Information Technology - Issues and effects of changes to information
systems arising from deskilling of workers
Deskilling of workers. Image.
An impact of information technology has been the replacement of skilled
workers with machines that can do the job more efficiently. As a result,
employees can be deskilled. This means that workers need less training to
perform the same job, because a computer can do much of the work for them.
For example, engineers may spend months learning how to perform complex
calculations related to stresses which can be endured by certain materials
under specific conditions. Many engineers find, however, that software
exists which can do all of the calculations needed in a fraction of the
time and far more accurately. All they have to do is make a few selections
from a menu and type in a few numbers - the machine does the rest. Given
the capabilities of the engineering software described above, do you think
there is there any need for engineers to be trained to do the same job?
Computers have been used for many years to assist with the automatic
trading of shares. The computers are programmed to either buy or sell
certain shares, depending on preset parameters. Trained stockbrokers are
still employed by all stock broking companies to also make decisions on
Try these discussion/revision questions.
Deskilling of workers
1. Why do you think stockbrokers have not been deskilled and have successfully coexisted with computers?
2. How reasonable is it to expect that in the coming years, most people will train as computer technicians instead of in other professions, such as engineering, law or medicine, because computers will be able to do these professional jobs just as well?
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