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Professor Stephen R. Barley

How do Technologies Change Organizations?
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Stephen R. Barley
Richard Weiland Professor of Management Science and Engineering
Stanford University

 

Abstract:

 
In this talk I will summarize key insights about technological change that I have gained over my thirty five years of studying how technologies change work and organizations.  I will draw on illustrations from studies of technologies as diverse as CT Scanners, the buying of cars over the internet and the use of email and teleconferencing, to explore three broad questions. How do the rhetorics associated new technologies get us into trouble and blind us to what may actually be happening as we adopt new technologies?  Why do most people focus on first order changes brought about by new technologies, when it is their second order effects that have stronger and more lasting implications?  Why do technologies rarely change organizations significantly unless they alter role relationships?

 

Bio:

Stephen R. Barley is the Richard W. Weiland Professor of Management Science and Engineering, the associate chair of Stanford’s Department of Management Science and Engineering, and the Co- Director of the Center for Work, Technology and Organization at Stanford's School of Engineering. 
Barley is a fellow at Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and a Fellow of the Academy of Management.  
Barley has written numerous articles and as well as several books on the impact of new technologies on work, the organization of technical work and organizational culture.  He was editor of the Administrative Science Quarterly from 1993 to 1997 and the founding editor of the Stanford Social Innovation Review. He has received the Academy of Management's New Concept Award and was named Distinguished Scholar by the Academy of Management’s Organization and Management Theory Division in 2006, the Organization Communication and Information Systems Division in 2010 and the Critical Management Studies Division in 2010. 
Barley has written over 60 articles on the impact of new technologies on work, the organization of technical work, and organizational culture. He is currently researching corporate power in the United States, the rhetorical history of telecommuting, and how sophisticated mathematical modeling tools are altering the work of engineers who design automobiles. 
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