“Omega-team is Moving to Another Premise over My Dead Body…”: Power as Discursive-material Practice in an IS Project

Riitta Hekkala, Mari-Klara Stein, Matti Rossi

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    Using Foucault's (e.g.,1980) view on discourses and power, this Critical Discourse Analysis study examines how power circulates through material-discursive practices in IS development projects. The findings of this study indicate that one of the key power practices is IS development projects is what we call the 'guaranteeing of equality and rationality' – it sets up the the technical-rational ideal and masks the presence of power and politics in the project. However, as projects progress, often this technical-rational ideal begins to crumble with practices such as 'selective ignoring', 'forbidding', 'hiding', and 'criticizing' emerging – each with their own characteristic linguistic moves and material objects mediating the practices. Each of these practices circulates power through what can be called ‘power-resistance’ cycles – in short, the same practice may be harnessed for achieving one effect (exercising power) or it may be employed for the achievement of an alternative effect (exercising resistance to power).
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 35th International Conference on Information Systems. ICIS 2014
    EditorsElena Karahanna, Ananth Srinivasan, Bernard Tan
    Number of pages16
    Place of PublicationAtlanta, GA
    PublisherAssociation for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
    Publication date2014
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    EventThe 35th International Conference on Information Systems. ICIS 2014: Building a Better World through Information Systems - The University of Auckland Business School, Auckland, New Zealand
    Duration: 14 Dec 201417 Dec 2014
    Conference number: 35


    ConferenceThe 35th International Conference on Information Systems. ICIS 2014
    LocationThe University of Auckland Business School
    Country/TerritoryNew Zealand
    Internet address
    SeriesProceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems

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