COMPUTER USE AND STRUCTURAL CONTROL: A STUDY OF AUSTRALIAN ENTERPRISES
Journal of Management Studies, 1989, vol. 26, issue 6, 621-648
This article investigates underlying relationships between the extent of use of computers and dimensions of organization structure. Empirical tests on a sample of 149 Australian work‐units show strong associations between computer use and structural characteristics. Specifically, greater computer use is found to be related to less centralization and greater formalization and departmentalization. Further tests show that these associations are to some extent moderated by size. However, this moderating effect is most apparent in small organizations for formalization and departmentalization while the relationships involving centralization are more prominent in larger work‐units. Factor analysis led to the diagnosis of two major types of computer use (i.e., informational and operational use). Tests on these categorized effects and the factor‐analysed structural dimensions revealed that: (1) the effects on centralization are more strongly explained by the impact of operational use on the ‘centralization of operational decisions’ sub‐measure and that of informational use on ‘financial decisions’; (2) formalization and departmentalization are found to be most strongly influenced by greater informational use. Here again, significant relationships were found between sub‐measures, the most important of which is the relationship involving the informational factor of formalization with the informational use of computers and the relationship between departmentalization of core functions and the operational use of computing technology.
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:26:y:1989:i:6:p:621-648
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