Employment Impacts of Information System Implementation in a Federal Agency

An Exploratory Study

by Brian Mittman, Cathy Stasz


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A survey of past research on the effects of automation on changing employment patterns reveals diverse and conflicting results. This paper examines changes in the size and composition of the labor force of a large government agency undergoing automation, using computerized personnel data, interviews, and a questionnaire. The findings suggest that automation is associated with few overall changes in workforce size and composition with the exception of delayed net decreases in employment levels following an initial "break-in" period. The findings also suggest that changes that do occur are strongly influenced by managerial expectations regarding the likely effects of automation, in addition to automation itself.

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