cause his work accounts for a share of the total production process and in most instances because machinery investment per worker and the cost of mistakes has increased. Our data suggest that the workers also feel that their new jobs involve more responsibility. Over twice as many workers indicated that their jobs in the automated plant involved more responsibility than their previous, nonautomated jobs and over three times as many workers indicated that their present, automated jobs were more important. . . .
Ida Russakoff Hoos
Although automation has been introduced in so many areas of our economy and at such a rapid rate that factual information on its economic and social impacts was for some time unavailable, the time for wild- eyed speculation and sanguine indifference is now past. Many organizations are already updating and expanding systems installed since 1955. From their experience we can gain valuable insights into the actual effects of the new technology.
With a view to obtaining empirical information regarding the impact of automation on office work, I began a two-year study in 1957 of nineteen organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area that had introduced electronic data processing (EDP). These included large and small private business concerns and a few government agencies. Banks, insurance companies, public utilities, manufacturers, distributors, and processors were among the firms studied.
To ensure a balanced perspective, the experience, observations, and reactions of all major categories of office workers were obtained. Intensive interviews were conducted with top management, EDP executives, personnel officials, and union representatives, as well as with tabulating- and key-punch machine operators--all closely associated with office