IT management is like walking in the jungle with a machete

This paper has taken us many years to write up. The data collection was extensive and broad, and we had troubles finding a focus. But now, finally, it is out!! Many thanks to Marta Larusdottir, Thomas Lind and Gerolf Nauwerck for their hard work with this!

You find the full paper here, open access:

Earlier research has confirmed that leaders in information and communication technology (ICT) are crucial for establishing a user-centred systems design perspective in ICT for work-related tasks.

Therefore, this paper reports the perspectives of 18 ICT leaders in three varieties of leadership roles (managers, project leaders and specialists) to understand their views of user-centred systems design concerning ICT. It uses the concept of technological frames of reference to analyse three domains: technology-in-use, technology strategy and nature of technology.

The results show that many specialists see user involvement as a critical factor in successfully establishing new information and communication technologies. These systems are currently built around the needs of management rather than end-users. Looking forward, all three groups are optimistic about how ICT will become more user-centred and more strategically aligned in the future.

However, ICT changes are extremely energy-consuming and challenging – akin to ‘walking in the jungle with a machete.

Finally, we discuss the relevance of technological frames and present some implications for establishing user-centred system design as a perspective in organisations.