A Systems Analysis of White Collar Training

  • Robert B. Ochsman
  • Roger A. Webb


There is a TV ad for a computer company that is very instructive. The actor who we know as Radar from MASH answers the phone of a business at what appears to be closing time. An unseen customer apparently asks about prices since, after a few key strokes on a console, the actor answers about a price being in effect until a particular date. When the phone rings again the former Radar transfers himself with another few key strokes and effects a working class voice to answer a question about a shipping date. To a third call, the actor switches himself to research, effects a stuffy accent and answers yet another question. Finally, he puts on his hat and leaves after a grateful salute to the machine. This ad is ostensibly about the power of technology and is designed to sell a particular brand of computer. Appropriately configured, of course, any number of machines could function in this manner, so we see another feature of this situation as much more interesting. Here is an employee, who is actually utilizing the power of his company’s technology and who can function within a complex, multifaceted, organization in a comfortable and efficient manner. As psychologists we have two questions: where did they get this guy, and more important, where could they get some more?


Training Program White Collar White Collar Employee Class Outlook Phone Ring 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Association of American Colleges. (1985). Integrity in the college curriculum: A report to the academic community Google Scholar
  2. Cascio, C. F. (1987). Applied psychology in personnel management Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Inc.Google Scholar
  3. Chapanis, A. (1951). Theory and methods for analyzing errors in man-machine systems. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 51, Art. 7.Google Scholar
  4. Chapanis, A. (1970). Systems Staffing. In K. DeGreene (Ed.), Systems psychology (pp. 357–382 ). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  5. Chapanis, A., and Lockhead, G. R. (1965). A test of the effectiveness of sensor lines showing linkages between displays and controls. Human Factors 7, 219–229.Google Scholar
  6. Dunnette, M. D. (1963). A modified model for Lest validation and selection research. Journal of Applied Psychology 47, 317–323.Google Scholar
  7. Opitz, J. H. (1986). Planning Arkansas’ economic future: The new Google Scholar
  8. manufactures Center for research and public policy, University of Arkansas at Little Rock.Google Scholar
  9. Taylor, F. W. (1903). Shop management New York: American Society of Mechanical Engineers.Google Scholar
  10. Woodson, W. E. (1981). Human factors design handbook (pp. 3–5 ). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert B. Ochsman
    • 1
  • Roger A. Webb
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Arkansas at Little RockLittle RockUSA

Personalised recommendations