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 4: Computerization Movements: The Rise of the Internet and Distant Forms of Work

Computerization Movements: The Rise of the Internet and Distant Forms of Work

Computerization movements: The rise of the internet and distant forms of work
SuzanneIaconoRobKling

Recent surveys suggest that about 122 million people worldwide and 70 million people in North America currently use the Internet at home, work, school, libraries, or community centers (Nua Ltd. 1998). Since the Internet's inception in 1969 as the ARPANET, its growth has been explosive. When restrictions against commercial use were lifted during the late 1980s, Internet traffic, defined as data flow on the U.S. Internet backbone, doubled in size roughly each year (Guice 1998). Whereas numerous surveys have proliferated a wide range of user estimates and considerable controversy about how exactly to measure use, no one disputes the upward curve and ...

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