The Significance of Context in Information Systems and Organizational Change

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Authors: C. Avgerou

Publication Year: 2001


Journal: Information Systems Journal

Volume: 11

Issue: 1

Categories: Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Technical Innovation


This paper argues that it is of crucial importance that information systems (IS) research and practice associates technology innovation with the context within which it is embedded. It identifies three principles to be followed in order to address the contextual processes involved in IS implementation: first, technology innovation should be considered in relation to socio-organizational change; second, analysis should consider not only the local organizational, but also the national and international context; and third, analysis should consider both the technical/rational decisions and actions involved in the innovation process and the cultural, social and cognitive forces of such a process. These principles are demonstrated with the analysis of a case study of organizational reform in Cyprus.

Critical Reflection

I want to relate this to the business case we worked on. In this business case there were two organizations which had to merge. But the two organizations had both different information systems and want to keep there own systems. They didn't want the technology innovation considered in relation to organizational change. The organization was changing but they want to keep there old systems because they worked good in the past. They didn't want to hear about technology innovation. The people were willing to change in the new organization but want to keep there old systems. In fact, they didn't want to change at all. The analysis was done in a very short time and only for the local organizations wich had to merge. The analysis was mostly influenced emotionally and not rational, there was no place for the different of the two cultures in the organization. This resulted in employees who were not willing to change and were not happy in this proces.