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Improvisation in Action: Making Sense of IS Development in Organizations

J.P. Bansler & E. Havn

Reference & Publication Year
International Workshop on Action in Language, Organisations and Information
Systems (ALOIS 2003), Linköping, Sweden, March 12-13, 2003

This paper discusses the role of extemporaneous action and bricolage in designing and implementing information systems in organizations. We report a longitudinal field study of design and implementation of a Web-based groupware
application in a multinational corporation. We adopt a sensemaking perspective to analyze the
dynamics of this process and show that improvisational action and bricolage (making do with the materials at hand) played
a vital role in the development of the application. Finally, we suggest that this case study provides
an occasion to reconsider how we conceptualize information systems development (ISD).