Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Despite the prevalence of studies based on large, traditional organisations using a particular limited range of applications the study of information technology (IT) and people is much broader than this. This issue of Information Technology & People demonstrates the breadth of the subject. Thus, it contains papers about technologies ranging from digital imagery to simplified office suites and contexts as diverse as the Nigerian IT industry to dot-com workplaces.
The paper “Media Transitions: The Cases of Digital Imagery and E-Mail” by Kimberley Cass and Thomas Lauer looks at how we transit from one media to another, exploring how metaphors from old media play a role in our understanding and adoption of new media. By focusing on the cases of digital imagery and electronic mail, they show how new technology presents us with opportunities to examine our assumptions about artefacts, the processes that produce them, and our relationship to the world.
Andrea Tapia's paper “The Power of Myth in the IT Workplace: Creating a 24 hour Workday during the Dot-Com Bubble” also explores how we come to understand and cope with changing environments, in her paper it is the environment of working in a dot-com company. The paper presents detailed observations of how a gold-rush mentality to create an atmosphere in which managers could demand increasing hours and effort from their employees, increased competition and self generated control systems.
In “Exploring the Role of Network Effects in It Implementation: The Case of Knowledge Repositories” Jørgen P. Bansler and Erling Havn present an exploratory case study of a large biotech firm seeking to implement a system to share best practice across functions and organizational units. They propose that the use of the concept of network effects to analyse the implementation is particularly appropriate.
Spiros Sirmakessis, John Garofalakis, Maria Rigou, Panayiotis Destounis and Giannis Tzimas, in their paper, “Designing for Ease is Designing for All: Experiences from a Simplified Office Suite” present an early study of a range of application packages specially designed for people with movement difficulties and light cognitive problems. They also report on the implications of their design process for the development of software for other non-standard groups including the very young and elderly as well as more novice users.
In “Personal Characteristics as Predictors of Job Satisfaction: An Exploratory Study of It Managers in a Developing Economy” John Okpara presents a fascinating study of job satisfaction amongst Nigerian IT managers. The retention of IT staff is important for all organisations, but is particularly acute for developing economies. Moreover, this context raises its own particular problems for undertaking the research process. Thus, the paper discusses the problems associated with using a traditional postal survey instrument in a country where the postal service is notoriously unreliable.
Finally, we would also like to welcome Jeria Quesenberry as our new book review editor. If you are interested in reviewing a book for the journal, please contact Jeria.
Edgar A. Whitley and Eleanor Wynn