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Edited by Ayala Malach-Pines and Mustafa F. Özbilgin
Chapter 2: The Entrepreneurial Posture of Information Technology Professionals
2 The entrepreneurial posture of information technology professionals Agnieszka Postuła Introduction Over the last twenty years interest in information technology (IT) workers has increased significantly with research focusing on both workers and their jobs (Orlikowsky and Robey, 1991; Kunda, 1992; Orr, 1996; Orlikowsky, 2000; Barley and Kunda, 2004, 2006). The current chapter focuses on IT professionals’ social role in the organizations and especially on their entrepreneurial posture. High-technology (HT) entrepreneurs can be found in IT companies (software companies), and IT departments in other organizations. Entrepreneurs are people who can learn fast, whatever their work environment (Kwiatkowski, 2000). Two basics factors are crucial for entrepreneurs: a deep and diverse base of knowledge and connected to it – independence. Three additional determinants are significant for creating entrepreneurial postures: creativity, innovativeness and imagination (Postuła, 2009). Solving IT system problems requires using imagination (Morgan, 1997 ). Moreover, imagination and creativity should accompany teamwork. The whole process of creating an IT system is nothing like working together among people representing different specializations. The social role and its three dimensions (societal, professional and organizational) are the starting point of this chapter. The social role constitutes ‘a declaration of rights and obligations that contributes to a certain social position’ (Goffman, 1959 , p. 45). The social role of the IT specialist can be considered from two different perspectives: those who adopt an IT professional’s role in their everyday life and those who receive, observe and judge this role (for example, workers from the marketing department, co-workers...
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