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Title: Defining discourses : discourse and the organisational adaptation of information systems
Author: Rodrigues de Carvalho de Sousa Vasconcelos, Ana Cristina
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2005
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The focus of this thesis is on the constitutive role of discourse in the organisational adaptation of information systems, an important aspect, although not often explored and relatively neglected in the literature, of the information systems development process and, beyond that, of the role of information systems in organisations within a constructivist and dialogical perspective. The thesis explores the dual aspect of how, on one hand, professional discourses define 'worldviews' over information systems and their organisational adaptation and, on the other hand, the premises around which these discourses are constructed and deployed, both in the literature and through an inductive and qualitative case study, based upon Grounded Theory principles. It analyses how different professional discourses explored tensions in the management of the information environment articulated around three major categories of issues, which acted as interpretative repertoires and discursive resources: i) representations of the information environment, expressed through the tension between information centripetalism and information centrifugalism; ii) models of information management approaches, expressed through the tension between a focus on process and a focus on meanings; iii) and, underlying the previous elements, assumptions about the nature and complexity of the environment, strategies for dealing with uncertainty and correlated models of learning and sense-making. These different categories of issues embody different tensions between forces that, it is argued, shaped the particular context of the University environment. In negotiated interaction contexts, different actors made claims to power by exploring different discursive practices leading to the organisational adaptation of information systems. But, while making use of these discursive resources, different actors also established contacts between forces and, agentically shaped different realities, forming new organisational identities and, in doing so, acted as a vehicle for the social re-shaping and adaptation of the organisational role of information systems.
Supervisor: Mcauley, John ; Horton, Keith ; Siddiqi, Jawed ; Macdonald, Stuart Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available