Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

William P. Foster, EdD, Director


clerical workers, higher education, managers, office automation, transition, universities


The purpose of this research was to study the transition process of office automation and its impact on clerical workers. The objective was to provide computer-naive managers with recommendations on factors to consider when managing the office automation change process. The topic was investigated using a case study approach. The setting was a large, multi-function, research-oriented, urban university on the west coast. Data were gathered through interviews, observations and examination of documents. Twenty-five clerical workers (representing different segments of the campus and having experience using different types of computer-assisted office equipment), who had experienced the transition process of office automation, were interviewed in depth. Ten of those subjects were additionally interviewed in group settings. Administrative personnel who had responsibility for managing computing resources were interviewed for background data. Information was gathered from the subjects concerning their experiences with and perceptions of the automation change process, and the impact of automation on their jobs. The data were analyzed by the following categories: (a) factors affecting the transition process, (b) factors impacting on efficient use of computer-assisted equipment, (c) job changes resulting from office automation, and (d) factors associated with the use of different types of computer-assisted equipment. Key findings were that (a) the prospect of office automation can be anxiety-producing for potential users, (b) most users did not receive adequate training, (c) lack of training may result in underutilization of computer-assisted equipment, (d) there was no indication that automation diminished communication among users, and (e) most of the subjects reported high job satisfaction after automation. It was the researcher's conclusion that the significant issue of office automation is how the automation change process is managed, not the automation per se. It is recommended that managers include users in office automation decision-making in order to minimize problems associated with user anxiety, training, job design and efficient use of the equipment.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access