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Calvin H. P. Pava
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The new electronic office technology has been much praised for the increased speed, precision, and memory capacities it offers office management. But do these improvements mean increased productivity? Not by themselves, says Calvin Pava. Equally important to the high performance of office work will be its organization -- not only of clerical support personnel and equipment, but of management and staff professionals.
This book is the first to define the organizational challenge posed to management by new office technology. Calvin Pava breaks the myth that these are simple issues for technical solution alone. Based on research conducted at the Harvard Business School, "Managing New Office Technology" takes a method of organization design with a proven track record in industrial settings, and shows how this organizational self-analysis and self-directed change can be applied successfully to offices. Using "sociotechnical design" -- a method that takes into account both the technology and structure of work -- Pava shows how changes in an office's organization can lead to more satisfying and productive results. The goal -- and the proven achievement -- of "sociotechnical design" is to organize people, work, and their tools so their efforts are efficiently complementary.
At the core of "Managing New Office Technology" are three detailed case studies that show the principles of "sociotechnical design" at work. These examples of the planning, designing, and implementing of organizational change in an order processing customer service department, a computer systemsfirm, and a payroll department, show step by step how to apply the procedure across a broad range of different activities.
Unlike other books on the subject, which deal principally with clerical work and show little interest in bridging the gap between theory and application, "Managing New Office Technology" extends to address "the work of management and staff professionals," and shows "how reorganizing is done." Moreover, recognizing that outside interests have a stake in the effects of technological development in offices, Pava provides a framework for addressing the concerns of such groups as displaced professionals, minorities, middle managers, clerical support staff, old workers, young workers, and organized labor. A glossary of terms and an afterword by Eric Trist, originator of the sociotechnical approach, round out this long-awaited work.
For managers concerned about astute deployment of new office technology and for those who are also anxious about the larger implications for society of the growth of automation in offices, Calvin Pava's "Managing New Office Technology" will be required reading.
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