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The Labyrinths of InformationChallenging the Wisdom of Systems$
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Claudio Ciborra

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199275267

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199275267.001.0001

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(p.29) 3 Bricolage
The Labyrinths of Information

Claudio Ciborra

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that behind the enactment of strategic applications of ICT there are mundane modes of operation, such as bricolage, improvisation, or hacking. The bubbling up of new ideas from the bottom of the organization can lead to acts of incremental or radical innovation, whereby the existing organizational reality, the environment, and ICT applications are seen anew by the members of the organization. In the latter case, strategic information systems (SISs) are intimately associated with business renewal. SIS applications are those that are developed close to and serve the grass roots of the organization, where its core competencies and skills are daily deployed and perfected thanks to the myriad invisible acts of bricolage and hacking. Managers and specialists need to appreciate local fluctuations in systems practices as the repository of unique innovations, and commit adequate resources and attention to their cultivation, even if, or especially when, they fly in the face of more established, structured approaches.

Keywords:   ICT, innovation, strategic information systems, strategic applications

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