Sgasg Essay

14432 Words Apr 3rd, 2015 58 Pages
Journal ofEngineering

and Technology


10 (1993) 229-264



Impacts of programmable manufacturing technology: A review of recent studies and contingency formulation
Jeffrey K. Liker”, Ann Majchrzakb and Thomas Choi”
“Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA bZnstitute for Safety and Systems Management and Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA

This paper reviews the literature on the social impacts of programmable manufacturing technology (PMT). Several perspectives on the social impact of technology are identified ranging from simple additive models that view technology as having a
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To some, the impact is clearly favorable for the workforce and society-automation will not only help the bottom line, but also lead to jobs that are more enriched and
Correspondence to: Professor Jeffrey K. Liker, Industrial of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.

and Operations




0 1993 Elsevier Science Publishers

B.V. All rights reserved.


challenging (Walton and Susman, 1987). Thus, the issue is to upgrade the skill levels of the workforce so they may take advantage, economically and personally, of the potential benefits offered by technology (Adler and Howard, 1990). To others, the computer revolution seems principally to be a threat to the job security of America’s hourly workforce, particularly the unskilled. Jobs will be lost, those remaining degraded, and managers will have almost complete control of the workforce through sophisticated electronic monitoring in a kind of Orwellian nightmare (Baldry and Connolly, 1986; Gill, 1985; Cooley, 1981) . A third view is that programmable automation has varied impacts, depending on such factors as management’s foresight in redesigning jobs appropriately (Majchrzak, 1988; Adler, 1986)) the existing skill level of the work force (Barley, 1986)) characteristics of firms leading to “organizational inertia”, (Dean and Snell, 1991), and political motivations of management and technology implementers

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