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Title: A critical study of information system strategy formation in a public sector context
Author: Horton, Keith S.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3581 9583
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2000
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This thesis comprises a critical examination of Information System Strategy (ISS) formation in a public sector context, namely the Police Service in Scotland. Despite the apparent importance attached to ISS, and the proliferation of many methods to assist those engaged in ISS formation, the practice of ISS formation remains comparatively ill-understood. The concepts of strategy and power can be viewed as being closely linked. Using theory based accounts of power, we put forward a multi-dimensional conceptualisation of power as an aid to organisational analysis of ISS formation. Consequently, the focus of this work is not only a detailed investigation into ISS formation practice, but also one in which we evaluate the way in which a multi-dimensional conceptualisation of power affects our understanding of ISS formation practice. This research is based upon six longitudinal case studies of ISS formation in the Police Service. Data collection involved a number of methods: in-depth semi-structured interviews, informal conversation, participation, collection of documentation produced within the case study settings, and collation and analysis of documentary materials from secondary sources. The abstraction of several themes from a cross-case comparative analysis of issues has led to the development of a conceptual framework which underpins our contribution to knowledge: namely, a means of understanding ISS formation as micro-political activity, based upon an ongoing process of construction and reconstruction of social reality. This in turn can be considered as being based upon individual mental constructs, which in turn are influenced by the themes identified. Our framework has been developed as an epistemological device to aid thinking about ISS formation, rather than as a representation of what an ISS formation process is. Implicit in the framework is the contention that ISS formation reflects power relations; however, the practical difficulties in researching power issues should not be underestimated. Several areas for further research arising from this thesis are discussed.
Supervisor: Jayaratna, Nimal Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Police service; ISS; Power