This volume is part of a publication series emerging from an international interdisciplinary study group on "New Technologies and Work (NeTWork)". NeTWork is sponsored by the Werner-Reimers Foundation (Bad Homburg, Germany) and the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme (Paris).
The NeTWork study group has set itself the task of intellectually penetrating various problem domains posed by the introduction and spread of new technologies in work settings. This problem focus requires interdisciplinary co-operation. The usual mode of operating is to identify an important problem within the NeTWork scope, to attempt to prestructure it and then to invite original contributions from European researchers or research teams actively involved in relevant analytic or developmental work. A specific workshop serves to cross-fertilize the different approaches and to help to integrate more fully the individual contributions. The concept of telematics refers to the integration of computer, telecommunication and information technologies. It alludes to the opportunities presented by the technical means to communicate and transfer data over large distances by "intelligent equipment". Teleshopping, teleconferencing, teleworking and telebanking are but a few examples of a development which influences both public and private environments. Both households and workplaces are likely to be thoroughly changed by telematics. This publication emphasises the application of telematics in working environments.
The central questions of the book are: How will the present and future development of telematics effect the nature and organization of work, and under which conditions will this development be optimal?
From the various contributions it is clear that telematics is not a single direct cause or determinant of particular changes in work and organization. The development and application of telematics depend on decision making of actors at a political scene both outside and inside the work organizations. The effects of the use of these applications appear to be co-determined by many other factors. In fact, the technology interacts with political, economic, and social factors in a complex process that shapes new organizational forms and work relationships.
Foreword. Preface. Roe, Reflections on Telematics and Work: Conceptual and Methodological Issues. Section I: The Infrastructural Context. Weltevreden, The Telecommunications Strategy of the European Community. Kubicek, Different Options for the Developments of Telecommunication Infrastructures. Slaa, Videotex as an Intermediate Service. Section II: Telematics Applications and Their Impacts on Work Organizations. Rice, Steinfield, Experiences with New Forms of Organizational Communication via Electronic Mail and Voice Messaging. Rogard, Experimentation with Electronic Mail in the Banking Sector: A Case Study. Rodriguez, Towards ISDN: The Implications of the Introduction of an Integrated Digital Services Network and Telematic Services for a Telecommunications Company. Peiró, Prieto, Telematics and Organizational Structure and Processes: An Overview. Section III: Work Arrangements and Organizational Restructuring. Köhler, Computer Conferencing Competence: Methodological Contributions to the Development of Good Computer Support for Human Communication at Work. Morley, Computer Supported Co?operative Work and Engineering Product Design. Holti, Telematics, Work Places and Homes: The Evolving Picture of Teleworking. Craipeau, Telematics and Corporate Regulations. Smeds, Computerization and Strategy-structural Development of an Industrial Organization. Section IV: Design and Implementation Process. Eason, Harker, Tele-informatic Systems to Meet Organizational Requirements. Qvortrup, Telematics and Organizational Communication: Trends in Organizational Communication Theories. Ciborra, Lanzara, Designing Networks in Action: Formative Contexts and Reflective Intervention. Andriessen, Conditions for Successful Adoption and Implementation of Telematics in User Organizations. Epilogue. List of Abbreviations.