How Societies Embrace Information Technology: Lessons for Management and the Rest of Us

How Societies Embrace Information Technology: Lessons for Management and the Rest of Us

by James W. Cortada


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780470534984
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 11/02/2009
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.15(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.78(d)

About the Author

James W. Cortada has thirty-five years of experience with IBM in various sales, consulting, and managerial positions related to information technology and its use. In particular, he helped design and deploy processes related to employee skills development, including IBM's worldwide consultant skills certification process, sales processes, and specialized training seminars. An author of more than fifty books on the management and history of information technology, Cortada's work has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, and Korean.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

1 Introducing the Big Picture 1

The presence of information technology 2

Megatrends at work 7

How societies use technology to shape their world 19

Notes and references 24

2 How Computers Spread Around the World So Fast 27

Definitions and issues 29

Government-supported/private-sector-driven model 33

National champion model 37

Asian private-sector-driven model 39

Planned economy: public policy model 42

Industry-driven model 48

Corporate diffusion model 51

Application diffusion model 57

Technology-standards diffusion model 59

Patterns, practices, and implications 61

Notes and references 65

3 How Governments Leverage Information Technologies to Improve Their National Economies 71

A brief historical reminder 72

Economic development in a connected world: the big picture 75

How governments use it to encourage economic development 77

What motivates governments to encourage their citizens and economies to use it? 91

Emerging strategies for the most advanced nations compared to rapidly advancing nations 96

The special role of labor 100

Global recession, twenty-first century style 102

Implications for public officials 106

Implications for business leaders 112

The way forward with policies and practices 116

Notes and references 122

4 How Managers and Officials Decide What Technology to Use 129

The kinds of decisions made by managers 131

Types of justification 135

Managerial practices 138

Some possible less effective practices 143

Special role of industries 149

Path forward 151

Notes and references 157

5 Adding Up the Results So Far: Do We Now Live in the Information Age? 163

Why naming an age is a useful exercise and so hard to do 165

What historians can teach us about the process 167

The case against the information age 173

Can we coexist on the frontiers of a new age? 175

Lessons for management and a strategy for change 179

Concluding thoughts 185

Notes and references 186

6 An Expanding Role for Scientists and Engineers 191

The rise of the computer scientist 192

Their role in modern society 197

When scientists and tech folk take things into their own hands 201

When technologists go green 204

Their future world 212

An old role made new 218

Notes and references 220

7 Looking Down the Road into the Twenty-First Century 223

How to see the future of an industry 225

Knowing how information technology is evolving 233

A strategy for managers and public officials 240

Special role of the computer science community 247

The ultimate trend 252

Notes and references 254

8 Keeping Up: Bibliographic Essay 257

The big picture 257

How computers spread around the world 259

Governments leveraging it for economic development 260

Deciding what technology to use 261

Living in the information age 263

Role of technologists 264

Into the twenty-first century 265

Index 267

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"The book also presents ideas for educators. For instance, to encourage IT people to be naturally proactive, courses should leverage the creation and production of IT projects with solving society's problems. With some effort, this can be done in computers and society courses, at both the general and professional education level. At the professional level, IT workers with such experience and training will more likely choose to work on problem areas. At the general level, people with such experience will act politically, to vocalize the expectation that the IT industry will create products that help society." (Computing Reviews, September 2010)

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