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Reading Group November 7 2006
"The experience of system design: a hermeneutic of organizational action" by Richard Boland and Wesley Day. This paper represents a shift away from our recent forays into 'high theory' and a return to theoretical development grounded in the empirical, or in this case the empirical as interviews and reflections from a worker in the field. BOLAND, R. J. & DAY, W. F. (1989) The Experience of System Design: A Hermeneutic of Organizational Action. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 5, 87-104. Abstract: An interpretive description of the experience of being an information system designer is developed through a series of in-depth interviews. The subject is a system analyst responsible for developing a computer system in a small organization. The study is a hermeneutic of organizational action in that it reads the text of the subject's experience and discloses structures of meaning being drawn upon during the system design process. These structures of meaning are discussed along three dimensions; the experience of moving through and being located within the organizational space, the experience of interacting with others during the task of system design and the experience of making moral choices. Contact me for directions on obtaining a copy of the paper, it can be a difficult article to source. We're a little constrained by wanting to read the paper around the time that Dick Boland himself will be in Dublin so we've decided that tuesday 7th at lunch time (12:30pm) is the best fit.
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Reading Group Nov 10th 2004
The next reading group article is "The underlying theory of project management is obsolete" by Lauri Koskela and Gregory Howell. A link to the article is below. We'll meeting in the Common Room at 5pm on Wednesday 10th November
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Reading Group Nov 29th 2005
You are all invited to the next CITO Reading Group on Tuesday next (November 29th) in the UCD Common Room (Newman building) commencing at 4:30pm. Hoping it isn't too early for most. The reading for discussion is from "The Social Study of Information and Communication Technology. Innovation, Actors, and Contexts", specifically chapter 9 "Framing IS studies: understanding the social context of IS innovation" by Christanthi Avgerou and Shirin Madon. This article is an approachable and broadly relevant discussion of the tricky problem of understanding the behaviour in organisations subjected to or undergoing IS implementation(s). The authors suggest "that the relevant frame for the study of IS innovation can be traced by following the network of actors involved and, consequently by examining the institutional fields that have sustained their meanings of, and the attitudes towards, the innovation under study." Avgerou, C. and Madon, S. (2004). How does one produce the research framing process they argue for and what is the focus of attention if the frame can expand or adjust as needed? Is this Actor Network Theory masquerading as research method? Bring along your social constructively critical hats for a spirited debate.
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Reading Group October 5th 2006
Embodying information systems: the contribution of phenomenology.
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Reading Group Oct 7th 2004
CITO Reading Group: J. Mingers (April 2004), "Real-izing information systems: critical realism as an underpinning philosophy for information systems", Information and organization, Vol. 14, Issue 2, Pages 87-103. ABSTRACT: The paper begins by pointing out the diversity of philosophical positions within IS, and the range of reactions to this diversity. It then discusses problems within the underlying philosophies of science—particularly positivism and interpretivism. With this as a background, the paper proposes critical realism as an underpinning philosophy that has the potential to overcome both sets of difficulties. The theoretical arguments are practically illustrated by critiques of (positivist) statistical analysis and (interpretivist) soft systems methodology.
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Reading Group Oct 10 2007
The paper proposed is: Cooper, R. (1992) ‘Formal Organization as Representation: Remote Control, Displacement and Abbreviation’. In Reed, M. & Hughes, M. (eds) Rethinking Organization: New Directions in Organization Theory and Analysis, 254-272. London: Sage. The penultimate section of Cooper’s chapter considers how this type of analysis can fundamentally transform the way in which conventional approaches to formal organization structure proceed by way of statistical representations and operationalizations of supposedly fixed and unchanging dimensions. In its place, Cooper’s focus on the representational technologies facilitating control at a distance transforms these structures into dynamic socio-technical networks along which ‘the organization’ travels.” .
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Reading Group Oct 20th 2005
This will be an open discussion of Frank Froessler's research proposal which was recently presented at the CEMS doctorial consortium in Barcelona. The area is Unified Communication Technologies (UCT) and is intended as an in-depth case study at a multinational ICT services firm. He proposes to employ a praxiological approach to understanding the implications of UCT. Interested parties should send an email to Frank ( to get a copy of this document.
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Reading Group Oct 21st 2004
CITO Reading Group: From "Information and Organization" Volume 14 issue 2 - PAPER 1: Einstein, Heisenberg, Kant: methodological distinction and conditions of possibilities • Emmanuel Monod. PAPER 2: Seeking the new and the critical in critical realism: déjà vu? • Heinz K. Klein
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Reading Group Sept 8th 2004
Review of papers provided by seminarees prior to their presentations over Thursday and Friday of this week. See URL for details (Login Required)
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Reading Group Sept 29th 2004
"Repairing Managerial Knowledge-Ability over Distance" by Keith Goodall and John Roberts, Organization Studies (2003), Vol. 24, Issue 7, p. 1153 Abstract: Despite a growing acknowledgement in the literature of the 'socially embedded' character of organizational knowledge, in this article we argue that conceptualizations of knowledge management have remained aloof from the agency that they seek to inform, particularly in relation to managing within physically dispersed organizations. We seek, therefore, to explore the essential link between knowledge and action ('knowledge-ability') through an empirical investigation of the organizational conditions and managerial labour needed to preserve knowledge-ability within a transnational. In order to achieve this, we compare the experiences and practices of three managers located in China, Columbia and Australia as they seek both to communicate knowledge of their local context to the remote centre in order to influence policy and gather knowledge of what is happening remotely in order to coordinate their local action with shifts in corporate thinking. A model of the resources needed in order to limit and repair the damage of distance is generated using this qualitative data. We argue that the labour of repairing knowledge-ability should be understood as an essential aspect of the workings of power relations within the transnational, and involves an intensification of self-disciplinary practices within network forms of organizing.
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