When computers were first used in work organizations they were seen principally as devices able to perform simple and limited functions. In consequence they were used to automate routine tasks which had previously been done manually — producing bills, payrolls etc — and they appeared in organizations primarily concerned with large‐scale information processing such as banks, insurance, finance institutions and departments concerned with control. They were also to be found in organizations and departments where large‐scale data processing was a means for achieving desired goals, for example, engineering firms and research and development departments.
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