The Labyrinths of Information: Challenging the Wisdom of Systems

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9780199241521: The Labyrinths of Information: Challenging the Wisdom of Systems

A reflective discussion of information in the contemporary organization. Current descriptions of the design, implementation, management, and use of information technology in organizations are largely founded on notions of rationality, science, and method. In this volume the author focuses on an alternative centre of gravity: human existence in everyday life. While still informed by the author's own research and consultancy work, the volume eschews the overly technical character of much writing about IT in favour of an exploration of the subject through various conceptual prisms.

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About the Author:


Claudio Ciborra graduated in Electronic Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano, Italy, before pursuing his studies in management, economics, and organization theory at the University of California, Los Angeles and Harvard University. He has held teaching positions at a number of Italian universities and been a Visiting Professor in many European and American universities. He is currently Chair Professor of Information Systems at the Centre for the Analysis of Risk and Regulation at the London School of Economics and Professor at IULM in Milan. He has carried out extensive research in the fields of new technologies, organizational structures, learning, knowledge, and change.

Review:

`A unique and penetrating look at the ways that the ideal clashes with the real yielding a steady stream of innovations or disasters. Ciborra brings his rich understanding of bricolage and phenomenology to the fore in providing fresh insights about organizations and the building and use of
complex information systems. Highly recommended.'
John Seely Brown, former director Xerox PARC; co-author of The Social Life of Information

`Claudio Ciborra has a more detailed, nuanced, and sophisticated understanding of the dynamics associated with information technology in today's organizations than any scholar working in the field today. His work is grounded in ultra realism, but his observations are interpreted through
classical schema that provide immense illumination. The effect is a series of highly literate jewel-like essays that are intellectually fascinating but could also change the life of any practitioner who bothered to read and ponder.'
Shoshana Zuboff, Charles Edward Wilson Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School; Author of In the Age of the Smart Machine

`This is a book about how the untidy persists within hi-tech solutions, and about how human improvisation is dynamically related to technical systems. Claudio Ciborra provides us with a compelling analysis that marries an "anthropology of uncertainty" to the understanding of information
systems. This brilliant book is a tour de force that propels information systems into the heart of the social sciences.'
Henrietta L. Moore, Professor of Social Anthropology, LSE

`Knowledge management is not about shopping around for state-of-the-art IT. It is about human beings with differing viewpoints. Ciborra's book . . . elaborately explains this, and also how we should change our perspectives and attitudes towards information and knowledge in this new century. An
excellent book.'
Professor Ikujiro Nonaka, Dean of the Graduate School of Knowledge Science, JAIST; Author of The Knowledge-Creating Company

`Information systems are just the entry point for Claudio Ciborra to take us on a ride through the myths of order and rationality that permeate management practice and dominate our espoused mode of existence. Using powerful metaphors and taking a real and messy world - as opposed to an
idealised one - as a starting point, he draws the contours of a higher-level road map. This book is deeply threatening and disturbing in laying bare so many erroneous assumptions and practices, but it ultimately brings a hopeful message. . . . a must for the next generation of leaders.'
Professor Richard Normann, founder of SMG and author of Reframing Business

`Ciborra invites us to see through the systems, methods, and boxes of standard organization lore into the buzzing, emotional, and political improvisation in today's networked organizations. He does so to help us make sense of the current uses of information technology. The book is both
theoretically more interesting and more practical than most writing on the subject. Ciborra is refreshing, original and great fun to read.'
Bo Dahlbom, Director of the Swedish Research Institute for Information Technology

`Reading Ciborra gives, even to person who has been in this Industry for many years, a new vision of Information Technology and its impact on organizations and on every human being.'
Elserino Piol, CEO, Pino Venture Capital (Former Vice-Chairman of Olivetti)

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Buchbeschreibung Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2002. Hardback. Buchzustand: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.How to use information and communication technologies in organizations and how to manage their impact has been the traditional domain of computer specialists and management consultants. The former have offered multiple ways to represent, model, and build applications that would streamline and accelerate data flows, while the latter have been busy linking the deployment of ICTs with strategy and the redesign of business processes. This book takes quite a different approach altogether. In a series of essays, Ciborra uses a string of metaphors - such as Bricolage, Krisis, Gestell, etc. - to place a concern for human existence and our working lives at the centre of the study of ICTs and their diffusion in business organizations, and looks at our practices, improvisations, and moods. He draws upon his own extensive research and consulting experience to throw a fresh light on some key questions: why are systems ambiguous? Why do they not give us more time to do things? Is there strategic value in tinkering even in high-tech settings? What is the value of age-old practices in dealing with new technologies? What is the role of moods and affections in influencing action and cognition? The Labyrinths of Information presents an alternative to the current approaches in management, software-engineering, and strategy that will be of interest to all those concerned with the deployment of ICTs in society today - whether as users, managers, designers, policy makers, or the merely curious. Buchnummer des Verkäufers APC9780199241521

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Buchbeschreibung Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2002. Hardback. Buchzustand: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. How to use information and communication technologies in organizations and how to manage their impact has been the traditional domain of computer specialists and management consultants. The former have offered multiple ways to represent, model, and build applications that would streamline and accelerate data flows, while the latter have been busy linking the deployment of ICTs with strategy and the redesign of business processes. This book takes quite a different approach altogether. In a series of essays, Ciborra uses a string of metaphors - such as Bricolage, Krisis, Gestell, etc. - to place a concern for human existence and our working lives at the centre of the study of ICTs and their diffusion in business organizations, and looks at our practices, improvisations, and moods. He draws upon his own extensive research and consulting experience to throw a fresh light on some key questions: why are systems ambiguous? Why do they not give us more time to do things? Is there strategic value in tinkering even in high-tech settings? What is the value of age-old practices in dealing with new technologies? What is the role of moods and affections in influencing action and cognition? The Labyrinths of Information presents an alternative to the current approaches in management, software-engineering, and strategy that will be of interest to all those concerned with the deployment of ICTs in society today - whether as users, managers, designers, policy makers, or the merely curious. Buchnummer des Verkäufers APC9780199241521

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