Politics, Leadership, and Information Technology

Politics, Leadership, and Information Technology

Bruce Rocheleau (Northern Illinois University, USA)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 39
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-807-9.ch006
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Abstract

The underlying premise of this chapter is that information is power and consequentlyinformation management is inherently political. Information asymmetries give an advan-tage of one actor over others (Bellamy, 2000). Maintaining control over information canallow an individuals, departments, or organizations to control how successful theyappear to others and thus may protect autonomy, job security, and funding. Therefore,in order to provide effective leadership for IT, the generalist and head IT manager willneed to actively engage themselves in both internal and external politics.An excellent case illustrating the importance of political issues in managing IT occurredin California. The California Department of Information Technology (DOIT) was elimi-nated in June of 2002 (Peterson, 2002). The Department had been created in 1995 in orderto solve the problem of several disastrous contracts in the IT area including a DMVproject that cost over $50 million but never functioned as planned (Peterson, 2002).Peterson (2002) cites accounts from observers to support the argument that a majorreason for the failure was due to the other major agencies that viewed the new departmentas a threat to their power and lobbied to reduce the authority of the agency in thelegislation creating it. In particular, the opponents lobbied to deny the new DOIT controlover operations in the legislation creating DOIT. Those with interests that were opposedto the new DOIT included existing departments that had major authority in the IT fieldand/or those with large data centers. The opposition was successful so that thelegislation limited DOIT’s role mainly to authority over the budget.

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Table of Contents
Acknowledgment
Chapter 1
Bruce Rocheleau
Information managers need to be aware of the fact that managing IT in the public sectorpresents different challenges than those faced in the private... Sample PDF
Public and Private Information Systems: How Are They Similar? How Are They Different
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Chapter 2
Bruce Rocheleau
Experts agree that formal strategic IT plans should not only be done, but they should alsobe revised regularly at least on a yearly basis (Barrett &... Sample PDF
Planning for Information Technology in the Public Sector
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Chapter 3
Bruce Rocheleau
Over the past 15 years, the nature of procurement of information technology hasundergone radical change in government. These changes are due to the... Sample PDF
Procuring Information Technology for Government
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Chapter 4
Bruce Rocheleau
Information systems have become an important concern of generalist managers ingovernmental organizations and public managers need to learn how to... Sample PDF
Prescriptions for IT in Government: How Do We Know What Works Best?
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Chapter 5
Electric Government  (pages 128-176)
Bruce Rocheleau
Electronic government (e-government) has become a primary focus of informationmanagement for governmental officials as well as IT staff. In this... Sample PDF
Electric Government
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Chapter 6
Bruce Rocheleau
The underlying premise of this chapter is that information is power and consequentlyinformation management is inherently political. Information... Sample PDF
Politics, Leadership, and Information Technology
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Chapter 7
Bruce Rocheleau
The development of information technology creates many new opportunities for orga-nizations to acquire and disseminate knowledge and skills among... Sample PDF
Information Technology, Training, and Organizational Learning
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Chapter 8
Bruce Rocheleau
There are many ethical and legal issues raised by the growing of electronic informationmanagement and there is a growing literature on the... Sample PDF
Information Management and Ethical Issues in Government
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Chapter 9
Bruce Rocheleau
It is important to evaluate information technology because if you don’t assess resultsfrom IT, research (e.g., Markus et al., 2000, p. 255) shows... Sample PDF
Evaluation and Information Technology
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Chapter 10
Bruce Rocheleau
There are many reasons why today’s computerized information systems can achievemore sharing in government than ever before. Over the last decade, an... Sample PDF
Governments and IT Sharing
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Chapter 11
Bruce Rocheleau
Over the past two decades, there has been an unabated demand for more accountabilityfrom public organizations. The term “accountability” is employed... Sample PDF
Information Technology, Accountability, and Information Stewardship
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About the Author