PEOPLE AND TECHNOLOGY IN THE WORKPLACE

NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING

Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1991



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People and Technology in the Workplace PEOPLE AND TECHNOLOGY IN THE WORKPLACE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1991

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People and Technology in the Workplace NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievement of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Commission of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education is a unit of the National Research Council. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with the general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. The study summarized in this report was supported with funds from the National Academy of Engineering Technology Agenda Program. Cover: Charlie Chaplin (TM) confronts workplace technology in the film Modern Times. © Copyright Bubbles Inc. S.A. 1991 Represented by Bliss House, Inc., Springfield, MA 01103 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data People and technology in the workplace/ National Academy of Engineering [and] Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Research Council. p. cm. Proceedings of a symposium organized by the National Academy of Engineering and the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Research Council. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-309-04583-5 1. Technological innovations—Economic aspects—United States— Congresses. 2. Employees—United States—Effect of technological innovations on—Congresses. 3. United States—Manufactures— Technological innovations—Case studies—Congresses. 4. Medical technology—United States—Case studies—Congresses. 5. Office practice—Automation—Case studies—Congresses. I. National Academy of Engineering. II. National Research Council (U.S.). Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. HC110.T4P46 1991 338'.064'0973—dc20 91-29624 CIP Printed in the United States of America

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People and Technology in the Workplace SYMPOSIUM PLANNING COMMITTEE GERALD NADLER (Cochair), IBM Professor of Engineering Management, Professor and Chairman, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Southern California EDWARD O. LAUMANN (Cochair), Dean of Social Sciences, University of Chicago ROBERT M. ANDERSON, JR., Manager, Technical Education Operation, General Electric Company ALDEN S. BEAN, Center for Innovation, Management Studies, Lehigh University HARVEY BROOKS, Professor of Technology and Public Policy, Emeritus, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University ROBERT L. KAHN, Research Scientist, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan SARA B. KIESLER, Professor of Social Sciences and Social Psychology, Department of Social and Decision Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University W. RICHARD SCOTT, Professor of Sociology, Stanford University

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People and Technology in the Workplace Preface The competitive position of U.S. manufacturing and service industries in world markets has been of growing concern to managers, scholars, and policymakers since the 1970s. As has always been true when greater efficiency and higher productivity are desired, managers have turned to new, sophisticated workplace technologies. New technologies, however, have not proved to be a panacea for all the problems of productivity. In a series of reports and symposia, the National Academy of Engineering has explored several facets of the problem of productivity and technology. Such experience has led to increasing awareness among managers and researchers that solutions to fading competitive ability cannot be found in a mythical black box of technology. In fact, any important technology has profound human consequences, both positive and negative, which often remain unplanned or unanticipated. Consequently, it is often the organizational and human factors that either facilitate or constrain the ability of firms and workers to adopt and implement new technologies. We concluded that there was a need to review what is known about the relationship between human resources, organizational decision making, and the characteristics of new workplace technologies to understand what improvements are possible in how those technologies are adopted and how leaders are trained to manage the process. To address these issues, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the National Research Council Commission on Behav-

