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 8: Information Technology in the Police Context: The “Sailor” Phone
Information Technology in the Police Context: The “Sailor” Phone
While the media celebrate the growing impact of personal computing, the Internet, and the “information highway,” much modern work is still done without electronic assistance. The core technology of policing, for example, remains people talking to people, officers trying to persuade people by various interactional strategies to comply with requests, threats, and commands (Bittner 1990; Reiss 1992). However, even policing has been affected and shaped by the introduction of new information processing technologies (Manning 1992a, 1992b; Reiss 1992). One of these new tools is the mobile cellular telephone (or, as some police officers call it, the “sailor” phone1).
This chapter examines the use of the cellular phone (CP) ...