Publication Details

Rowlands, B. & Kautz, K. (2013). Systemic power, disciplinary agency, and developer-business client relations. 24th Australasian Conference on Information Systems (pp. 1-11). Melbourne, Australia: ACIS.

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Australasian Conference on Information Systems


This paper presents Hardy's multi-dimensional model of power and illustrates its application to the field of IS. Findings from a case study of developer-business client power relations within a large financial institution are presented. Our findings indicate that from the developers' perspective, the client exercised near complete control, with developers unwittingly playing a cooperative but submissive role. Our study makes two principal contributions. First, we combine Hardy's (1996) multi-dimensional power framework and the principles of Pickering's (1995) version of disciplinary agency to propose why the developer was compliant in this scenario of power inequality. Second, we examine how a development methodology helped convey symbolic and disciplinary power. By doing so we gain rich insight into how meaning power, and the power of the system institutionalised within the methodology, can constrain the actions of developers.

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