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The Interests Served B Y Technological Reform


This study explores the interests served by technological reform through an empirical analysis of power shifts stemming from the use of computer technology in American local governments. Alternative hypotheses concerning the existence and direction of power shifts are tested with survey and observational data collected in 42 U.S. cities. The findings indicate that computer-based systems tend to follow and reinforce the existing pattern of local government power relationships, whether that pattern be pluralistic or centralized in bureaucrats, technocrats, or politicians. Consequently, computing tends to support the interests of the status quo versus the interests of reform. © 1979, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.

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