Effects of Recent Communication Technology in the Office on Organization Structure and Work Responsibilities (Service Companies)

Resource Type
Dataset : Survey and aggregate data
  • Picot, Arnold (Institut für Unternehmensplanung, Universität Hannover)
Publication Date
  • A. Picot, Institut fuer Unternehmensplanung, Universitaet Hannover (Data Collector)
  • ZA:
    • Work and Industry
  • CESSDA Topic Classification:
    • Working conditions
    • Employment
    • Business/industrial management and organisation
    • Information technology
  • Abstract

    Communication flow in a large German concern. Means of communication used and characterization of office jobs of respondents. Acceptance of recent communication technology by operators and users. Topics: The complete project is divided into a series of different questionnaires each covering different areas of office communication. 1. Basic conditions of communication: department; function of respondent; number of persons in work room; occupation learned; office next door; characterization of type and extent of telephone conversations; notes; disturbances of telephone conversation; characterization of deskwork carried out; type of typewriter used; use of dictating machine; information on type and extent of photocopies made; carbon copies; susceptibility of copier to repairs; type and extent of teletype messages as well as faxes received and sent; type and extent of company mail or regular mail; delivery times and type of reports received; characterization of noise development at work; subjectively perceived stress from noises arising from the means of communication. 2. Technology in the office: judgement on the ´new technology´ in the office (scale) and the ability of the secretary to deal with it; attitude to the research project. 3. Description of job situation: characterization in general as well as relative to the situation of one´s own work demands and characterization of a desirable job by means of the same scale. 4. Various forms of exchange of information: characterization of various forms of exchange of information (personal conversation, telephone, fax, telegram and regular mail) by means of corresponding equivalent ´semantic differential´. 5. Choice of means of communications: most important criteria for choice of a means of communications. 6. Communication relations: characterization of internal, external as well as intra-department communication relations according to type and frequency; characterization of all information exchange; primary communication partner. 7. Communication with teletex: type and frequency of communications with individual function areas of the business; local accomodation of these function areas; personal contact with contacts; perceived possibilities of improvement for intra-company communication; primary communication partners and purpose of making contact; decision-making in the selection of communication channel (scale); replaceability of letters, telephone conversations and personal contacts by other communication channels; perceived effects from organizational changes undertaken. 8. Description of tasks: description of tasks at work according to their variety, their dependence on preparatory work, cooperation with further colleagues, frequency of occurrence of work peaks, absence from the workplace, substitute arrangement, contacts within the company and outside the company, structural characteristics of area of responsibility and office activity; provision of examples of individual tasks. 9. Writing duties: assessment of correction effort for typewritten documents; use of teletype and fax; obstacles to use of teletype experimental equipment; use of word processors or memory typewriters; certainty in operating teletype equipment; demands of a secretary; satisfaction with office organization; requirements for reasonable use of a teletype system; personal use of DP. 10. Telephone conversations during a business trip: characterization of reason for and content of telephone conversations that had to be conducted with one´s company during a business trip; result of conversation. 11. Letter mail: detailed description of correspondent, content of letter and external form of a letter received. 12. Arriving telephone call: characterization of a telephone call according to telephone partner, reason for call, importance, duration and content of conversation; teletype capability of partner. 13. Out-going mail: characterization of correspondent, of information in the letter as well as the form and content of the letter. 14. Out-going telephone call: characterization of telephone call according to telephone partner, importance, duration, reason and content of conversation. 15. Conversation: characterization of a conversation that took place according to major cause, conversation duration, conversation partner as well as reason for choice of this means of communication. 