Re: IT uses

From: John Conover <>
Subject: Re: IT uses
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 1993 03:42:37 -0700 (PDT)

John Conover writes:
> The previous applications offered a "how to" "cook book" approach to
> the integration of IT into the organizational decision making process.
> A good question should be addressed, at this time, as to why one would
> want to do so. To answer this question, I will offer a rather pompous
> analytical derivation, and then discuss the conclusions, relating the
> perspective to a typical organization, in (hopefully) a way that
> conceptual conclusions can be drawn as to the applicability of IT to a
> specific environment.

This is the research literature bibliography that was used in the
"IT uses" applications.

References relating to the global economy, the post industrial
revolution, and the information age.

1) "The end of History and the Last Man," Francis Fukuyama, Free
   Press, (a Division of Macmillan,) New York, New York, 1992.

   Mr. Fukuyama was the Deputy Director of Planning of the U.S. State
   Department's Policy Planning Staff. The book was authored at the
   Rand Corporation, and is an extension of the work done by Mr.
   Fukuyama while at U.S. department of State. This book is very
   difficult to read do to the convoluted presentation of the subject.
   It is rich in the empirical and theoretical directions of the world
   economy, and includes both in historical perspective. The world
   economy, the third world economy, and the U.S. contemporary economy
   are related in their geopolitical sense to capitalism and liberal
   democracy, and a future course of events is anticipated, based on
   the historical perspective. This book should be required reading
   for anyone responsible for strategic planning in a global economy.
   In general, to summarize the book, Mr. Fukuyama claims that the
   world economy is in a state of transition, as the third world
   countries enter the industrial revolution with their cheap labor
   rates (Japan has done it and succeeded, Tiawan is about to do it.)
   He further claims that the U.S. economy is in transition, as it
   leaves the industrial revolution, and enters the post-industrial-
   revolution (ie., the information age,) and joins the countries that
   have already done so, Germany, etc. In this new role, the majority
   of the economy would "add value to goods manufactured in other
   countries," and it is the point of the book, that this can only
   happen in a decentralized economy (ie., capitalism,) and liberal
   democracy. He cites the failure of the USSR, and Mainland China as
   examples of societies that can not break out of the industrial
   revolution, and move forward into a modern techno/informational

2) "Sunburst: The Ascent of Sun Microsystems," Mark Hall, John
   Barry, Contemporary Books, Chicago, Ill., 1990.

   This is the official history of Sun Microsystems. Of particular
   interest is the reasons for Sun's success in view of global
   economic agenda outlined by Mr. Fukuyama, above. This is a
   non-technical book, and enjoyable reading. It should be required
   for anyone responsible for strategic marketing in a global economy.
   There is a presentation of the personalities involved in the
   company, and the way that they cooperated to form and grow the
   enterprise. Of particular interest is Sun's concept of what
   computing in the present and future is all about. I include this
   reference because it is the history of a proto-type company that is
   exploiting situation of the post-industrial-revolution, ie., the
   information age, see Fukuyama, above. (Today, manufacturing
   constitutes about 10% of the GNP, services the rest, ref. U.S.
   Dept. Interior.)

3) "Hard Drive," James Wallace, Jim Erickson, Wiley, New York, New York,

   This book is the official history of Microsoft. Of particular
   interest is how Microsoft was established to take advantage of the
   information age (this was Paul Allen's dream-he had to coerce Bill
   Gates at the time.) It is uncanny how consistent the success of
   Microsoft is with Mr. Fukuyama work, above. This book is enjoyable
   reading, and should be read by anyone responsible for strategic
   and/or tactical marketing in the information age. Of particular
   interest is Microsoft's concept of what computing in the present
   and future is all about-tactically, it is in contradiction with Sun
   Micro., above, but strategically they are the same. Ditto the last
   two sentences describing the Sun Microsystems entry above.

4) "Father Son & Co.," Thomas J. Watson Jr., Bantam Books, New York,
   New York, 1990.

   This book is the autobiography of the man that took IBM into the
   information age, from the mechanical tabulator age. A history of
   IBM, and how T. J. Watson Sr., built it is presented. A history of
   IBM sales/service is initiated with a detailed account of Mr. John
   Henry Patterson's sales techniques at NCR. (FYI Patterson invented
   the modern sales techniques used in the U.S. today-he is the
   founding father of salesmanship/service.) I include this reference,
   because it is the history of a company that exploited the situation
   at the end of the industrial revolution of a large society, see
   Fukuyama, above. (In IBM's hayday, manufacturing constituted about
   50% of the GNP, services the rest.)

