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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2000

Debra Howcroft and Nathalie Mitev

Considers the use of information technology in the UK National Health Service (NHS) as the government pledges to connect every doctor or general practitioner (GP) to the NHS’s…

Abstract

Considers the use of information technology in the UK National Health Service (NHS) as the government pledges to connect every doctor or general practitioner (GP) to the NHS’s information superhighway by the year 2002. This paper uses a case study of a particular UK health authority as a vehicle to illustrate the complexity of the social and technical considerations surrounding this issue. At a grass roots level, the adoption and diffusion of information technology within general practices (surgeries or groups of GPs) is highly varied and there are huge contrasts in the levels of commitment to information management. Within the case study this is evident on an individual level, in that some GPs enthuse about technology, while others are positively “technophobic”. On the general practice level, there are other elements to consider, especially in relation to the levels of financial support available. Non‐fund holding general practices in socially deprived areas are far less willing to embrace information management and technology. One explanation suggested for this is based on priorities: when faced with the option of “cruising” the information superhighway, as opposed to treating seriously ill patients living in socially deprived areas, the former may simply be relegated as less important.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 October 2008

Debra Howcroft and Ben Light

This paper seeks to analyse the process of packaged software selection in a small organization, focussing particularly on the role of IT consultants as intermediaries in the…

1715

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to analyse the process of packaged software selection in a small organization, focussing particularly on the role of IT consultants as intermediaries in the process.

Design/methodology/approach

This is based upon a longitudinal, qualitative field study concerning the adoption of a customer relationship management package in an SME management consultancy.

Findings

The authors illustrate how the process of “salesmanship”, an activity directed by the vendor/consultant and focussed on the interests of senior management, marginalises user needs and ultimately secures the procurement of the software package.

Research limitations/implications

Despite the best intentions the authors lose something of the rich detail of the lived experience of technology in presenting the case study as a linear narrative. Specifically, the authors have been unable to do justice to the complexity of the multifarious ways in which individual perceptions of the project were influenced and shaped by the opinions of others.

Practical implications

Practitioners, particularly those from within SMEs, should be made aware of the ways in which external parties may have a vested interest in steering projects in a particular direction, which may not necessarily align with their own interests.

Originality/value

This study highlights in detail the role of consultants and vendors in software selection processes, an area which has received minimal attention to date. Prior work in this area emphasises the necessary conditions for, and positive outcomes of, appointing external parties in an SME context, with only limited attention being paid to the potential problems such engagements may bring.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Eileen M. Trauth and Debra Howcroft

This article aims to add to the growing number of critical empirical studies and to reflect on the process of conducting this type of research, thereby addressing the lack of…

2013

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to add to the growing number of critical empirical studies and to reflect on the process of conducting this type of research, thereby addressing the lack of exemplars for those engaged with critical empirical information systems research.

Design/methodology/approach

Applies the critical lens to a multi‐year examination of variation in the career narratives of women in the American IT labor force. While an interpretive epistemology was initially chosen for this research project, over time, analysis of interview data took on an increasingly critical orientation. This, in turn, influenced subsequent fieldwork to become critical in nature.

Findings

One theoretical contribution is highlighting the role of power dynamics in understanding what sits beneath the surface of observations about these women's experiences in the IT workforce. The second theoretical contribution is helping to shift the focus away from predominantly essentialist theories that dichotomize men and women and toward a recognition of the diversity among women in the IT field.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should include additional critical empirical studies of women in the IT field in other countries.

Practical implications

This research project can serve as a useful example for other critical IS researchers about to embark on empirical fieldwork.

Originality/value

This paper provides a concrete illustration of the way in which empirical research is altered as the epistemological lens shifts from interpretivist to critical.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Lynette Kvasny and Helen Richardson

The purpose of this article is to reflect on the development of critical research in information systems and give an overview of the papers chosen for this special issue.

2740

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to reflect on the development of critical research in information systems and give an overview of the papers chosen for this special issue.

Design/methodology/approach

To set the scene by discussing the origins and the developing field of critical research in information systems and to analyse each paper, suggesting ways in which it relates to the chosen themes.

Findings

The papers chosen address theoretical foundations, paradigmatic and methodological issues, empirical studies and praxis and reflexivity in critical information systems research.

Originality/value

Highlights the growing interest in critical research in the information systems discipline and enables reflection on the difficulties, barriers and opportunities for development.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 February 2009

Helen Richardson

This paper aims to contribute a personal account of doing critical research that uses the social theory of Pierre Bourdieu and also that takes a feminist approach to research. It…

1275

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to contribute a personal account of doing critical research that uses the social theory of Pierre Bourdieu and also that takes a feminist approach to research. It aims to reflect on what this might mean in order to understand information systems and their uses at work and in everyday life.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach is confessional and describes the way in which critical qualitative research was undertaken in specific areas – that of call centres in Northwest England, gender and the UK ICT labour market and PhD research into issues of gender and home e‐shopping.

Findings

The findings as such suggest that social theory and critical approaches to research can contribute to understanding of IS at work and in everyday life. The account discusses the complexity of applying social theories and how difficult theoretical tomes are to understand, especially for the novice researcher.

Practical implications

The paper highlights the importance of hearing the silent or silenced voices and letting stories be told. A theme throughout is how theory is linked to practice.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the special issue call for reflexive essays written in simple terms with details about how and why particular social theories or approaches were adopted. This will be of value to PhD and IS researchers whose work is informed by social theory.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 June 2002

287

Abstract

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Article
Publication date: 1 January 2006

Edoardo Jacucci, Ole Hanseth and Kalle Lyytinen

To give an overview of the papers contained in this Special Issue.

1762

Abstract

Purpose

To give an overview of the papers contained in this Special Issue.

Design/methodology/approach

Looks at how each of the papers reflects the theme of the Special Issue, “Complexity and IT design and evolution”.

Findings

The collection of papers in this Special Issue addresses complexity, drawing on multi‐faceted, multi‐theoretical lines of inquiry.

Originality/value

Frameworks from complexity science, institutional theory, social science, philosophy, and recent thinking in science and technology studies (STS) are used as theoretical lenses to conceptualize and analyze complexity in IS and to offer ways to mitigate it.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

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