic text. Part 2 Authority - the spiritual dimension of power: what was managerial authority?; the dominion of the smart machine; the limits of hierarchy in an informated organization. Part 3 Technique - the material dimension of power: the information panopticon; panoptic power and the social text; managing the informated organization. Appendices: the scope of information technology in the modern workplace; notes on field-research methodology.