5) "My Years with General Motors," Alfred P. Sloan, Doubleday, New York,
   New York, 1963,

   I include this as a reference solely because of the book's
   historical importance. (See the Forward by Peter Drucker.) This
   book is the recollections of the man that created the largest
   corporation in the world, and how he did it. Of particular interest
   is his views on management though policy and committee, his
   tribulation with financial interests and control, and the board-and
   how he handled them for 40 years. This book is interesting reading
   to anyone trying to understand the history of American management
   paradigms.  Ditto the last two sentences describing IBM above.

6) "The Virtual Corporation," William H. Davidow & Michael S. Malone,
   Harper Business, New York, New York, 1992.

   Good book on what modern business is like in the 1990's. Probably a
   good book on how the U.S. economy relates to the global economy and
   what American business has to do to survive. Explores the changes
   that must take place in management, organization, engineering and
   the market place in the new intellectual oriented businesses.
   Explores the value of Information Technology to make an intelligent

7) "Reengineering the Corporation," Michael Hammer & James Champy,
   Harper Business, New York, New York, 1993.

   Good book on customer satisfaction and how to implement it to save
   operations expenses. Very critical of contemporary American
   business.  Claims that we are entering the 21'st century with an
   organizational concept that was designed in the 19'th century. Good
   documentation of successes the authors have had with the concept.
   Goes into detail on what "empowerment" means, and how it is in
   contradiction with the management concepts of the industrial
   revolution, which the authors claim still dominates American

8) "Intelligent Enterprise," James Brian Quin, Free Press, New York,
   New York, 1992.

   Good book on knowledge based services, and how they are supposedly
   revitalizing the economy. Author supports the view that knowledge
   and service based core competencies are the essence of the future.
   Fair analysis of the economic benefits of this strategy and how it
   can leverage market penetration and share. Analysis of Wal-Mart
   Merck, Honda, Apple, Boeing, etc. Good detail on radically new
   organizational structures, e.g., inverted, starburst, spiderweb,
   etc. Probably a book to read.

9) "No Excuses Management," T. J. Rodgers, William Taylor, and Rick
   Foreman, Currency Doubleday, New York, New York.

   Good reading if you enjoy T. J. Rodgers philosophy's. Explains
   novel uses of email as a tool for project management. Probably an
   important book with valuable insight if you are in charge of an
   organization that is stuck on high center. Probably practical
   management insight.

10) "Computer Augmented Teamwork," Edited by Robert P. Bostrom,
   Richard T. Watson, Susan T. Kinney, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York,
   New York, 1992.

   Excellent book on how to make teamwork happen over a network. Very
   authoritive. Contains the Internet addresses of the "who's who" of
   IT. Good on details of implementation. All contributors are from
   the field of team technology. Offers descriptions of commercial
   products available. Good lay descriptions of technical attributes
   of group/team software.

References relating to group dynamics, management, and sociology of
the modern enterprise.

1) "Developing Products in Half the Time," Preston G. Smith, Donald G.
   Reinertsen, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, New York, 1991.

   Good book on how to organize and manage an engineering group to
   expedite the concept-to-market cycle. Explains the benefits of
   doing this, but doesn't explain why one would want to. Suggests
   concurrent design methodologies in the appendix, but says that the
   customer should be involved in the conceptual stage. Starting on
   page 134, outlines structure alternatives-this part is worth
   studying.  (We have a copy with highlighted context for quick

2) "Computer-Supported Cooperative Work: A Book of Readings," edited by
   Irene Greif, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, San Mateo, Ca., 1988.

   A dated book, but worth reading some sections. Primarily a
   justification for the way Lotus set up its development
   organization. This is probably the first book to use the term
   "groupware," (page 9,) and has some implications for working
   together at a distance (section 9.) Some of the sections are on
   (administrative) office procedures. Section 9 addresses the social
   implications of "groupware," and is rather cursory. Section 20 is
   on the implications concerning organizations and management-very
   well done. Section 21 is specifically addressing the organization
   and its value added information technologies to the global marked
   situation-probably the first time this was addressed in any tech.
   pub.-required reading and is still current. Section 25 is on social
   context of electronic communications-so-so, but probably worth the
   time spent to read it.  (We have a copy with highlighted context
   for quick reference.)

3) "In the Age of the Smart Machine," Shoshana Zuboff, Basic Books, Inc.,
   Publishers, New York, New York, 1984.

