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Abstract

IT projects are often complex arrangements of technological components, social actions, and organizational transformation that are difficult to manage in practice. This paper takes an analytical discourse perspective to explore the process of legitimizing IT projects. We introduce the concept of resonating statements to highlight how central actors navigate in various discourses over time. Particularly, the statements and actions of an IT project manager are portrayed to show how individuals can legitimize actions by connecting statements to historically produced discourses. The case study of an IT project in a Danish local government spans a two-year time period and demonstrates a ­double-loop legitimization process. First, resonating statements are produced to localize a national IT initiative to support the specificity of a local government discourse. Second, the resonating statements are used as part of a feedback loop to re-attach the localized IT project to the broader national discourse. The paper concludes with reflections on how to actively build on resonating statements as a strategic resource for legitimizing IT projects.

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