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Critical management perspectives on Information Systems

By Carole Brooke, Bernd Carsten Stahl, Andrew Basden, Dubravka Cecez-Kecmanovic, Marius Janson, Dave Oliver, Celia Romm Livermore, Wendy Cukier, Sara Rodrigues, Michael Chumer, Laurie McAulay, Bill Doolin, Jose-Rodrigo Cordoba-Pachon and Heinz K. Klein

Abstract

Foreword\ud \ud As I write this foreword, the news reaches us of the death of Heinz Klein, a founding father of the critical approach to information systems and contributor to this volume. The number of projects his death leaves us to complete is testimony not only to the generous way he worked with so many colleagues throughout the world, but also to his belief in extending and challenging the critical approach. This book is a further step in the process of extending, challenging and developing the critical approach to information systems. It takes seriously the need to acknowledge the historical roots of the subject in the socio-technical and critical management approaches and the contribution of work on Habermas and Foucault. However, it also takes seriously the call of Heinz Klein to diversify the approach, to bring in new voices and new ideas, and to revisit and extend older ideas. \ud \ud This book addresses these points in a number of important ways. Stahl’s attention to the ethical dimension of critical IS reminds us that ethics is at the heart of Habermas’s work, yet it is often overlooked as a subject of enquiry, both in mainstream IS and in critical IS. Semiotics and ethnography are two areas hitherto minimally addressed in critical IS. They receive welcome attention in this book, adding to the push for the exploration of new approaches. \ud \ud Critical IS research has, at times, been criticised for its lack of engagement with empirical issues. Thus, the chapters by Oliver and Romm on ERP systems and Doolin on healthcare systems are all the more welcome, especially as these are empirical areas subject to much discussion within mainstream IS. Two final chapters provide useful reflection. It is fitting that Heinz’s chapter closes the book. However, this does not mean that he has the last word and that his work is over. Rather, it serves as a reminder that his legacy is to leave us with questions to answer and work to do in the critical tradition which he did so much to form and shape.\ud \ud \ud Professor Alison Adam\ud Director of the Information Systems, Organisations and Society Research Centre\ud University of Salford, U.K

Topics: G500 Information Systems, L370 Social Theory, L391 Sociology of Science and Technology, N100 Business studies, N215 Organisational Development, N200 Management studies
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lincoln.ac.uk:1868
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