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

See all articles by Mark Thompson

Mark Thompson

University of Cambridge - Judge Business School

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

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

Thompson, Mark P. A., Confessions of an is Consultant or the Limitations of Structuration Theory (2004). University of Cambridge, Judge Institute of Management Working Paper No. 01/2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=633974 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.633974

Mark P. A. Thompson (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Judge Business School ( email )

Trumpington Street
Cambridge, CB2 1AG
United Kingdom

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
166
Abstract Views
2,087
rank
177,317
PlumX Metrics