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The world of business and organizations is now entering a period of dramatic changes -- changes that many people believe will be as significant as those that characterized the Industrial Revolution. There is no shortage of speculations, anecdotes, and opinions about what these changes are and how they will develop in the future. There is, however, a great shortage of systematic empirical data about how organizations are actually changing. The goal of this project is to collect and analyze a comprehensive set of systematic and grounded empirical data about what is really happening as organizations and economies reshape themselves with information technology over time.

The SeeIT (Social and Economic Explorations of Information Technology) Project at MIT Sloan School of Management which began in September 2000 is a multi-year multidisciplinary, longitudinal study of the effects of information technology on organizational and work practices. To ensure consistent and systematic data over time, we intend to focus our research investigations of this sample of organizations in two primary areas -- transformations in the nature of commerce and transformations in the nature of work. These two areas were among those identified in the 1999 PITAC report published by the U.S. Government (PITAC, 1999) as arenas where the advances in information technology are creating tremendous opportunities for profound socioeconomic changes.

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We will examine these questions over time in a sample of organizations that are migrating to and operating on the Internet. We propose to focus these questions on three specific issues:

This research is funded by the National Science Foundation grant number IIS-0085725. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recomendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).


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