AI & Society

, Volume 9, Issue 2–3, pp 161–183 | Cite as

Knowledge-intensive systems in the social service agency: Anticipated impacts on the organisation

  • William J. FernsJr
  • Abbe MowshowitzEmail author


Shrinking resources and the increasing complexity of clinical decisions are stimulating research in knowledge-intensive computer applications for the delivery of social services. The expected benefits of knowledge-intensive applications such as expert systems include improvement in both the quality and the consistency of service delivery, augmentation of institutional memory, and reduced labour costs through greater reliance on paraprofessionals. This paper analyses the likely impacts of knowledge-intensive systems on social service organisations, drawing on trends in related service-delivery fields, and on known impacts of computer applications in organisations. A structural change may be anticipated: decision making and planning functions will shift increasingly from social service professionals to administrators.


Bureaucratic rationalism Expert systems Knowledge-intensive systems Organisational impact Social services 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Statistics/Computer Information SystemsBaruch College of the City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Social Science Informatics, Faculty of PhsychologyUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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