A General Model for Understanding the Relationship between Information Technology and Organizations
81 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2008
Date Written: January 1989
The purpose of this paper is to develop a general model of the process bywhich large organizations develop information technology over long periods of time.A special focus of the paper concerns the question how "social impacts of computers"are produced by management decisions, organizational exigencies, accidents, andenvironmental forces.The model is clearly situated in the broader behavioral literature onorganizations and organizational innovation. Major streams of behavioral researchand assumptions are reviewed. The model assumes an eclectic position:organizational innovation results from both internal institutional factors as well aspowerful environmental forces. "Social impacts of computers" filter out from areasonably complex interaction between the organization and the environment.Our goal from the outset was to develop a general model ofinformation technology development which was not a "special" purpose, narrowlyframed theory typical of prior management information system research. Inaddition, we hope to set straight popular misconceptions created by vendors,consultants, and others concerning the question, how do computers "impact"organizations.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation