Use of computers and applications

Use of computers and applications by senior executives, The information and communication technologies (ICTs) have increased the productivity of various groups with in organisations, but one of the groups that has adopted ICTs least is that of senior executives. The aim of the present paper is to analyse the factors that affect the use of ICTs by senior executives, gathering them together within a reference framework that willenable us to take them into account when implementing systems intended for this group. If senior executives adopted ICTs more widely, they would increase their productivity.The beginnings of the relationship between ICTs, executives and decision making can be traced back to the times of the first computers. Over the years several arguments have been put forward to explain the lack of computer use among executives, including: their poor keyboard skills, their lack of training and experience in computer use, and even concern about their status, as they felt that using a computer was not part of their job, along with a set of other reasons related to the alternative between the flexibility or simplicity of systems, that is, if systems were inflexible or over-simple they added no value. But there are other cases in which executives overcome these reasons, for example that of Lockheed-Georgia (Houdeshel & Watson,1987). In the mid 1950s, it was the opinion of most scientists that computers would have a notable impact on scientific calculation (e.g., in astronomy and the military sphere). A few (including Russell Ackoff, John Diebold and J.W. Forrester) agreed that computers would, in the immediate future, revolutionise the work of executives in policies, strategyand decision making (Drucker,1998). The possibility that computers and applications would affect the way executives work was already anticipated. Although computers existed before this date, 1965 marked an unprecedented change when IBM presented their System/360 family. At that moment, scientists began to ask themselves how computers might help humans to improve decision making. Collaborations between scientists at the Carnegie Institution, together with Marvin Minsky of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and John McCarthy of Stanford University, developed the first cognitive computer models, which were the embryo of artificial intelligence (Buchanan & O’Connell,2006).

The paper starts with a description of the methodology and a literature review to establish a definition of the senior executive. We then go on to examine the various research projects that have been carried out on the use of applications or computers by senior executives, and conclude with a proposal of what we consider to be the keyfactors in the development of applications intended for senior executives.As we will see presently, the key factors are related to the senior executives themselves, the system or application, and the project

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