Information sysems development and the participatory ethos

Marius A. Janson, Dubravka Cecez-Kecmanovic
2003 European Conference on Information Systems  
Participatory--also called emancipatory--information systems development (ISD) approaches claim systematic and meaningful user involvement, workplace democratization, and reduced worker alienation. Grounded in a humanist view of information systems (IS) as social systems, participatory ISD advocates open and non-distorted communication, reasoned argumentation, cooperation and mutual understanding between IS users and developers. However, the critical theoretical foundation of participatory ISD
more » ... as contested and its practical value called into question (Wilson, 1997). Moreover, participatory ISD was criticized as serving the interests of capital by co-opting workers and thereby weakening their resistance (Asaro, 2000) . Given the controversy surrounding participatory ISD, its objectives, theoretical foundation, and application in practice, further studies are warranted. Drawing on a longitudinal field study, this paper provides insight into a company that successfully implemented participatory practices in organizational decision-making including ISD. By exploring ISD in a broader organizational context, this paper re-examines conditions for participatory ISD and sheds light on the subtle difference between ISD practices that liberate and empower, and those that colonize and disempower.
dblp:conf/ecis/JansonC03 fatcat:sxwtfnp5lngh7pv5kcmauq6jxq