The Information Processing Theory of Organization
Managing Technology Accession in Complex Systems
First published in 1998, revised in 2021, this volume develops and tests an information-processing model of organization, within the context of the accession of a new generation of a production technology. The model conceptualizes organizations as systems which accomplish their objectives through the processing of information. The book begins with the conceptual basis of the theory, developing the fundamental concepts of information, information processing, and technology. The accession of an automatic avionics tester during the 1970s and 1980s is the change in production technology used to test the theory. The theory is tested by mapping and analysing performance with a three-wave longitudinal field experiment and objective performance measures in the workflow of a very complex system, the U.S. Navy’s avionics maintenance organization. The information processing capacity of the system is shown to be the primary determinant of system performance, with or without the use of information technology. Additional support for the theory comes from newer test and information technologies deployed in the 1980s and 1990s. Implications of this theory for current generations of test technology are provided in the final chapters, along with further development of the theory and its general application to many types of organizations.
Table of Contents
1. Foundations of IPT: the Information Processing Theory of Organization. 2. Avionics Maintenance and Technology Accession. 3. VAST and Avionics Maintenance. 4. The VAST Shop Effectiveness and Efficiency Studies. 5. Coping with Complexity in the Avionics Maintenance System. 6. "Experiment 2" – IP Capacity, Organization Performance, and Organization Slack. 7. New Technologies and "Experiment 3". 8. Extending IPT, ATE Lessons, and a Technology Accession Model.
John L. Kmetz