Int. J. of Electronic Finance   »   2012 Vol.6, No.2



Title: Technology-enabled division of labour: the use of handhelds


Authors: Jos Benders; Roel Schouteten; Céline De Ruijsscher


Catholic University of Leuven, Centre for Sociological Research (CESO), Parkstraat 45, P.O. Box 3601, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium; Tilburg University, Organization Studies, P.O. Box 90153, NL-5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands
Nijmegen School of Management, Institute for Management Research, Radboud University Nijmegen, P.O. Box 9108, NL-6500 HK Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Talis, P.O. Box 628, NL-6500 AP Nijmegen, The Netherlands


Abstract: Using the task pool model and data from 15 establishments in the Dutch hospitality industry, this study shows how and why applying handhelds affects the division of labour. These devices allow to split the waiters' jobs into separate tasks which tend to be combined into two separate "sub jobs": the "palmtopper" and the "runner". Whereas handhelds are not necessary for creating separate waiting jobs, the technology enables to create conditions under which it becomes attractive for management to opt for an increased division of labour. We show the contingent conditions and underlying mechanisms which explain why certain choices prevail.


Keywords: case study; division of labour; electronic ordering systems; e-finance; electronic finance; handhelds; handheld devices; hospitality industry; mobile payment systems; m-payments; The Netherlands; social voluntarism; technological determinism; volunteers; waiters; personal digital assistants; PDAs.


DOI: 10.1504/IJEF.2012.048466


Int. J. of Electronic Finance, 2012 Vol.6, No.2, pp.184 - 197


Available online: 07 Aug 2012



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