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The purpose of this research was to determine the extent of penetration of managerial workstations into the management ranks; and whether age, education and exposure to automation do affect perceptions and subsequent productivity gains from workstation utilization.
Are the attitudes and beliefs of older managers the key factor in slowing progress in implementing change and reaping the benefits of productivity? Or, are companies failing in their implementation strategies and participative management approaches?
A descriptive-survey design was utilized. The cover letter and three-page questionnaire were circulated to 490 companies in the five-county metropolitan Atlanta area. Represented in this sample was a cross section of public and private sector organizations. Variables addressed in the six hypotheses were: nature of workstation use; involvement in planning; perception of benefit to productivity; and preferred method of training.
Data was entered into a data base for query manipulation. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, (SPSS), software was utilized for analysis, using chi-square, Cramer's V and correlation analysis.
Findings support exposure to automation and the length of time the manager has been using the workstation in the daily setting, to be more influential than age. Communication with other workers via the workstation did not prove to be as strong a determinant of whether the manager perceived the workstation to be beneficial to his/her productivity.
Fully supported was the positive effect of having the manager participate in the initial planning for implementation of automation. Self-study was the preferred method of training.
Further research is needed on the effect of automation on decision-making and the most effective training strategies for this unique and critical population. Top managers cannot afford to ignore the value-added benefit potential to productivity afforded by managerial workstations.