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Business Information Systems

Challenges in Employing a Practice Perspective to Study Interorganisational IS Evolution

Robert Johnston, UC Davis

6th Apr 2011  10:30 am - 12:30 pm Darlington Centre, Meeting Room 11

I will describe Practice Theory as a new approach to theorising information systems in a thoroughly socio-technical way. At heart practice theory denies certain traditional dualities (subject-object, individual-collective), which if sustained lead IS theorising to various unhelpful determinisms incompatible with many important adoption phenomena, especially evolution of large scale Interorganisational Systems (IOIS) over long timescales. I will describe recent work with Kai Reimers (RWTH Aachen), Stefan Klein (U. Muenster) to articulate a form of practice theory, our attempts to use it empirically, and our attempts to understand IOIS evolution in the pharmaceutical industry and IS adoption generally.

Robert B. Johnston, BSc, DipEd, MSc, PhD  is John Sharkey Chair of Information Systems and Organisation and Head of the Management Information Systems Department at University College Dublin. His main research areas are electronic commerce, supply chain management, inter-organisational information systems and theoretical foundations of Information Systems. He has over 120 refereed publications, many in leading international journals including Information Systems Research, Management Science, European Journal of Information Systems, Communications of the ACM, International Journal of Electronic Commerce, Journal of Stategic Information Systems, Electronic Markets, Journal of the Operational Research Society, International Journal of Production Economics, OMEGA Intrenational. Journal of Management Science, and Supply Chain Management. Prior to becoming an academic he spent 13 years as a freelance consulting analyst / project manager, designing and implementing about 25 large computer systems for inventory and production planning in a number of leading manufacturing companies in Australia.