Information Technology and Organizations: Strategies, Networks, and Integration

Information Technology and Organizations: Strategies, Networks, and Integration

Information Technology and Organizations: Strategies, Networks, and Integration

Information Technology and Organizations: Strategies, Networks, and Integration

Synopsis

This book explores the ways in which organizations design, build, and use information technology systems. In particular it looks at the interactions between these IT-centered activities and the broader management processes within organizations.

Excerpt

It is said that we are living through an era in which organizations within industrialized societies are experiencing a prolific growth in the development and deployment of information and communications technologies. Across all sectors of the economy, both public and private, within and between organizational boundaries, computer-based information systems appear to be pervasive. Concomitantly, many observers and commentators have proclaimed the dawning of a new age--known variously as the information society, the information economy, or post-industrial society, and so on--in which society itself is on the verge of transformation through the use of information technology (IT). However the claims surrounding the IT revolution--ranging from visions of technological utopia to dystopia--are evaluated, it is clear that this area merits critical attention. The aim of this short introduction is to set out the starting-point for our PICT research on IT and organizations, and thus provide some of the background to the lines of argument developed in the later chapters.

In contrast to the surfeit of prophesies in the area, comparatively little effort has been expended in trying to understand how the discourse on organizations and IT operates. Yet all the attempts at analysis and prediction deploy tacit models and concepts of 'technology' and 'organization'. Thus, an important assumption underpinning this book is that the critical study of the development and use of IT in organizations has to start with an examination of these background assumptions and theories which govern how the relationship between technology and organizations is construed. It has to consider, for example, how technology and organization are brought together theoretically while remaining distinct objects of analysis.

While we do indeed set out to study the role of IT in changes within complex organizations, we also try to understand the very terms within which debates about organizations and technology take place. Seeking a critical stance on management, organizations, and IT, and united by a broad emphasis on the constitutive role of social relations in the development of technology, we aim to explore the concepts and issues which underpin the projected benefits and problems . . .

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