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Information Technology And Organizations

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Information Technology And Organizations

Strategies, Networks and Integration

Oxford UP,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

When academia meets technology, fur flies. But this look at the relationship between politics and IT is worth the fight.

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Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


Why does technology often fail to deliver promised benefits? The editors of this book propose a novel answer: More often than not, technology failings are not failures in technology at all, but are instead the result of botched interactions among individuals within organizations. Therefore, why not recruit social scientists to analyze information technology problems? That’s exactly what the editors did, to our simultaneous benefit and great distress. The benefit: The book whittles down more than 150 published reports into the eight sections presented here. Each section provides an innovative look at the complex relationship between the technological and the social. And now the distress: This is a heavy read, thickly and academically written. We can’t recall ever reading a business primer that requires you to have some familiarity with the likes of Foucault and Derrida plus a vague grasp of the Deconstructionist movement. getAbstract recommends this book to a selective audience that is curious about groundbreaking academic research in technology, and is up for a serious challenge of comprehension.



According to recent studies, technology is considered an integral part of social life. But the reverse is also true, and perhaps more important - social relationships are an integral part of information technology development, implementation and usage.

The construction of machines doesn’t take place in a vacuum (That’s a figurative phrase; some tech development might well take place in a vacuum, literally.) But in the end, machines are built in large part as a result of interactions between people. Therefore the best way to analyze what goes wrong in the technology development and deployment is to look closely at the intermediaries in the creation and stabilization of systems networks. Technology relationships are anything but asocial.

Networks do not magically self-stabilize. In a case study of IT implementation at a National Health Service facility, researchers discovered that designing information systems is much more than specifying particular technology "texts." It also concerns designing and reconfiguring the users of that technology. The study, which involved doctors as managers, showed that technology cannot be separated from the people who...

About the Authors

Brian Bloomfield is a professor of information in management at the Management School of Lancaster University. Rod Coombs is a professor of technology management at the Manchester School of Management, UMIST, where Dale Littler is a professor of marketing. David Knights is a professor of organizational analysis in the Department of Management at Keele University.

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