By Don Tapscott

Office Automation (1981)


Office Automation (1981) was the first book to outline the case for the use of multifunction workstations connected to networks. It argues that computers, that at the time were used purely for data processing, would become communications tools. The book was inspired by Don Tapscott’s collaboration with Douglas Englebart who was the pioneer visionary of the digital age.

The book described in detail the first ever controlled experiment (conducted by Tapscott and the team at Canada’s Bell Northern Research) of the impact of networked computer tools on knowledge work. A group of knowledge workers, including senior executives was given a complete suite of tools like electronic main, word processing, document handling, time management, financial planning and project management and compared to a control group using traditional manual tools. The test group performed better and communicated differently.

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Don Tapscott

Don Tapscott is one of the world's leading authorities on innovation, media, and the economic and social impact of technology. Named one of the world's most important living management thinkers by Thinkers50, he advises business and government leaders around the globe. Tapscott is the author or coauthor of some of the most widely read and cited books on technology in society, including Paradigm Shift, Growing Up Digital, Grown Up Digital, The Naked Corporation, Digital Capital, Wikinomics, and Macrowikinomics.

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