Productivity in the IT age

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If the 1960s swung, so the 1970s slumped. At least when it came to productivity. The era of chilled-out hippies and the oil crisis also gave birth to a less wellknown phenomenon: the ‘productivity paradox’, a conundrum more complex than Rubik's Cube. Great things were expected of the chunky computers that clunked onto the scene in the 1970s, but production figures remained disappointingly low. The paradox persists. Despite the billions of dollars poured into information technology (IT)—in the US alone, $500 billion was spent on IT during the 1990s (Ryan 1999)—companies are still not seeing a proportionate return in terms of productivity.

Keywords: it age; productivity

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 10, 2006

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