Rituals in Information System Design

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Abstract

Developing computer-based information systems is usually conceived as a rational process, intended to achieve identifiable and agreed upon goals. From this perspective, certain elements in the system development process are believed to enhance its effectiveness. For example, handoffs between one project phase and another, feasibility studies conducted prior to development work, and the use of project teams and steering committees are recommended in most texts as activities instrumental to effective system design. Recently, the political view of organizations has assumed greater stature in organization theory. This perspective interprets organizational events not only from the rational standpoint, but also in terms of negotiation and conflicting goals. From the political perspective, elements of the system design process can be interpreted as rituals which enable actors to remain overtly rational while negotiating to achieve private interests. This paper seeks to understand those rituals and to reveal their function in the systems design process.

Additional Details

Author Daniel Robey and M. Lynne Markus
Year 1984
Volume 8
Issue 1
Keywords organizational impacts, project management
Page Numbers 5-14