Journal Article

Rethinking the concept of the IS organization

Information Systems Journal
Joe Peppard
Subject(s): Information technology and systems, Strategy and general management
Keyword(s): IS organization, IT value, IT governance, centralization, decentralization

Do conceptualizations of the IS organization reflect findings from research studying requirements for successfully harnessing information, systems and technology to achieve operational and strategic objectives? This paper addresses this question, reporting on an analysis of articles published in leading academic journals. It describes how the IS organization is portrayed in these studies and examines the results of this analysis through a sensitizing lens constructed from research that has examined how organizations generate business value from IS. The lens depicts this objective as a quest to harness knowledge that is distributed enterprise wide. The analysis suggests that conceptualizations of the IS organization used by researchers do not reflect the requirements for generating business value from IT that have been identified in the literature. While highlighting that definitions are vague or indeed absent, it challenges the dominant orthodoxy of the IS organization as a separate organizational unit suggesting that it is a more pervasive construct. The implications of this conclusion for practice, research and teaching are considered.

© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd