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Management Consultants, Systems Development, Power and the Translation of Problems

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


<mark>Journal publication date</mark>08/1992
<mark>Journal</mark>The Sociological Review
Issue number3
Number of pages28
Pages (from-to)533-560
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This paper aims to shed light on the exercise of power during the development and implementation of organisational information systems. Considering the use of Information Technology (IT) to help solve organisational problems, we employ the concept of the ‘sociology of translation’ to theorise the process by which the organisational problem is constituted and for which the appropriate IT solution is proposed. Discussing the nature of the power relationship between external management consultants in IT and client or user organisations, the paper considers the role of symbolic resources such as managerial discourse, and the differential access to IT knowledge and skills, as important aspects of power in that relationship.