Two recent empirical studies of new technology adoption, one focusing on employee resourcing aspects and the other on employee relations, have concluded as follows: in many instances, it may well be “that on balance it is employment policies that are more likely to determine the way in which technological change is implemented” (rather than the other way around); and “it is more sensible to talk of the impact of industrial relations on technological change than the reverse…”. These findings are supportive of the work of Buchanan and Boddy, who have argued that “the changes to structure that accompany technological change reflect strongly and directly the expectations and objectives of management, and weakly and indirectly the characteristics of the technology”. We broadly concur with these views, and, given that there is potentially a good deal of space within which managers and others can decide and act when new technology is adopted, we focus on the part that personnel specialists have played here, on the basis of case studies both authors have conducted of new technology adoption and implementation. But first, we need to review what the relevant social science literature can tell us about this matter.
Preece, D.A. and Harrison, M.R. (1988), "The Contribution Of Personnel Specialists To Technology Related Organisational Change", Personnel Review, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 13-19. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb055580Download as .RIS
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