In The Age Of The Smart Machine

Full Name
In The Age Of The Smart Machine: The Future Of Work And Power

In The Age of the Smart Machine offers a study of information technology in the workplace, with introduction to the major concepts relating to knowledge, authority, and power in the information workplace. A noted Harvard social scientist documents the pitfalls and promise of computerized technology in business life, believing that the need to maximize efficiency will motivate most companies to involve employees in a collective process of discussion and problem-solving. Of particular interest, this book introduced the concept of Information, the process through which digitalization translates activities, events, social exchange, and objects into information.

  • In the Age of the Smart Machine: The Future of Work and Power won instant critical acclaim in both the academic and trade press, including the front page review in The New York Times Book Review.

  • This book is widely considered the definitive study of information technology in the workplace.

  • Harvard social scientist Shoshana Zuboff warns that advanced information technologies present us with a fateful choice: to continue automation at the risk of robbing workers of gratification and self image, or to information and empower ordinary working people to make critical and collaborative judgments.

The Age of the Smart Machine discusses the following:

  1. Duality of information technology as an informative and an automating technology

  2. Abstraction of work associated with information technology and its related intellectual skill demands

  3. Computer-mediated work

  4. The "information panopticon"

  5. Information technology as a challenge to managerial authority and command/control

  6. Social construction of technology

  7. Shift from a division of labor to a division of learning

  8. The inherently collaborative patterns of information work

Table of Contents



Introduction: Dilemmas of Transformation in the Age of the Smart Machine

  1. Knowledge and Computer-Mediated Work

  2. The Laboring Body: Suffering and Skill in Production Work

  3. The Abstraction of Industrial Work

  4. The White-Collar Body in History

  5. Office Technology as Exile and Integration

  6. Mastering the Electronic Text p.

  7. Authority: The Spiritual Dimension of Power

  8. What Was Managerial Authority?

  9. The Dominion of the Smart Machine

  10. The Limits of Hierarchy in an Informed Organization

  11. Technique: The Material Dimension of Power

  12. The Information Panopticon

  13. Panoptic Power and the Social Text

  14. Conclusion: Managing the Information Organization

  15. The Scope of Information Technology in the Modern Workplace

Notes on Field-Research Methodology