Journal of Information Technology

Document Type

Research Article


In this paper we review two application areas in the field of IT concerning advanced manufacturing technology and office automation. We argue that new systems in both these areas have been predominantly technology-led in their development and implementation, excluding adequate attention to their human and organizational aspects. We describe two case studies as illustrations of these points and argue that the reasons for this technology-led approach lie in a complex interacting set of social systems that work effectively to marginalize the human and organizational aspects of the new technologies. The applicability of these findings to the domain of Computer Supported Collaborative Working (CSCW) is examined. There are two main sets of lessons that can be learned: those that apply generally to the field of IT, and thereby have relevance also to the special case of CSCW; and those that are particular to the conduct and content of research and development into CSCW. These lessons are outlined in the form of sets of suggestions.