Organisations and Information Systems: Investigating Their Dynamic Complexities Using Repertory Grids and Cognitive Mapping

Organisations and Information Systems: Investigating Their Dynamic Complexities Using Repertory Grids and Cognitive Mapping

Laurence Brooks (Brunel University, UK), Christopher J. Davis (University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, USA) and Mark Lycett (Brunel University, UK)
Copyright: © 2005 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/jthi.2005100103
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Abstract

Starting from personal construct theory (PCT), this article explores the use of two complementary approaches to investigate the interdependence of organisations and information systems. These two techniques — repertory grid analysis (RGA) and cognitive mapping (CM) — were used to investigate the dynamics of this interaction. Changing business models and information technologies were investigated in two distinct work settings; in each case, the technique contributed substantial insight into the role of information systems in that context. The analysis shows that the techniques have matured to a stage where they provide a basis for improved understanding of the organisational complexities related to information technologies. The techniques focus on the social construction of meaning by articulating and interpreting the discourse that surrounds the development, implementation, and use of information technology in organisations. It is these ongoing discourses that creates the dynamic complexities in organisations as they play themselves out and develop over time. Current research has articulated and improved awareness of the issues and concerns that surround computer-based information systems. Despite the differing contexts and work processes, the findings from each case suggest that this has made managers more conceptually agile, leading to improved integration of organisational processes and technology. The article concludes by drawing out the idea of the development of a conceptual model to act as a framework for the analysis of cognitive schema and shared understanding. In developing and participating in this shared understanding, both organisational and technological communities could increase their awareness of each other’s issues and concerns, thereby enabling them to improve the conceptual agility of the organisation.

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