Organizational trends and electronic media : work in progress

by Tora K. Bikson

Organizations are experiencing rapid and widespread growth in the use of information and communication technologies, with associated changes in the ways work is organized and carried out. These changes--apparent in trends toward greater flexibility, denser connectivity, broadened participation, more team work, and more permeable boundaries--have yet to appear in formal policies, procedures, organization charts, and reporting relationships. Given the inherent synergies between networked media and the design of work, all prescriptions for future organizational forms should be viewed with skepticism. Rather, organizational decisionmakers should give greatest attention to understanding and managing open-ended change processes. Further, as these processes unfold, they should exploit the capabilities of new technologies to document and store information about emerging organizational forms and functions. Besides serving the needs traditionally filled by records and archives, such information can provide the material for organizational memory and organizational learning.

Originally published in: American Archivist, v. 57, no. 1, Winter 1994, pp. 48-68.

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