introducing new technology: does uncertainty undermine managerial control strategies?

Aichholzer, Georg and Flecker, Jörg and Schienstock, Gerd (April 1988) introducing new technology: does uncertainty undermine managerial control strategies? Forschungsberichte / Research Memoranda 246

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abstract: this contribution attempts to make productive use of the concept of uncertainty for an analysis of management practice and the role of employees in processes of restructuring at establishment level. we assume that changes like the introduction of new technologies and associated measures of reorganization are a process characterized by a high amount of uncertainty. this can be particularly asserted for current efforts to integrate the various subsystems and processes of a firm on the basis of information technologies. it is suggested to view restructuring-measures as labour processes which primarily concern the level of middle management. we propose an analytical differentiation of such labour processes into four complexes of action which can be circumscribed as problem definition and formulation of objectives; provision of technical means and procedures integration of the process itself; and, integration of the process with the organization. as distinct from conceptions of management as a passive executor of functional requirements or as an agency of the non-problematical implementation of unified strategies we lay emphasis on substantial, social and temporal aspects of uncertainty as a fundamental action condition of management. this perspective leads us to a three-fold argument: first, that the various zones of uncertainty in the process of restructuring permit the emergence of political processes that are manifested in persuasion, negotiation and conflicts; secondly, that the capacity to exert control over zones of uncertainty is exercised as a source of power in the evolving political process; and, thirdly, that the uncertainty of the course and outcome of the restructuring-process confronts the top management with the problem of its control, the solution of which is attempted by means of various combinations of distinct control elements whereby the management itself is both subject and object of these control strategies. analyses of restructuring-processes concerned with the introduction of information technologies in various industries represent the empirical basis for these arguments.;

Item Type: IHS Series
Status: Published
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2014 10:34
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2016 14:07
URI: http://irihs.ihs.ac.at/id/eprint/246

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