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.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
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