R.E. (1991). Organic organizations and centralized units: Use,
outcomes of word processing. In J. Morell & M. Fleischer (Eds.),
in implementation and impact of computer systems, 1,
NY: JAI Press.
Early analyses of the impact of computers in
organizations argued quite
strongly that technology has a direct, unmediated effect (whether
or negative) on users, applications, organizations and even societies.
studies concluded that implementing mainframe computers for transaction
directly led to increased centralization and job fragmentation. There
at least two troubling assumptions of this thesis of technological
The first is that technology is an autonomous force that independently
impacts. The second is that the same impacts should follow from the
technologies, regardless of different contexts.
Of the many aspects of structure, this study will focus on work
unit centralization. We argue that structure at the work unit level is
a critical contextual influence on the relationship between technology
and outcomes, because this particular technology is located in the
workunit, implementation takes place at the workunit, tasks are more
similar within than across workunits,
and considerable interpersonal (supervisory & peer) communication
place in the workunit. Further, past research provides convincing
that organizational structure interacts with other organizational
to influence attitudes and behaviors.
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