   A book that is still important. Shoshana is an Associate Professor
   at Harvard, with credentials in sociology and business. A truly
   excellent, (and boring) book describing the pitfalls of the
   application of technology through history, and projects, from the
   historical prospective, what information technology is going to do
   to society. Particularly interesting on the sociological
   implications of the industrial revolution on organizations.
   Probably the first book to mention that there is something
   following the industrial revolution, (the "post-industrial
   revolution," fancy that, ie., the information revolution.) Should
   be required reading for anyone with decision responsibilities in
   the information age-strictly non-technical. Shoshana was a
   consultant to S-MOS until 1989.  (We had a copy with highlighted
   context for quick reference-lost at S-MOS.)

4) "Intellectual Teamwork: Social and Technological Foundations of
   Cooperative Work," Edited by Jolene Galegher, Rober E. Kraut, Carmen
   Egido, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, New Jersey, 1990.

   Good book on social processes, group dynamics, and organizational
   dynamics in the information age. Non-technical, addressing the
   social sciences-excellent empirical studies and bibliography.
   Suggests ways to measure the effectiveness of information and
   inter-computing.  (We had a copy with highlighted context for quick
   reference-lost at S-MOS.)

5) "5th Generation Management: Integrating Enterprises through Human
   Networking," Charles M. Savage, Digital Press, 1990.

   Tom Peters considers this to be the "Book of the Year."  Good book
   on what's wrong with management. Kind of a "hippie" book, (ie.,
   "down with everything.") Truly excellent on the evolution of the
   steep hierarchies in the industrial revolution (chapter 8,) and why
   they don't (and in his opinion, will never) work. This is basically
   a good book, (and is required reading for all of my staff.) My
   problem is it is a very negative book, that harps on what's wrong,
   and then harps on the way things should be (probably with some
   validity)-but does not address how to get there. Gives an example
   of a corporation that has spent much resources on an MIS system
   that is inadequate for the corporation's needs. Outright calls the
   organization an MIS state, run by an information czar.  (We have a
   copy with highlighted context for quick reference.)

6) "Enterprise Networking: Working Together Apart," Ray Grenier,
   George Metes, Digital Press, 1992.

   Truly excellent. Required reading for all of my staff. A very
   practical book, that is well written and informative on the social,
   organizational and technical aspects of competing in a global
   economy. Explains why one would want to do it that way, what would
   happen if you don't, and the way to invoke change to get there.
   Based on the quarter century of experience of Douglas C. Englebart
   in doing it. (FYI, Doug, who is a consultant to S-MOS, is credited
   with the invention of 1) the mouse, 2) the personal computer-the
   MAC and PC are copies that the courts have said cannot be patented
   because of previous work done by Doug, 3) windows-ditto, 4) pull
   down menus-ditto, 5) hypertext-ditto.) Good section (chapter 14) on
   benchmarking the organization. Good section (chapter 13) on the
   effect of information technology on quality. Very big on capability
   environments, and their application to the global competitive
   situation. The chapter on implementation, (referencing Englebart
   himself, and the various engineering groups he has had
   responsibility for,) is truly a masterpiece of simplicity.  There
   are 8 copies of this book floating around S-MOS, I would like them
   back someday-this book is the Bible of concurrent engineering,
   distributed information networks, inter-computing, and simultaneous
   distributed work-the thing that ties marketing, sales, engineering,
   etc. together into a coherent organization.  (We have a copy with
   highlighted context for quick reference.)

7) "Home Work," Phillip E. Mahfood, Probus Publishing Co., Chicago,
   Illinois, 1992.

   A book that interested us in using tele-computing from home to form
   a distributed company. (Rumor has it that because of the
   environmental issues, California will be going to a 3 or 4 day work
   week within the next 5 years, 2 years in L.A.-we were curious as to
   how to manage the situation, and if tele-computing was applicable.)
   Of interest is the so-so success of tele-computing in Europe (they
   are ahead of us these developments.) Of particular interest is the
   European "Work-O-Tels" that address the same issues, but avoid the
   pit falls of the implementations that we are experimenting with.
   Excellent on the legal implications of tele- computing, and its
   global implications. Particularly good on who, and why (and who
   not) to select to work from home.  (We have a copy with highlighted
   context for quick reference.)

8) "Leadership and the Computer," Mary E. Boone, Prima Publishing,
   Rocklin, Ca., 1991.

   Good book on managing by information, and how to exercise
   leadership in the information age. Many case studies involving
   sophisticated information systems, and simple ones. Many interviews
   with CEO's from the fortune 500 list. Not necessarily a "how to"
   book, but does outline the way others have done it. Good reading
   for upper level management in a modern company.

