Electronic Information Systems and User Contexts; Emerging Social Science Issues,
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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Computer technology, having advanced at a tremendous rate during the past 20 years, has already introduced electronic information systems into a substantial number and variety of public and private sector contexts. Of the estimated 3.5 million offices in the U.S., about 1.5 million are currently considered large enough for some form of electronic information system and that figure can only increase as the production of minisystems permits smaller and smaller organizations to make efficient use of computers. The Office of the Future has thus been widely touted as the major change in work settings to be expected during the 1980s. Such changes are expected to affect well over 50 percent of the total work force. Moreover, the search for more rapid error-free communication as well as the growing need to link information processing systems to large or remote databases and other equipment is creating a burgeoning demand for local networks. The introduction of electronic information systems in myriad user settings, then, comprises a trend of long-term national significance. Clearly alternative choices in the management of that process can have substantially different economic and social impacts. With the technological barriers to such change being rapidly eliminated, a number of issues emerge for social research.
- Administration and Management
- Computer Hardware
- Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems