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Software by Design: Shaping Technology and The Workplace

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As computers become more and more integral to business and other organizational operations around the world, software design must increasingly meet the social demands of the workplace. This book provides an informative, cogent examination of how various social factors--such as organizational structure, workplace relations, and market conditions--together shape software developers' technical design decisions. Through a survey of major software companies and in-depth case studies of the banking, hospital, and equipment field service industries, the authors identify factors that influence specific design strategies and examine the significant consequences that engineering decisions have on users' work, workplace quality of life, and opportunities for autonomy and skill development. The book concludes with a chapter devoted to exploring how a progressive design approach can improve both the performance and working conditions of an organization. By providing an important empirical study of the social construction of technology, the authors offer an insightful understanding of the challenges inherent in effective software design. The book will appeal to professionals and students in software design, information systems management, computer science, and the sociology of work and technology.

About the Author

Harold Salzman is at University of Louisville Center for Urban and Economic Research. Stephen R. Rosenthal is at Boston University School of Management.
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