The Adoption and Enforcement of a Technological Regime: The Case of the first IT Regime
In this paper we explore the process of adoption and enforcement of a number of new information processing technologies, such as the typewriter, calculators, tabulation gears and book-keeping machines, starting from the 1880s in the United States. We show that their innovation and diffusion was inexorably coupled to the economic development in the USA in the late 19th century. It is a complex and contradictory consequence of underlying socio-economic processes that led to the formation of modern organisational structures in large scale manufacturing which required systematic and efficient information processing. The typewriter and all the complementary office automation devices that entered the scene shortly after were part of a socio-technical regime that started being established: the office work regime or as we prefer to call it the first IT regime, as for the first time a technology was set up to process information on large scale. The logic of large scale manufacturing to produce standardised products in large series and to apply labour saving techniques was cast into the organisation of administration. This required a convergence of technical practices. The lock-in to the inferior QWERTY-keyboard is hence the outcome of the diffusion and hardening of the First IT Regime.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2000|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, Austria|
Web page: http://www.wu.ac.at/economics/en
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- David S. Landes, 1994. "What room for accident in history?: explaining big changes by small events," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 47(4), pages 637-656, November.
- Saviotti, P. P. & Metcalfe, J. S., 1984. "A theoretical approach to the construction of technological output indicators," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 141-151, June.
- Chandler, Alfred Jr. & Daems, Herman, 1979. "Administrative coordination, allocation and monitoring: A comparative analysis of the emergence of accounting and organization in the U.S.A. and Europe," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 4(1-2), pages 3-20, January.
- Windrum, Paul & Birchenhall, Chris, 1998. "Is product life cycle theory a special case? Dominant designs and the emergence of market niches through coevolutionary-learning," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 109-134, March.
- Liebowitz, S J & Margolis, Stephen E, 1995.
"Path Dependence, Lock-in, and History,"
Journal of Law, Economics and Organization,
Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 205-26, April.
- Knie, Andreas, 1991. "Generierung und Härtung technischen Wissens: Die Entstehung der mechanischen Schreibmaschine," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Organisation and Technology FS II 91-103, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
- David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-37, May.
- Litterer, Joseph A., 1963. "Systematic Management: Design for Organizational Recoupling in American Manufacturing Firms," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 37(04), pages 369-391, December.
- Schumpeter, Joseph A., 1947. "The Creative Response in Economic History," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 149-159, November.
- Cooper, Christine & Taylor, Phil, 2000. "From Taylorism to Ms Taylor: the transformation of the accounting craft," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 555-578, August.
- Hopper, Trevor & Armstrong, Peter, 1991. "Cost accounting, controlling labour and the rise of conglomerates," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 16(5-6), pages 405-438.
- Cowan, Robin, 1991. "Tortoises and Hares: Choice among Technologies of Unknown Merit," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 801-14, July.
- Knie, Andreas, 1991. ""Generierung" und "Härtung" technischen Wissens: die Entstehung der mechanischen Schreibmaschine," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 101-126.
- Patrick Bolton & Mathias Dewatripont, 1994. "The Firm as a Communication Network," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 809-839.
- Liebowitz, S J & Margolis, Stephen E, 1990. "The Fable of the Keys," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 1-25, April.
- Saviotti, P. P., 1988. "Information, variety and entropy in technoeconomic development," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 89-103, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwgee:geewp12. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Department of Economics)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.