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Managing and Using Information System by Carol S. Saunders, Keri E. Pearlson

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INFORMATION SYSTEMS AND THE DESIGN OF WORK

IT has drastically changed the way we work. A Work Design Framework is used to explore how IT can be used effectively to support these changes and help make workers more effective. The framework answers the “What,” “Who,” “Where,” and “When” of these changes. In particular, the chapter discusses technologies to support communication and collaboration, new types of work, new ways of doing traditional work, new challenges in managing workers, issues in working remotely, and virtual teams. It concludes with a section on change management.

Best Buy, the leading U.S. retailer in electronics, completely transformed its view of the ordinary workday. Once known for killer hours and herd-riding bosses, it ushered in a new approach to work: Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE). ROWE was the brainchild of two passionate employees who thought that Best Buy managers were mired in analog-age inertia and did not recognize that employees could use technology to perform work from a variety of places. The ROWE developers thought implementing a flextime program “stigmatizes those who use it. . . and keeps companies acting like the military (fixated on schedules) when they should behave more like MySpace (social networks where real-time innovation can flourish).”1

ROWE is a program that allows limitless flexibility when it comes to work hours. Employees ...

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