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People and Technology in the Workplace ioral and Social Sciences and Education (CBASSE) jointly convened an advisory committee with representatives from industry and academia. Through a series of very stimulating and challenging meetings, they planned the symposium "Designing for Technological Change: People in the Proscess," held on March 13 and 14, 1989. The symposium brought practitioners such as plant managers, hospital administrators, engineers, computer analysts, human resource specialists, and union leaders together with social and behavioral scientists from sociology, psychology, economics, organizational behavior, and industrial engineering. Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School Professor, as well as author and consultant, opened the symposium by presenting a model of successful technology adoption characterized by "four Fs: focused, fast, flexible, and friendly." The participants then examined relationships between human resources, workplace organizations, and new technologies by using case studies of technological change from diverse environments. Concurrent sessions of case presentations relied on the experience of practitioners and on social science analysis from respondents. Summary discussion sessions at the end of both days drew on the diverse expertise of the participants, further exploring the cases and related social science research and addressing more fully their implications for technological and organizational strategies. The symposium produced a rich set of case studies, which form the core of this volume, illustrating the successful implementation of new technologies, as well as the problems that were overcome, in three areas: manufacturing facilities, medical settings, and offices. In addition, Andrew Van de Ven from the University of Minnesota, Paul Adler from Stanford University, and Tora Bikson and J. D. Eveland at the RAND Corporation, summarized the available research on technological change for each area, thus providing a broader context for the individual case studies. Kanter's piece expands the discussion beyond microlevel project changes to larger questions of organizational structures and interorganizational cooperation. From all of this diverse material, the symposium chairs Gerald Nadler, University of Southern California, and Edward Laumann, University of Chicago, and staff associate Brigid O'Farrell prepared an overview, summarizing information for managers who are considering adopting new workplace technologies and for researchers trying to bridge the gaps in conceptual and practical knowledge. This symposium and this volume are important also because they extend NAE's efforts to collaborate with other groups concerned with different aspects of technological change. This

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People and Technology in the Workplace effort is the first joint activity undertaken by NAE and CBASSE, and it could not have been completed without such collaboration and I would like especially to thank Suzanne Woolsey and Robert Caplan, current and former executive directors of CBASSE, for their interest and commitment to this project. Many people contributed to the success of this symposium and to the publication of this volume. Special thanks are due to cochairs Edward Laumann and Gerald Nadler and the other members of the symposium committee (listed on page iii). In addition there are a number of staff members and fellows who have worked to make this project a success. In particular, I would like to thank Brett Hammond, Janet Muroyama, Michele Rivard, Anastasios Sioukas, Carey Gellman, Jay Ball, and Bette Janson, who all made valuable contributions in different phases of planning the symposium or moving the publication forward. Dale Langford and Bruce Guile have been involved with the project all along, and Brigid O'Farrell provided the insight and energy to bring the manuscript to completion. ROBERT M. WHITE, President National Academy of Engineering

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People and Technology in the Workplace Contents     Designing for Technological Change: People in the Process Edward O. Laumann, Gerald Nadler, and Brigid O'Farrell   1     Improving the Development, Acceptance, and Use of New Technology: Organizational and Interorganizational Challenges Rosabeth Moss Kanter   15 1   AUTOMATED MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGIES         Capitalizing on New Manufacturing Technologies: Current Problems and Emergent Trends in U.S. Industry Paul S. Adler   59     Design and Implementation of a Process for a Large-Scale System Change at Boeing Bruce Gissing   89     A Case History of Organizational Change: People and New Technology James R. Hettenhaus   102     Achieving Excellence Through People, Technology, and Teamwork Joseph C. High   119

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People and Technology in the Workplace 2   MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES         The Process of Adopting Innovations in Organizations: Three Cases of Hospital Innovations Andrew H. Van de Ven   133     Managing the Ambulatory Care Unit H. Robert Cathcart   159     Technology and Intervention in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit John M. Driscoll, Jr. and Charles J. H. Stolar   171     Operations Research in Nurse Scheduling Thomas Choi, Helen Jameson, and Milo L. Brekke   189 3   OFFICE AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES         Integrating New Tools into Information Work: Technology Transfer as a Framework for Understanding Success T. K. Bikson and J. D. Eveland   229     The Forest Service Information System Charles R. Hartgraves   253     Introducing a Computer-Based Human Resource System into the United Way Robert J. Krasman   272     Telecommunication in the News Industry: The Newsroom Before and After Computers Wilson R. Locke   279     A Business Approach to Technology: Shearson Lehman Commercial Paper Inc. Signe A. von Verdo (Weber)   296     Contributors   309     Index   315

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People and Technology in the Workplace PEOPLE AND TECHNOLOGY IN THE WORKPLACE

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