Charles A. Myers

Charles A. Myers was Professor of Industrial Relations at MIT.

  • Computers In Knowledge-Based Fields

    Charles A. Myers

    The impact of computers on management has been profound and has been well documented by the present author, among others. The impact on the knowledge-based fields, perhaps because the problems such fields can offer to computers are more complex and elusive, has not yet made itself felt to the same extent. Nevertheless, computer applications in these fields are rapidly evolving, and Professor Myers gives us the first broad look at the present situation and future prospects.

    The knowledge-based fields that the book examines in detail, in successive chapters, are: education, library systems, legal and legislative services, medical and hospital services, and both national and centralized local data banks. In each case the author describes the needs that led to the introduction of computers, their initial or early applications, including both systems now in routine use and those still in the experimental stge. He also projects possible long-term developments, noting the implications these might have for changing the nature of work and organization in these fields and the resistance to such change.

    Among the systems described are the use of computers for instructing students from grade school through college—grading papers in English composition for style—counseling students in curriculum choices and providing vocational guidance—scheduling classes—evaluating courses—providing nearly immediate access to the entire contents of a library—allowing the library user to put information in as well as draw it out—checking legal precedents—preparing wills—planning estates—providing an inexpensive source of legal aid to the poor—establishing patrol car assignments—analyzing electrocardiograms—acting as beside, on-line patient monitors or “nurses”—interacting with physicians in making “sequential” diagnoses—aggregating and manipulating information from individuals on their physical, social, and economic condition on a nationwide or citywide basis.

    As to the overall impact of computers on the knowledge-based fields, Professor Myers notes that “One may be pessimistic about short-run possibilities in computer-based programs in each of these fields, because of resistances, slowness in overcoming technical problems in hardware and software, and the gap between extravagant claims and actual performance in some cases. But over the long pull, the computer revolution will certainly affect the way in which work is done and how people function in all knowledge-based fields, as it has already in the management enlarged, not threatened, by the computer, and they will accept this fact better if they are brought into the development of systems earlier rather than later.”

    • Hardcover $9.95
    • Paperback $5.95
  • The Impact Of Computers On Management

    The Impact Of Computers On Management

    Charles A. Myers

    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 authors, 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 organization. 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.

    • Hardcover
    • Paperback $40.00
  • Labor Mobility and Economic Opportunity

    Labor Mobility and Economic Opportunity

    E. Wight Bakke, Phillip M. Hauser, Gladys L. Palmer, Charles A. Myers, Dale Yoder, and Clark Kerr

    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

    • Hardcover $5.00
    • Paperback $20.00
  • Industrial Relations in Sweden

    Industrial Relations in Sweden

    Some Comparisons with American Experience

    Charles A. Myers

    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.

    • Hardcover $2.00
    • Paperback $20.00
  • The Movement of Factory Workers

    The Movement of Factory Workers

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

    Charles A. Myers and Rupert MacLaurin

    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.

    • Hardcover $0.7
    • Paperback $20.00