How to use information and communication technologies in organizations and how to manage their impact has been the traditional domain of computer specialists and management consultants. The former have offered multiple ways to represent, model, and build applications that would streamline and accelerate data flows, while the latter have been busy linking the deployment of ICT’s with strategy and the redesign of business processes. This book takes quite a different approach altogether. In a series of essays, Ciborra uses a string of metaphors–such as Bricolage, Krisis, Gestall, etc. — to place a concern for human existence and our working lives at the center of the study of ICTs and their diffusion in business organizations, and looks at our practices, improvizations, and moods. He draws upon his own extensive research and consulting experience to throw a fresh light on some key questions: why are systems ambiguous? Why do they not give us more time to do things? Is there strategic value in tinkering even in high-tech settings? What is the value of age-old practices in dealing with new technologies? What is the role of moods and affections in influencing action and cognition? Labyrinths of Information presents an alternative to the current approaches in management, software-engineering, and strategy that will be of interest to all those concerned with the deployment of ICTs in society today — whether as users, managers, designers, policy makers or the merely curious.
Firms are investing considerable resources to create large information infrastructures able to fulfil their varied information-processing and communication needs. The more the drive towards globalization, the more such infrastructures become crucial.The ‘wiring’ of the corporation should be done in a way that is aligned with its corporate strategy-it is global and generates value. This book presents six in-depth case studies of large corporations-AstraZeneca, IBM, Norsk Hydro, Roche, SKF, and Statoil-which offer a rich picture of the main issues involved in information infrastructure implementation and management. Far from being a linear process, the use of the information infrastructure is in fact an open-ended process, in many cases out of control. Current management models and consulting advice do not seem to be able to cope with such a business landscape. This book provides the reader with interpretations and theories that can foster a different understanding and approach.