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Computers in Organizations
Intermittent: 9 units
Computers have been used in organizations since World War II. Their use has both intensified and changed in character in recent decades. For a typical firm, fully fifty percent of its capital investment goes into computers and telecommunications equipment. While early computers were primarily used for mathematical functions and accounting, they are now used for a much wider array of functions, including process control, development of new products, various forms of organizational communication and electronic commerce. This course examines the introduction, diffusion, and use of computers and telecommunications in organizations from a social perspective. Information technology is assessed in terms of its interaction with human behavior, organizational characteristics and organizational procedures. Both historical and contemporary examples will be used. By the end of the course, students should have a better understanding of the range of uses to which information technologies are put in organizations, the controversies surrounding their use, and the complexities involved in predicting their effects. The course is appropriate for three types of students: 1)those who expect to work in fields in which they create or manage computing systems; b) those with a research interest in organizational processes; and c) those who want to be able to participate knowledgeably in current debates on computing and information systems. Undergrads with permission of instructor only