Confessions of an is Consultant or the Limitations of Structuration Theory
University of Cambridge, Judge Institute of Management Working Paper No. 01/2004
38 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2004
Date Written: 2004
This paper argues that the 'structurational tradition' within interpretive information systems has revealed some useful aspects of the organizational implementation and use of ICT, but that usually this has been achieved at the expense of an intuitively convincing account of human motivation. Although Giddens' 'dimensions of the duality of structure' is an important aspect of his thought, many IS studies have tended to focus almost exclusively on this model, in isolation from the broader canvas of his ideas. It is argued that such an approach offers an unbalanced and incomplete view of social interaction, which reflects neither organizational realities, nor Giddens' wider theoretical position. In response, the paper resituates the structurational model within the broader context of Giddens' work, offering researchers a practical framework with which to further sensitise their analyses to actors' more biographical motivations. The explanatory power of this framework is illustrated with reference to the author's own biographical experience as an IS consultant working for a major systems integrator in the early 1990s.
Keywords: Giddens, structuration, biography, narrative, self-identity, embodied self
JEL Classification: 033, M14, M00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation