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Information Systems: call-to-arms

Opportunity knocks for the Information Systems field

Redefining the practice of management as design has important implications for scholars, like myself, in the field of Information Systems (IS). Referring to the failure of the Integrated Children's System, a major IS project in the UK, I opined in a recent article in the European Journal of Information Systems, that: 

Our knowledge of design, as IS scholars, is compendious and stands ahead of the other management disciplines .... We can see this in the ICS case study. There is nothing new here from the perspective of our knowledge base, an “old story” indeed ... Another failed project, and all the critical failure factors are there: disengaged senior management, excluded users, weak project management, and so on. Blind faith “in IT as a magic bullet” predominates ... The ICS is a story of “escalating commitment” if ever there were one...  My case is thus a simple one, a call-to-arms to jump aboard the management-as-design “bandwagon” and take our rightful place in the vanguard; no “full sea” perhaps but certainly a “current which serves”. Our knowledge-base is certainly formidable, ranging from practical design methods and tools, knowledge of particular classes of artifact, knowledge of the design process itself and its potential dysfunctions. Our relevance to practice becomes incontestably obvious, for managers in general not just the IS specialist. Idealistic perhaps, but surely there is a decisive opportunity here to be confidently seized. 

Details of the article are as follows:

Wastell, D.G. (2010) Managing as designing: “opportunity knocks” for the IS field? European Journal of Information Systems, 19 (4), 422-431.

Please email me for a personal copy.