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Title: Making IT work and making do : a study of best practice, computing and routine work in building firms
Author: Kelly, Simon.
ISNI:       0000 0001 2440 143X
Awarding Body: University of Lancaster
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2004
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Information technology (IT) has become synonymous with business success and organizational efficiency in advanced capitalist societies. This is also true in the UK construction industry where in recent years a government sponsored IT Construction Best Practice programme (ITCBP) has sought to promote an IT 'best practice' to small and medium sized building firms. This thesis is based on a qualitative study of how IT best practice guidance materials have been received and applied by twenty building firms in the North West of England. It questions the assumption that the introduction of computing (as one form of IT) will transform and improve organizational knowledge and practice, and argues for an alternative view that takes into account the embodied knowledge and skills of users who integrate computer hardware and software into everyday work routines. Unlike the rhetoric of the ITCBP programme that privileges managerial planning and strategy, the experience of computing in these firms is characterised by ad hoc decision making, situated practices and the limited involvement of management in the implementation and daily use of computing. 'Best practices' in this setting are local achievements in which computing plays a supporting role that allows other kinds of work to be done. The thesis explores the implications of this study for the future role of government sponsored 'best practice' programmes and the model of technological and organizational change that they promote.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: best practice ; building firms ; computing ; decision making ; government ; information technology ; skills ; efficiency ; organizational change ; UK