Castells identifies two potential consequences of the introduction of information technology into the workplace: dispersal of the workforce and individualization of work, including the spread of teleworking. Such tendencies would undermine one of the rationales for cities: bringing large numbers of people together in order to choreograph their work. Has information technology had the impact that Castells suggests? Evidence from interviews with members of the financial and business services sector in central Manchester is used to test Castells' claim about the effects of information technology on work and workers. The interviewees reveal that, despite changes in working practices resulting from heavy investment in information technologies, the potency of formal and informal face-to-face interaction to generate cohesion and trust, and maintain competitiveness, encourages firms to locate in the city centre and curtails the attraction of teleworking.
- Information technology
- Producer services