header Confenis 2012

ENGINEER OR BRICOLEUR BY PROF. DR. JAN DEVOS

PRESENTATION
Thursday 20 September 2012

Jan Devos is professor in Information Systems at Ghent University, faculty of Engineering and Architecture, campus West (Kortrijk). He studied electronics, computer science and applied mathematics at the Catholic University of Leuven. Since then, he had several IT management jobs in private companies and had his own IT consulting and advisory company.

foto Jan DevosDevos holds a PhD in Engineering, Industrial Management. His current research interests are IT governance in SME’s, Cloud computing, E-Business and IT security. He has published several articles on IT and SMEs and was a speaker at international academic and business conferences. Devos is often ask as an expert witness, he has conducted more than 60 expert opinions on IS failures. Currently he is lecturing courses on IT Governance, IT Security and Cloud Computing at master students. He is also a guest professor at Nyenrode Business University.

Are we Engineers or Bricoleurs?

We are living in awkward times. There was never so much information technology surrounding us and information is abundant available at any place at anytime. However there were never so much IT failures with money squandering as before and that since we started implementing and using information technology in organisations, now almost more than 50 years ago. We have adopted an engineering model for conducting IT projects in organisations.
Since WWII, the supremacy of that model is beyond criticism although more and more researchers point on several fallacies. So there are other approaches for adopting IT in organisations, especially in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In our research we intend to build on and move beyond existing work to provide conceptual underpinnings for the study of bricolage applied for adopting IT in SMEs.
Bricolage is an improvisational approach that allows learning from concrete experience. We highlight the tension between the dominant view of classical governance/engineering models rooted in control theory and the alternative approach of bricolage.
The concept of bricolage was introduced by the French anthropologist Lévi-Strauss in his book, La pensée sauvage (1962). The bricoleur is the handyman, tinkerer or do-it-yourselver. Bricolage criticized the way strategic thinking about IT in organisations is often presented as a linear, top-down, rational and cognitive process. However when put into use by practitioners, strategic IT planning is a process of disassociation from theoretical foundations. The trajectory from IT strategy formulation down to implementation is not an intentional process of design, but a chain of evolutionary processes that involve serendipity and muddling through elements of surprise. Indeed, how do we explain and deal with consumerization of IT or with phenemenon’s as Bring-Your-Own-Device? Or with social media in organisations?

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ABOUT CONFENIS 2012

6th International Conference on Research and Practical Issues of Enterprise Information Systems

logo IFIPThe CONFENIS 2012 Conference is a joint effort of the Economic Council for East Flanders, the Ghent University and the IFIP TC8 Working Group 8.9 on Enterprise Information Systems.

The sixth International Conference on Research and Practical Issues of Enterprise Information Systems, CONFENIS 2012, will be held in Ghent, Belgium, September 19-21, 2012. CONFENIS, The Enterprise Information Systems International Conference on Research and Practical Issues of EIS, is a primary international event of the IFIP TC8 Working Group 8.9. This event provides an opportunity for academicians and practitioners throughout the world to gather, exchange ideas, and present original research in the field of enterprise information systems. Scientists and professionals are invited to address the current research topics in the area or the research frontier at this unique international forum.
Accepted papers will be published as full or short papers in a Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing (LNBIP) volume by Springer. Chairman of the conference is prof. dr. Geert Poels, Professor in the rank of Senior lecturer, Department of Management Information and Operations Management, Ghent University.

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