Économie et Statistique n° 387 - 2005 Greater Paris between 1975 and 1999: a geographical and economic transformation - Information technology, work organisation and social interactions - Are the State and the family unit substitutable in the financial support of the unemployed in Europe?
Information technology, work organisation and social interactions
The complementarity between the use of information technology and innovative organisational practices, on the one hand, and the selection principles that guide their diffusion at the work post level, on the other hand, must be analysed in a unified framework. The common selection principles governing the allocation of information technology and the organisational design of the work posts are connected to the choice of the network configuration of social interactions within the company. This interactive social structure is analysed with reference to the concept of «social capital» (human capital which an individual can access when interacting with others). Unable to directly measure it, we assume that it plays a role when the group memberships of the workers or the socio-demographic composition of the company's workforce influence the modernisation of the work stations. Therefore, in the complementarity between technology and organisation we can distinguish between that which derives from a pure coordination of choices in these two dimensions from that which derives from the selection process of workers. The tests conducted within the «labour force» section of the 1997 survey "Changements Organisationnels et l'Informatisation" (Organisational Change and Computerisation) allow two propositions to be verified. Firstly, the social capital of workers favours their access to computers and more generally to Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and to work posts with innovative productive and informational characteristics. Secondly, the complementarity that is measured in the work post between the use of ICT and the innovative organisational characteristics is explained in part by this social capital common selection principle in the technological and organisational modernisation, in particular for the innovative organisational characteristics which integrate a relational dimension and for work posts occupied by the less qualified workers.