32 Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Q. 5 (2003)

handle is hein.journals/npvolsq32 and id is 1 raw text is: 













                               ARTICLES




Information Technology and
the  Voluntary Sector Workplace




Judith  R.  Saidel
Stephanie Cour
University   at Albany,  State  University   of New  York



   There is little debate over whether technological change affects work processes and tasks.
   Yet, exactly how this happens is not at all clear. This study asks the question: How have
   information technologies changed the nature and distribution of work and workplace
   relationships in voluntary sector organizations? The authors conducted in-depth,
   semistructured interviews with 23 respondents in three nonprofit agencies in the capital
   region of New York State that had an extensive history of involvement in contracting
   relationships with multiple government bureaucracies. The results indicate that the
   autonomy and flexibility associated with much of the work performed by the nonprofit
   labor force influence how information technology affects workplace processes and rela-
   tionships. Employees with widely varying backgrounds fill newly defined IT jobs. Job sat-
   isfaction, workload, and the distribution of power have been altered in a number of com-
   plex ways. Responses regarding technology and the relationship between nonprofits and
   government are also explored.

   Keywords:  information technology; voluntary sector workplace; human resources
              management


There  is little debate over whether technological  change  affects work  pro-
cesses and tasks. Yet, exactly how this happens is not at all clear. According to
Futurework,   a 1999 U.S. Department  of Labor report, technology  has fun-
damentally  changed  work  as we know   it. Studies conducted in business and
government settings   offer evidence  of the complexity  of workplace   issues
associated with  the introduction of new  technology. At the same  time, how-
ever, one theme  appears  consistently-the  potential of technology  to trans-
form  the substantive content of individual jobs (Hodson  & Parker, 1988) and


Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, vol. 32, no. 1, March 2003 5-24
DOI: 10.1177/0899764002250004
@ 2003 Sage Publications
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