This book provides one of the first clear-headed assessments of information technology and organizational transformation. Its virtue is not so much in its recognition of the importance of the subject; speculations on this topic have been rampant for more than a decade. Rather, it is unusual and unusually useful, because it avoids speculation in favor of conceptually coherent accounts grounded in empirical study of actual organizations. The chapters contained in this volume move beyond the superficial glorification of information technology as an extraordinary instrument of social change, and straight to the heart of the mechanisms of change as they play out in everyday organizational life. In the process, they reaffirm that the real story of information technology in organizations is more about people than about technology. Taken together, they provide an important contribution to the intellectual foundations of one of the most interesting developments in decades.
Chapter 3: Texas Politics and the Fax Revolution
Texas Politics and the Fax Revolution
In politics, the timely acquisition and diffusion of information can be a matter of electoral life or death. Since the early 1990s, the spread of modern information technologies has greatly altered the face of politics in Texas. By focusing on the adoption and use of the fax machine, this chapter illustrates how this technology has changed the organizing process and conduct of electoral and legislative politics in Texas.
Faxing is one of many information technologies employed by campaigns and political organizations in the last decade. Others include satellite and cable TV, VCRs, direct mail, telephone banks, cellular telephones, optical scanners, electronic mail, and even pagers. Underlying all these forms of communication is the computer. Contemporary ...