16. Exchange of data sheet information: recording of all information exchanges relative to tasks according to originator of contact, communication path, place of occupation of communication partner and urgency. 17. Job description: description of proportion of job for writing letters, out-going mail, handling in-coming mail, telex, fax and telephone. 18. Office technology: attitude to increase in technology in the office work world (scale). 19. Job demands: (this questionnaire was directed to secretaries) characterization of stress situation in the office; over-burdened; urgency of writing tasks; employment interruptions; desire for more independence; attitude to increase in technology in the office work world; perceived double burden as a woman. 20. Only for secretaries participating in the field experiment with word processors: adequate training time; support from superiors during introduction; reasons to use the word processor as well as the typewriter; general characterization of word processor (semantic differential); advantages and disadvantages of word processor; judgement on schooling on equipment. 21. Time budget: detailed recording of time budget of secretaries and characterization of written work according to production, shipment and type (secretary questionnaire). 22. Job demands: characterization of one´s own mood by means of a semantic differential. 23. Effects of changes on secretaries: type of changes from use of the new equipment; characterization of work on the test equipment; description of office organizations; production of written work and consequences of test equipment; exchange of reports with foreign countries; judgement on telex, telefax and telephone; running a filing system; characterization of job situation (scale); critical situations and differences of opinion in connection with installation of test equipment; characterization of schooling and training; substitute arrangement; demands of secretaries, with command of newer office technologies; training. 24. Acceptance: characterization of office job and improvements or deterioration resulting from participation in the experiment (scale); classification of secretary activity according to popularity and character of one´s own job; personal demands on quality of written work and those of superior; general judgement on test equipment and work with this device; decision criteria for use of alternative communication channels. 25. General characterization of an electric typewriter, word processing, the sending and receiving possibilities with letter by mail, fax, telex and telephone. Demography: school education; occupational training; exercising (in years) the current occupation (classified); exercising (in months) the current job (classified).
Temporal Coverage
  • 1979 / 1982
Geographic Coverage
  • Germany (DE)
  • Baden-Württemberg (DE-BW)
  • Bavaria (DE-BY)
  • Berlin (DE-BE)
Sampled Universe
Priting or office personnel (as technology operators) as well as specialists and managers (as technology users).
Collection Mode
  • Written survey with standardized questionnaire
Data and File Information
  • Unit Type: Individual
    Number of Units: 167
A comparable investigation in an industrial business was conducted in the framework of the entire project and is archived under ZA Study No. 1361.
C - Data and documents are only released for academic research and teaching after the data depositor’s written authorization. For this purpose the Data Archive obtains a written permission with specification of the user and the analysis intention.
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Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA1360 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • Picot, Arnold; Reichwald, Ralf: Bürokommunikation: Leitsätze für den Anwender. 2. Aufl. München: CW-Publikationen 1984.
  • Schellhaas, Holger; Schönecker, Horst; Manz, Ulich; Hellmann, Rolf: Kommunikationstechnik und Anwender: Akzeptanzbarrieren, Bedarfsstrukturen, Einsatzbedingungen. München: CW-Publikationen 1983. (Forschungsprojekt Bürokommunikation, Bd. 1)
  • Klingenberg, Heide; Kränzle, Hans-Peter: Kommunikationstechnik und Nutzerverhalten: Die Wahl zwischen Kommunikationsmitteln in Organisationen. München: CW-Publikationen 1983. (Forschungsprojekt Bürokommunikation, Bd. 2)
  • Anders, Wolfgang: Kommunikationstechnik und Organisation: Perspektiven für die Entwicklung der organisatorischen Kommunikation. München: CW-Publikationen 1983. (Forschungsprojekt Bürokommunikation, Bd. 3)
  • Bodem, Helmut; Hauke, Peter; Lange, Bernd; Zangl, Hans: Kommunikationstechnik und Wirtschaftlichkeit: Eine Analyse am Beispiel von Teletex und Telefax. München: CW-Publikationen 1984. (Forschungsprojekt Bürokommunikation, Bd. 5)
  • Schönecker, Horst; Jäckel, Peter; Schwatlo, Uta: Kommunikationstechnik und Bedienerakzeptanz. München: CW-Publikationen 1985. (Forschungsprojekt Bürokommunikation, Bd. 6)

Update Metadata: 2021-04-07 | Issue Number: 92 | Registration Date: 2010-07-22