University of Oxford Invites Professor Barley for a 3-Day Talk

Professor Stephen R. Barley recently spoke at the Clarendon Lectures at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford during a three-day talk series from October 25-27.

Held in conjunction with Oxford University Press, the Clarendon Lectures are designed to inform an academic audience of important issues in management and the social sciences. Professor Barley’s talks were on:

  • What is a Technological Revolution?

Over the last several centuries swarms of innovations have periodically altered the technical infrastructures on which the production systems of Western societies rest.  This talk provides a framework for thinking about our past and future by arguing that control systems are the target of today’s cutting edge technological developments which, if successful, will end having automated of the components of production processes.

  • How Do Technologies Change Organizations?

In order to change organizations new technologies must do more than alter work practices, they must also occasion changes in role relationships which, by definition, change the networks that constitute organizational structures. I develop this perspective by drawing on the work of Irving Goffman and other symbolic interactionists to propose a framework for pragmatically bridging the material and social aspects of technological change.

  • Managing the Fears of Studying Technical Work

Doing ethnographies of technical work presents challenges unlike those encountered when doing fieldwork in other settings.  This talk offers tips for how to manage these challenges based on thirty years trial and error learning while confronting the fears of doing ethnographies of technical occupations.

For more information, visit the Clarendon Lectures in Management Studies.

Professor Stephen R. Barley is the Christian A. Felipe Chair of Technology Management at the College of Engineering at the University of California Santa Barbara. Barley’s research interests include the impact of new technologies on work and organizations and the effects of corporate power on the Federal Government. Read more about the faculty.