IT and organizational change: an institutionalist perspective

Chrisanthi Avgerou (London School of Economics, London, UK)

Information Technology & People

ISSN: 0959-3845

Publication date: 1 December 2000


This article challenges the tendency of the information systems literature to subsume IT innovation in processes of organizational change, either with the role of “enabler” of organizational objectives, or as an instrument appropriated by situated organizational actors. Using institutionalist theory, the relationship between information systems development and organizational transformation is studied as the interaction of two institutionalization processes: the increasing momentum and legitimation of IT innovation; and the organizational efforts for the substitution of established structures and activities with new ones which often do not command adequate legitimacy. Such analysis suggests that IT innovation in organizations is to a large extent sustainable by its own institutional forces, irrespective of contribution to the processes of organizational change. This perspective is demonstrated with the case study of the Mexican oil company, Pemex, where IT projects have played a large part in its transformation from a state‐owned to private enterprise.



Avgerou, C. (2000), "IT and organizational change: an institutionalist perspective", Information Technology & People, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 234-262.

Download as .RIS




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.