This article presents the first longitudinal, quantitative, analyses of the continuing process of computerization in work groups. We argue that computerization should be conceptualized as a continuing process, not the commonly held static view. We also argue that computerization in the workplace is not as dynamic as portrayed in popular technology magazines. Conceptualizing computerization as a continuing process has implications for how work is transformed in computerized work settings, and how we study work transformations. Longer periods of time between implementation and observations of changes in work, and repeated observations are needed to capture the dynamics, and to distinguish between stable and transient patterns, of technology and work. We present findings from two years of survey data on the role of desktop computing in the work of 39 extensively computerized work groups. Data were collected from a self-administered survey and through in-person interviews in 1988 and in 1989. We characterize computerization interventions as consisting of four elements: equipment, infrastructure, social organization of computing, and control patterns. We present descriptive data for each of these four elements. Technological elements of computerization interventions (e.g., type of equipment, extensiveness of deployment and use) have become more elaborate between 1988 and 1989. However, the social patterns of interventions (e.g., computing infrastructure) have not changed much, while the use and availability of technology have. Our preliminary analyses of changes in work suggest that work groups are working harder.
Zmuidzinas, Mary; Kling, Rob; and George, Joey, "DESKTOP COMPUTERIZATION AS A CONTINUING PROCESS" (1990). ICIS 1990 Proceedings. 31.