Critical management perspectives on Information Systems

Brooke, Carole and Stahl, Bernd Carsten and Basden, Andrew and Cecez-Kecmanovic, Dubravka and Janson, Marius and Oliver, Dave and Romm Livermore, Celia and Cukier, Wendy and Rodrigues, Sara and Chumer, Michael and McAulay, Laurie and Doolin, Bill and Cordoba-Pachon, Jose-Rodrigo and Klein, Heinz K. (2009) Critical management perspectives on Information Systems. Elsevier, Oxford. ISBN 9780750681971

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Abstract

Foreword

As I write this foreword, the news reaches us of the death of Heinz Klein, a founding father of the critical approach to information systems and contributor to this volume. The number of projects his death leaves us to complete is testimony not only to the generous way he worked with so many colleagues throughout the world, but also to his belief in extending and challenging the critical approach. This book is a further step in the process of extending, challenging and developing the critical approach to information systems. It takes seriously the need to acknowledge the historical roots of the subject in the socio-technical and critical management approaches and the contribution of work on Habermas and Foucault. However, it also takes seriously the call of Heinz Klein to diversify the approach, to bring in new voices and new ideas, and to revisit and extend older ideas.

This book addresses these points in a number of important ways. Stahl’s attention to the ethical dimension of critical IS reminds us that ethics is at the heart of Habermas’s work, yet it is often overlooked as a subject of enquiry, both in mainstream IS and in critical IS. Semiotics and ethnography are two areas hitherto minimally addressed in critical IS. They receive welcome attention in this book, adding to the push for the exploration of new approaches.

Critical IS research has, at times, been criticised for its lack of engagement with empirical issues. Thus, the chapters by Oliver and Romm on ERP systems and Doolin on healthcare systems are all the more welcome, especially as these are empirical areas subject to much discussion within mainstream IS. Two final chapters provide useful reflection. It is fitting that Heinz’s chapter closes the book. However, this does not mean that he has the last word and that his work is over. Rather, it serves as a reminder that his legacy is to leave us with questions to answer and work to do in the critical tradition which he did so much to form and shape.

Professor Alison Adam
Director of the Information Systems, Organisations and Society Research Centre
University of Salford, U.K.

Item Type:Book or Monograph
Additional Information:Foreword As I write this foreword, the news reaches us of the death of Heinz Klein, a founding father of the critical approach to information systems and contributor to this volume. The number of projects his death leaves us to complete is testimony not only to the generous way he worked with so many colleagues throughout the world, but also to his belief in extending and challenging the critical approach. This book is a further step in the process of extending, challenging and developing the critical approach to information systems. It takes seriously the need to acknowledge the historical roots of the subject in the socio-technical and critical management approaches and the contribution of work on Habermas and Foucault. However, it also takes seriously the call of Heinz Klein to diversify the approach, to bring in new voices and new ideas, and to revisit and extend older ideas. This book addresses these points in a number of important ways. Stahl’s attention to the ethical dimension of critical IS reminds us that ethics is at the heart of Habermas’s work, yet it is often overlooked as a subject of enquiry, both in mainstream IS and in critical IS. Semiotics and ethnography are two areas hitherto minimally addressed in critical IS. They receive welcome attention in this book, adding to the push for the exploration of new approaches. Critical IS research has, at times, been criticised for its lack of engagement with empirical issues. Thus, the chapters by Oliver and Romm on ERP systems and Doolin on healthcare systems are all the more welcome, especially as these are empirical areas subject to much discussion within mainstream IS. Two final chapters provide useful reflection. It is fitting that Heinz’s chapter closes the book. However, this does not mean that he has the last word and that his work is over. Rather, it serves as a reminder that his legacy is to leave us with questions to answer and work to do in the critical tradition which he did so much to form and shape. Professor Alison Adam Director of the Information Systems, Organisations and Society Research Centre University of Salford, U.K.
Keywords:critical management, business management, information systems, critical theory, information technology, critical research
Subjects:G Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G500 Information Systems
L Social studies > L370 Social Theory
L Social studies > L391 Sociology of Science and Technology
N Business and Administrative studies > N100 Business studies
N Business and Administrative studies > N215 Organisational Development
N Business and Administrative studies > N200 Management studies
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Business School
ID Code:1868
Deposited By: Bev Jones
Deposited On:21 May 2009 08:28
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 08:32

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