Information Systems and Intra-Organisational Power: Exploring power & political aspects associated with the adoption of a knowledge sharing system in an IT services department
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It is widely accepted that the successful adoption of information systems in organisations is dependent on the contextual factors relating to organisational culture, power, structure, and strategy. Of these, organisational power has been least investigated, especially in relation to information systems of a knowledge sharing context. Moreover, IS and power theories belonging to the emergent perspective of power have not been explored in detail in recent times. In this paper, an attempt is made to illustrate the intra-organisational power and political aspects associated with designing, implementing, using, and maintaining an information system used for sharing knowledge. This was achieved by investigating a case study focused on a knowledge sharing system of an IT services department in an Australian university. The findings were derived based on the analysis conducted using the elements of Political Variant of the Interaction Theory (PVIT), which we argue is a theoretical framework belonging to the emergent perspective of power. The analysis provided insights into how the investigated information system shaped, and was shaped by, the power relations of the organisational context. Moreover, the investigation confirmed the analytical strength and the applicability of the PVIT to modern case studies despite its age and lack of use. Based on the findings implications for future use of the PVIT are also drawn in this paper.
Journal of Information, Information Technology, and Organizations
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Information Systems Theory