Thursday, 30 September 2010

Harvard Business Review gets it completely wrong on computers!

Considering it's such an esteemed journal, Harvard Business Review doesn't half come out with some rubbish at times.

Just listen to these comments in the the article Never Overestimate the Power of a Computer by Ralph F. Lewis:
  • It can do the calculating, but it can't do the planning.
  • The benefits of computers will not be as dramatic as the press would have us believe.
  • The main contribution of the computer is in handling long, complicated calculations.
  • Most business computers are ordered merely to keep up with the Joneses.
  • Businesses often install computer systems without knowing for sure in advance how they will be most helpful.
  • There has been little evidence of major gains in the process of management decision making through computers.
  • The major contribution of computer systems will be in the area of providing better or faster information to management.
  • There are very few computer systems in use today which could be judged as economic from any standpoint.
  • The potential number of large-scale computer installations dealing with data-processing problems is probably something under 1,000 in the USA.
  • Computer systems have not lived up to the expectations raised by publicity.
A surprisingly reactionary stance from Harvard Business Review?

OK, the editorial team of HR Case Studies will come clean. The article in question appeared in HBR in the month in which the Editor-in-Chief made his entry to the world: October 1957.

Happy Birthday to me!

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