9) "Connections," Lee Sproull, Sara Kiesler, MIT press, Cambridge,
   Massachusetts, 1991.

   Good book on the sociological implications of inter-computing, and
   how to avoid the pit falls (required reading for my staff.) Details
   of electronic group dynamics (chapter 4) is very good. That
   technology (such as inter-computing) always come as a two edged
   sword, with good and bad aspects is well presented in chapter 1.
   Particularly well written chapter on control and influence (chapter
   6.) Explanation of why one would want more than just efficiency is
   also well presented (chapter 2.) Implementational details and
   strategy is particularly weak.  (We have a copy with highlighted
   context for quick reference.)

10) "The Corporation of the 1990's," Edited by Michael S. Scott
   Morton, Oxford University Press, New York, New York, 1991.

   Excellent book on using electronic media for collaborative
   research.  Author is Dean of the MIT Sloan School of Management.
   Excellent book on history and uses of IT. Excellent on the
   organizational changes that must accompany the integration of IT
   into the contemporary organization. Well researched. Easy to read.
   (We have a copy with highlighted context for quick reference.)

11) "Paradigm Shift," Don Tapscott, Art Caston, McGraw Hill, New York,
    New York, 1993.

    Another good book on IT. Good for the non-technical. Well
    researched with good details of the various studies of integrating
    IT into an organization. Discusses the work-group concept and how
    technology can be applied to increase productivity and how IT can
    be used to "integrate the organization." Good book for the
    un-initiated on terminology and concepts of IT.

12) "The TeamNet Factor," Jessica Lipnack & Jeffrey Stamps, Oliver
    Publications, Essix Junction, VT., 1993.

    Good book on establishing teams that are networked together across
    functional organizations. Good on implementation. Studies are
    cited from Europe and U.S., both large and small companies.
    Probably should be required reading for modern managers that have
    to manage through networked technology.

13) "A Model for Distributed Campus Computing," George A. Champine,
   Digital Press, 1991.

   I reference this book, because it is the conceptual model of the
   "Internet." (FYI the "Internet" is one of the technological marvels
   of the 20th century-it is a high speed network that links over 2
   million computers, and an estimated 28 million people, together
   with a high speed WAN-10 meg/sec.-and extends from Europe, through
   the Americas, and to the Pac. Rim. Computer resources are shared
   across the network. It is funded by mandate from the U.S. Congress,
   and administered by the NSF, after being developed by DARPA.) It is
   also the model for our networks at S-MOS. This book is required
   reading for the Systems Engineering staff at S-MOS. Of particular
   interest is the authentication procedures used, as defined in the
   project, Athena. This book is rather academic in nature, and
   probably of no interest to anyone in management.

    I include this book because of its historical perspective. It
    re-publishes many of the original works of Vanavar Bush. (Fredric
    Terman was one of Vanavar Bush's students at MIT-Bush had the
    notion that industry and academia should team up, and pressed the
    issue with Terman. Terman is the "Founder" of Silicon Valley.)
    The book's historical value is that it was Bush that first
    proposed (in the mid 1940's) that a computer could be used to
    manipulate a full text database system. The proposed system was
    called Memex, which evolved into the Hypertext system that is
    available on the Apple/MAC. It is an important historical

15) "Engineering Information Management Systems," John Stark, Van
   Nostrand Reinhold, New York, New York, 1992.

   Excellent book on the technical details of specifying a concurrent
   engineering support database. The issues addressed are not, by any
   means, trivial. Book was written in Switzerland, where most of the
   commercial software that addresses concurrent engineering is
   written. Good reading if you are designing a engineering MIS
   system.  (We have a copy with highlighted context for quick

Detail references relating the theoretical aspects of the above

1) "Games and Decisions," R. Duncan Luce, Howard Raiffa, John Wiley and
   Sons, New York, New York, 1957.

   The classic (it is back in print, by the way,) on game theory, and
   optimization techniques as used in the social sciences, by the two
   Rand Corporation theorist that worked under Von Neumann when
   developing the science. The book is a critical survey, on where and
   when such techniques can be applied effectively. It is not a book
   of Zealotry, and outlines (liberally) the limitations of the
   science. It specifically states that game theory may be of little
   use to the military strategist, but may become important as a tool
   for the social sciences. It analyzes democracy and tyranny, (and
   BTW the axiomatization of committee decisions is intriguing.) The
   book is well written, and the accompanying description of the
   rather pompous mathematics is easily read by the non-technical
   person. The math is involved. Complete grasp of the Linear
   Algebras, mathematical programming, and the calculus is mandatory.
   Conceptual grasps of set theory, and the principles of
   axiomatization is required for an in-depth study of the book. The
   book starts with the classics, zero-sum games, the prisoner's
   dilemma, etc., and concludes with the multiple player non-zero-sum
   games, and the axiomatization of group decisions, etc. Many of the
   axiomatization principles used were commissioned (to the Rand
   Corporation,) from the Dept. of State, and the DOD, in the 1950's
   and 1960's.

