'Systemic rationalization' in Austria: Social and political mediation in technology use and work organization [Book Review]

AI and Society 5 (4):277-295 (1991)
Abstract
The paper analyses restructuring processes occuring with the introduction of information technologies into firms in Austria and assesses how far the evidence lends support to the thesis of a fundamental change in rationalization patterns as postulated by continental industrial sociologists claiming the emergence of a novel type of ‘systemic rationalization’. Based on a research perspective putting emphasis on several levels of social mediation of technological change the broad conclusion is the following: there are clear indications of a novel ‘systemic’ approach to rationalization but the associated forms of work organization show substantial variation. The analysis of the influence of national-level institutions, industry- and firm-specific conditions, and their role in micro-political processes of system and work design, points towards an underutilization of work humanization potentials and suggests an increase in skill supply as one of the possible intervention strategies
Keywords Information technologies  Skill-based automation  Systemic rationalization  Restructuring  Austria  Industrial change  Work organization  Social mediation  Work humanization
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DOI 10.1007/BF02077435
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