The Political Dimensions of Information Systems in Public Administration

The Political Dimensions of Information Systems in Public Administration

Bruce Rocheleau (Northern Illinois University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-87828-952-0.ch002

Abstract

Many information management and generalist managers ignore the political aspects of managing information systems. But this chapter shows that political factors are often the most crucial in determining how successful information technology is. The purpose of the chapter is to provide awareness of the political context of information systems decisions. The political aspects of computing are discussed with respect to two major categories: (1) Internal, organizational politics concerning issues involving organizational members; (2) External politics concerning how the governmental organization relates to its councils or boards, external groups, and general citizenry. Several examples of internal politics are given including the structuringof the information function, the purchasing of information systems, interdepartmental sharing of information, and communication flows. External examples of politics are given concerning relationships with legislatures and citizenry such as disputes over funding, computer disasters, privatization, the Internet and telecommunications planning. <BR>

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