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Power from Technology: Computer Staff and Industrial Relations

John Purcell (Lecturer in Industrial Relations, Manchester Business School)
Lee Dalgleish (Post‐graduate student, MBA Programme, Manchester Business School)
Juliet Harrison (Post‐graduate student, MBA Programme, Manchester Business School)
Ian Lonsdale (Post‐graduate student, MBA Programme, Manchester Business School)
Ian McConaghy (Post‐graduate student, MBA Programme, Manchester Business School)
Alan Robertson (Post‐graduate student, MBA Programme, Manchester Business School)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 1 January 1978

Abstract

The significance of computer technology in terms of industrial relations is an area which has been neglected in the proliferation of literature accompanying the computer boom. This omission is becoming increasingly serious. By April 1976, the National Computer Index recorded a total of 9,245 computers in operation within the UK, in industry, the commercial and service sectors, public administration and defence. During the decade 1965–74 the population of computer installations grew by more than five and a half thousand and because this figure includes bureau facilities, it certainly understates the growth in the number of end‐users who have come to rely on computer technology. More importantly, the degree of this reliance has increased as the technology has been applied to a wider range of organisational functions. The growing dependence of organisations on the computer has enhanced its strategic position in the work process. Control over the functioning of the computer thus constitutes a source of increasing power which may well be used by employees as a powerful tool in negotiation.

Citation

Purcell, J., Dalgleish, L., Harrison, J., Lonsdale, I., McConaghy, I. and Robertson, A. (1978), "Power from Technology: Computer Staff and Industrial Relations", Personnel Review, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 31-39. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb055351

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1978, MCB UP Limited