This book provides one of the first clear-headed assessments of information technology and organizational transformation. Its virtue is not so much in its recognition of the importance of the subject; speculations on this topic have been rampant for more than a decade. Rather, it is unusual and unusually useful, because it avoids speculation in favor of conceptually coherent accounts grounded in empirical study of actual organizations. The chapters contained in this volume move beyond the superficial glorification of information technology as an extraordinary instrument of social change, and straight to the heart of the mechanisms of change as they play out in everyday organizational life. In the process, they reaffirm that the real story of information technology in organizations is more about people than about technology. Taken together, they provide an important contribution to the intellectual foundations of one of the most interesting developments in decades.

Improvising Organizational Transformation over Time: A Situated Change Perspective

Improvising organizational transformation over time: A situated change perspective
Wanda J.Orlikowski

Organizational transformation—substantially changing an organization's structure and practices—has always been of interest to researchers and practitioners. For decades, however, questions of transformation remained largely backstage as organizational thinking and practice engaged in a discourse dominated by questions of stability. Oriented around the organizing principles of mass production and bureaucracy, such a discourse emphasized routinization, standardization, control, and automation. Today, however, many organizations face an altered economic, political, and technological world, a world in which flexibility, customization, and learning are the watchwords and visions of agile manufacturing, virtual corporations, and self-organizing teams are prominent. In such a world, stability is out, change is in.

As the backstage becomes increasingly ...

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