The paper uses a sociological concept to study the uses of strategic informationsystems/information technology planning (SISP) beyond its espoused goals. The conceptis termed unanticipated or unintended consequences of social action (Merton 1963;Giddens 1984), and it has a long intellectual history, going back to at least the writings ofAdam Smith.The main goals of SISP are to align investment in IT with business goals, toexploit IT for competitive advantage, to deliver efficient and effective management of ITresources, and to develop technology policies and architectures. The research findings ofthe uses of SISP are focused on these goals and produce a rather mixed picture (Rungeand Earl 1988; Segar and Grover 1998).However, another way is to look at the uses of SISP beyond its proclaimed goals.Based on such approach, a study of IS and organization literature suggests that SISP canbe employed in ways which may seem alien to the original designers of these methods,but which make sense from the perspective of interpretative organizational studies andsociology. Our study suggests that SISP is used in the following ways: (1) to organiz
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