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Journal Article

Automation and the Management Process

Thomas L. Whisler and George P. Shultz
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Vol. 340, Automation (Mar., 1962), pp. 81-89
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1033702
Page Count: 9
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Automation and the Management Process
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Abstract

Automation of information processing has immediate effects upon management jobs and the management process of decision-making. The mediating instrument is the computer along with various mathematical and statistical techniques associated with its application to decision problems. Use of the computer places strong emphasis upon rationalizing and quantifying decisions. Many of these decisions are then incorporated into the machine, leaving managers to spend an increasing percentage of their time on problems involving interpersonal relations. Organization structure is affected. The number of levels tends to shrink, the grouping of activities to shift, and the structure of authority and control to become centralized. Society will feel the impact of these changes in large part through changing demands made upon the educational system and through possible changes in attitudes and behavior of the managerial group. An important aspect of this application of automation is that both the key decisions with reference to use of the computer and major impacts of these decisions fall on the managerial group, although different individuals may be involved in the two phases.

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