2) "Mathematical Methods of Operations Research," Thomas L. Saaty, Dover
   Publications, New York, New York, 1959.

   This book, also a classic, (also back in print,) is almost a
   companion book to Luce (above.) It is a numerical methods book on
   the implementation of the algorithms outlined in Luce, with some
   additional work on queueing theory. A book for the serious person
   involved in operations research-it would take a determined person
   to wade through the pomposity of the mathematics involved.

3) "Introduction to Minimax," V.F. Demyanov and V.N. Malozernov, Keter
   Publishing House, Jerusalem Ltd., 1974.

   I mention this classic reference because it lays the ground work
   for the book by Luce, et. al. It is an extension of Von Neumann's
   original work with the economist Morgenstern in the late 1930's
   which axiomatized the economic principles as we understand them
   today (or don't, depending on your point of view.) This book has
   made many good engineers out of not so determined mathematicians.
   It was a for runner to Rene Thom's catastrophe theory, (out of
   Institut desHautes Etudes Scientiques, near Paris, France,) which
   is highly regarded as new way of analyzing things economic., etc.

4) "Mathematical Programming and Games," Edward L. Kaplan, John Wiley
   and Sons, 1982.

   A more recent book on the above theoretical topics, that has a
   great explanation of the economic dual in linear programming.
   Duality is the relationship between optimal production and marginal
   values of the things that go into the optimal production, and this
   books spends a lot of time on this important issue, the above
   references are inadequate (at least in my humble and inconsequential

5) "Introduction to Operations Research," Frederick S. Hillier, Gerald
   J. Lieberman, McGraw-Hill, New York, New York, 1990.

   This is the text to the course at Stanford University, and comes
   complete with a disk of programs so that one can play with the
   science. (Stanford is very big on OR, as a matter of fact, it was
   invented there in the late 1940's under contract to the DOD, by
   George Dantzig, who is still on staff.) I reference this book not
   because of its technical value, but because it is more modern than
   those listed above, and it is a fairly complete compendium on the
   the science. It is, however, not very rigorous.

6) "Searching for Certainty," John L. Casti, William Morrow, New York,
   New York, 1990.

   A truly great book. It is probably a fair appraisal of the
   capability of mathematical science to predict things-and why
   mathematics works at all. Casti is an ex-patriot of the Rand
   Corporation, and following technology to Europe, was one of the
   first staff members of the International Institute of Applied
   Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Vienna, Austria. He is now on the
   faculty of the Technical University of Vienna.  This book is not
   only readable, but also entertaining-it is a must for any
   scientific zealot to put 20th century science into perspective.  It
   is easy reading and interesting, presenting current scientific
   thought in the historic perspective of science's successes and
   failures in the last half of this century. In a previous book,
   "Alternate Realities," (John Wiley and Sons, New York, New York,
   1989,) he teaches (this is a text book by the way, and more
   technical than his current book) the correct way to axiomatize
   (ie., model) the systems listed above in this section. It turns
   out, that this is a non-trivial exercise, and accounts for many of
   the failures (of things like the theory of chaos, etc.) A must for
   anyone modeling organizations, etc.

7) "Information-Theoretic Incompleteness," G. J. Chaitin, World Scientific,
   New Jersey, 1992.

   Probably one of the most important books of the 20'th century. The
   implications of this work are still not generally understood. It is
   easy to read, and the author spends a significant part of the book
   explaining the issues to a lay audience. The formal sections are
   not for the un-initiated, by any means.

8) "Fuzzy Sets, Uncertainty, and Information," George J. Klir and Tina
   A. Folger, Printice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1988.

   Excellent book on the application of information theory. The author
   is quite distinguished in the field, and the text is interesting.
   Again, like 7) and 6) above, the limits of science (at least as we
   understand them today) are investigated. If you want to explore
   what information theory is "all about," this is an excellent
   choice. Very practical, and well written.


John Conover,,

Copyright © 1993 John Conover, All Rights Reserved.
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