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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2451/14504

Authors: Sasso, William C.
Issue Date: Feb-1986
Publisher: Stern School of Business, New York University
Series/Report no.: IS-86-06
Abstract: An "office" can be described in terms of at least four different (but related) sets of descriptors: the physical, the social, the organizational, and the work-related. This paper focuses on work-related aspects of offices, and presents two measures of complexity in office work. The first measure, operational complexity, gauges the average difficulty, in terms of the cognitive resources required, to perform a "chunk" of office work. Independent of this, sequential complexity measures the potential number of task sequences which could be used to accomplish a given chunk of work. Sequential complexity increases as does the number of "special cases," "special cases of special cases," etc. for which the chunk of office work need be performed. In other words, it focuses on the complexity of interrelationships between individual office tasks, while operational complexity is concerned with the complexity of the individual tasks themselves. We then combine these measures into a an aggregate measure of overall complexity, combined complexity. The application of these measures is illustrated, using descriptions of order entry processes, for two hypothetical firms, employing job shop and assembly-line technologies, respectively. While these three measures hardly comprise an exhaustive catalogue of complexity in the "office" (or even in office work), we believe they provide a useful basis for both practical application and further theoretical extension.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2451/14504
Appears in Collections:IOMS: Information Systems Working Papers

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