Chapter 10: Principles for productive inquiry into ICT-enabled change in organisations
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Throughout the last seven decades, advances in information and communications technology (ICT) have paved the way for the ongoing development of organisations and their broader business networks. Whilst the early exploitation of ICT in the 1950s and 1960s emphasised automation of routine processes within discrete business functions, by the 2010s and 2020s the role of ICT had extended to transforming the work of organisations along with their respective business and digital ecosystems. Although rapid advances in ICT have accelerated the pace of change across the decades, outcomes from ICT-enabled change initiatives have been consistently disappointing since the 1950s. Regularly, underperformance and failure mar this landscape. At the heart of such disappointment is a distinct inability to effectively coordinate and integrate the multiple facets of strategic, organisational, and technological change as they relate to ICT. This chapter offers a deep dive into this enduring dilemma, uncovers the contributing role of occupational communities, and draws attention to their influence on systems of professional practice. Against this backdrop, the chapter introduces six principles for productive inquiry into ICT-enabled change which together have the potential to both inform and transform professional practice whilst simultaneously contributing to sound scholarship. The chapter offers advice for researchers on the adoption of these principles, the related evolution of a practice of inquiring together, and the merits of locating oneself at the nexus between sound scholarship and exemplary professional practice.

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