The new information and communication technologies : the driving force behind change or merely substitutes for change ?

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Francis PAVÉ

Sociologue CNRS

Seminar Business life | Friday May 3, 2002

When those in charge of the civil service want to improve productivity, they turn almost automatically to new information and communication technologies which are often seen to be the sole driving force behind change. It is hoped these technologies bring modernity, rationality and co-operation. In these circumstances, putting forward technological advantages remains one of the only possibilities for action in a civil service which can be changed by a decision to abandon managerial action. Francis Pavé explains that the change brought about by this technological breakthrough merely serves to shake up social mores without achieving any real improvements. Such improvements can only come about if the new information and communication technologies are only secondary to managerial action. This conclusion is also valid in private organisations, where too often new information and communication technologies merely play the role of substitutes for change, in spite of supposedly broader managerial margins for manoeuvre.

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This session was published in issue n°38 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled Audace et clairvoyance .

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