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Information and communications technologies, coordination and control, and the distribution of income

Guy, Frederick and Skott, P. (2008) Information and communications technologies, coordination and control, and the distribution of income. Journal of Income Distribution 17 (3-4), pp. 71-92. ISSN 0926-6437.

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Abstract

We consider the links between Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) and the distribution of income, as mediated by problems of coordination and control within organizations. In the large corporations of the mid-twentieth century, a highly developed division of labor was coordinated and controlled with the aid of relatively underdeveloped ICTs. This created a situation in which the options of top management were constrained while the individual and collective power of lower-paid workers was enhanced. Only in the late twentieth century, when the microprocessor and related technologies transformed the information systems of organizations, did improvements in the tools of coordination and control race ahead of the growing demands of coordination and control. These technological changes have reduced the power of lower-paid employees, increased that for higherpaid employees, and led to an increase in income inequality. Thus, the more important aspects of new technology relate to the ‘power-bias’, rather than to the ‘skill-bias’, of technological change.

Item Type: Article
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Business, Economics & Informatics > Management
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2011 11:06
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2013 10:33
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/2035

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