Feral Information Systems Development: Managerial Implications

Feral Information Systems Development: Managerial Implications

Donald Vance Kerr (University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia), Kevin Burgess (Cranfield University, UK) and Luke Houghton (Griffith University, Australia)
Indexed In: SCOPUS
Release Date: January, 2014|Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 303|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5027-5
ISBN13: 9781466650275|ISBN10: 1466650273|EISBN13: 9781466650282
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Management invests in large information systems in order to improve the effectiveness of their organization. However, when these systems fail to meet the needs of organizational employees, feral information systems (FIS) are created in order to assist workers with their jobs or to avoid existing organizational information systems.

Feral Information Systems Development: Managerial Implications seeks to accelerate the collective understandings and implications on the management of business organizations; with an emphasis on theoretical explanations on the development of feral information systems. This book is an essential reference work aimed at providing a more clearly defined and better informed starting point for researchers, consultants, and practitioners who are eager to advance both their practical applications and theoretical understandings of complex and challenging phenomena surrounding FISs.

Topics Covered

The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Enterprise Resource Planning
  • Feral Government
  • Feral Information Systems
  • Organizational and Managerial Conflict
  • Research Methodology and Philosophy
  • Sociological Perspectives

Reviews and Testimonials

The concept [of feral information systems] goes like this: line staff discover technology needs at their local work level, and instead of going with IT systems condoned by management, they go feral with unofficial shadow systems from open-source or commercial or self-created IT solutions.

...The authors note that once such feral systems are in place, they tend to be quite persistent (and hard to dismantle). What does this then mean for policy at businesses and organizations? The “managerial implications” in the book’s title would suggest this focus. That said, as the editors note in the introduction, they welcome a broad range of writing from a variety of perspectives.

– Eruditio Loginquitas, Instructional Design Open Studio Blog

In this new book, they [the authors] are reifying the concept of feral information systems with various cases from around the world and the bolstering of adapted theories. Their core effort seems to be to try to make the concept of Feral Information Systems (FIS) relevant to a broader range of people—and they clearly advocate additional theorizing (and “meta-theoretical reflection”), stronger research methodologies (than descriptive cases), research, and analysis of this phenomena." [...] "A broad range of writing from a variety of perspectives. They enabled the stretching of the definition of their terminology probably well beyond their original conceptualization.

– Shalin Hai-Jew, Instructional Designer at Kansas City State University, Colleague 2 Colleague Magazine

A "Feral Information System" (FIS) is "an information system [computerised] that is developed by individuals or groups of employees to help them with their works, but is not condoned by management nor is part of the corporation's accepted information technology infrastructure." The 12 chapters presented here present recent research on the phenomena of FISs in an effort to both provide a current picture of the state of knowledge on these systems and to provide a jumping-off point for future researchers. The discussion is conducted from a primarily managerial perspective, although the perspective of employees is also addressed.

– ProtoView Book Abstracts (formerly Book News, Inc.)

Table of Contents and List of Contributors

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Author(s)/Editor(s) Biography

Donald Vance Kerr, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Information Systems at the University of the Sunshine Coast. His research interests include assessing and monitoring the level of online fraud amongst senior citizens, the development and evaluation of decision support systems and the evaluation of the implementation of enterprise resource planning systems with particular emphasis on training and security. He has published 76 peer reviewed papers in both agricultural and management journals and conferences over the past 20 years.
Kevin Burgess has both private and public sector experience which he acquired prior to joining academe in 2009. In industry he has held a range of senior management and executive roles in asset intensive industries, particularly Telcos and Railways. In his year in industry he acted in the role of Group General Manager, Shared Services, for Queensland Rail where he was responsible for 985 staff spread across eight divisions and an operating budget of A$600 million. In his current role of Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Defence Acquisition, Cranfield University, his interests are in applied research and in particular how to improve the socio-technical systems associated required to support the through-life capability of large, expensive assets.
Dr Luke Houghton is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of International Business and Asian Studies, in the Griffith Business School, Griffith University. His main interests lie in the role cognition, sensemaking and learning play in complex problem solving. Recently he has followed his interests into higher education with publications in theAustralasian Journal of Educational Technologyand The Journal of Information Technology Education. He also has publications in the Journal of the Operational Research Society and Systems Research and Behaviorial Science.