The Impact of Information Technology on Middle Managers
This article reviews studies that examine the impact of information technology (IT) on the number of middle managers in organizations. Contradictory evidence is found to suggest, paradoxically, that IT both increases and decreases the number of middle managers. This “empirical paradox” is resolved by looking at the effects of IT on middle managers as contingent upon the degree of centralization of computing decisions, and of organizational decisions more broadly. When both computing decisions and organizational decisions are centralized, top managers tend to use IT to reduce the number of middle managers. When these decisions are decentralized, middle managers use IT to increase their numbers. A recent case study provides preliminary support for this perspective by showing an interesting case of reduction in middle managers.
|Author||Alain Pinsonneault and Kenneth L. Kraemer|
|Keywords||Information technology, impact on middle managers, increase/decrease in middle managers, capital-labor substitution, technological determinism, managerial actionalism, structural perspective|