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Expertise and InnovationInformation Technology Strategies in the Financial Services Sector$
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Robin Fincham, James Fleck, Rob Procter, Harry Scarbrough, Margaret Tierney, and Robin Williams

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198289043

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198289043.001.0001

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User Relations and IT Integration

User Relations and IT Integration

Chapter:
(p.209) 10 User Relations and IT Integration
Source:
Expertise and Innovation
Author(s):

Robin Fincham

James Fleck

Rob Procter

Harry Scarbrough

Margaret Tierney

Robin Williams

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198289043.003.0010

One of the most important changes in the nature of systems development in recent years reflects the forms of user knowledge being brought within the development process. As has already been mentioned, systems expertise is increasingly differentiated and distributed. Bringing together this complex of knowledges and controlling the relations between user groups and information technology (IT) departments represent key aspects of the management of expertise. We might ask why user participation in development should be singled out at all. This chapter examines user-led innovation, focusing on the role played by users in decision-making around IT. It has long been recognized that ‘user involvement’ is a problematic (and political) activity. A composite typology of users is developed on the basis of dimensions of organizational power and the possession of systems skills. This chapter argues that many questions of the nature and role of user innovation reflect the issue of user relations within the broader organization and the crisis of integration of IT functions; this in turn reflects an occupational transition from service function to strategic role.

Keywords:   user-led innovation, users, information technology, decision-making, user participation, systems skills, organizational power, user roles, user relations, integration

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