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Charles A. Myers

Titles by This Author

From the Preface:

This volume is a cooperative venture to make generally available the results of intensive research and thought over many years at half a dozen leading university research centers. The conceptual and statistical analysis of the major general attributes of labor mobility by Philip M. Hauser, based upon his work at the University of Chicago and earlier in the U. S. Bureau of the Census, provides an effective background for the interpretation of the subsequent essays. The principal findings of a series of pioneering studies undertaken at the University of Pennsylvania, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Minnesota are presented by Gladys L. Palmer, Charles A. Myers, and Dale Yoder. Impediments to Labor mobility are discussed by Clark Kerr in his chapter on "The Balkanization of Labor Markets," and important interpretations of certain crucial problems relating to the future flexibility of the American economy are given in Gladys Palmer's essay on "Social Values in Labor Mobility." These considerations, and others, are summarized in challenging fashion by E. Wight Bakke in the essay that introduces the entire volume.

The suggestion that this volume be prepared grew out of the research planning discussions of the Committee on Labor Market Research of the Social Science Research Council. The authors are members of the Committee, which has been concerned for some years with the identification and encouragement of basic research on the behavior of labor markets. Particularly intensive efforts have been directed by the Committee to the analysis of the factors affecting occupational, industrial, and geographic mobility in individual labor markets and for specific groups in the labor supply. In the course of these efforts the Committee has sponsored a major study of patterns and factors in labor mobility in six cities and a technical appraisal of research developments relating to labor mobility, both of which will be published by the Social Science Research Council. These undertakings and other related research have been subjected to thorough review and criticism at sundry research conferences held under the Committee's auspices, and these disucssions have in turn been reflected in the research of the Committee's own members and their associates. It seems timely, therefore, to bring together the results of certain of their studies and of their current thinking as a progress report on this significant phase of labor and industrial relations research.

—Paul Webbink

A Study of New England Industrial Community, 1937–1939 and 1942

A detailed statistical case study of job changing in a New England city with diversified industries, citing the economic, geographical, social, and psychological factors conducive to worker stability and to worker mobility.

Explains Swedish managerial attitudes and approaches, types and problems of collective bargaining, the foreman's role, the operation of labor-management committees, and personnel procedures; also compares Swedish and American practices.

Titles by This Editor

Contained herein is an array of exciting and knowledgeable papers that discuss, from assorted disciplinary angles, the "present and future impact of computers on management organization and the nature of managerial work." No two papers cover the same ground or reach identical conclusions, for the purpose of this collection is to articulate as completely as possible the relationship between man and machine and the role of both in industrial organization. Thus the question itself is defined in the succinct terms of its many answers.

The contributors to this volume reached the general agreement that "computers have affected certain management operations more than others, and that the dividing line is shifting as computer technology and—even more—experience with programming and systems design improve." Several points of disagreement create an atmosphere conducive to fresh speculation on old issues and to re-examination of dilemmas produced by recent advances in computer technology.

The individual training, experience, and opinion of the contributors dictate divergent attitudes toward the problem of defining computerization-managerial relationships. Yet, there are numerous areas of concern common to all papers: the centralization of organization structures, data-processing, and information technology; the importance of outside influence on organizational changes; the changing nature of managerial work; and the implications of computerization for the higher levels of management. An excellent discussion of these problems, in light of the contributions of the various authora, is presented in Dr. Myers' comprehensive introduction.

The original papers on which this book is based were prepared for a research conference convened in April 1966 at the Alfred P. Sloan School of Management at M.I.T. With one exception, all participants are academicians who have concentrated their research efforts on the effects of computers on business arganization. The first paper, by Thomas L. Whisler, begins with some conceptual problems of definition and research and concludes with studies done in the insurance industry. George E. Delehanty, writing from the economist's perspective, offers a research report on the effects of computerization on the organization structure of five life insurance firms. David Klahr and Harold J. Leavitt probe the relationships between computer programs, managerial tasks, and organization structures. Donald C. Carroll examines the implications of newer computer developments, especially online, real-time, and time-sharing systems. John Dearden questions whether the profit-center type of organization will be greatly affected by computers, while John A. Beckett discusses the "total-system" concept that has become popular in the management literature on computers. In closing, Charles R. DeCarlo of I.B.M. takes a more philosophical look at the impact of technique on management values, predicting that more tightly centralized organizations will not attract necessary managerial talent in the future. This theme concerns Jay W. Forrester as well, who sees a long-term trend toward organizational forms that will tend to satisfy individual initiative by utilizing the computer as a managerial aid instead of as a replacement. Edgar F. Huse presents in the appendix a case study of the implementation of a computerized program in an integrated managing company.