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Conceptualizing Information Technology as Organization - Article Example

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The "Conceptualizing Information Technology as Organization" paper analyzes the article by James Beniger who suggests that the idea of information processing now being revolutionized by the computer can be traced back to pre-historic times by making comparisons between the functions of the computer. …
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Conceptualizing Information Technology as Organization
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Download file to see previous pages In working to make this comparison, Beniger points to several ways in which each entity functions to perform the same job.  Although he is careful to avoid stating outright that the computer can take over the functions of the human brain, he does suggest that the computer is eliminating the tremendous need that developed for formal organizations throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. To make his case, he enumerates the reasons why formal organization emerged as a necessity in the 19th century, offering proof that this is the case and indicating that the ability to make an organization effective resides in the power to rationalize. In making this point, Beniger frequently provides examples of how this formal organization worked in the field, using the railroads as a primary example. The railroads work as a prime example because they include a number of different elements that would make it difficult, if not impossible, for a single individual to control. These elements include speed, predictability, the number of independently moving elements, their interactions with each other and the probability and complexity of any contingencies. In illustrating his examples, Beniger also purposefully uses words that did not enter the mainstream jargon until after the advent of computers. He does this as a means of bringing into sharper focus the various ways in which a formal organization such as those which emerged in the late 1800s functioned similarly to the ways in which information technology works today. After taking a closer look at the themes and arguments Beniger brings forward, including any strengths or weaknesses in his case, it will be possible to determine what, if anything, Beniger’s article contributes to the overall discussion regarding information technology and its development.

The main argument made by Beniger is that theories used to identify the information processes used in the human brain or in the organizational structure can also be used to understand information processing in the computer.   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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