Relationships of authority and control and their effect on information systems actors has interested IS researchers since at least the 1980’s. The study of power itself has also troubled organisational and sociological theorists, from which information systems researchers have drawn various lines of attack. Our approach to power rests on an historical synchronic theory that seeks to uncover the places and operation of power through an examination of narrative ‘testaments’ which are analysed not from the perspective of the giving individual but from the structural elements of discourse that they may represent. This paper compliments previous research methods on the topic of power especially in expert reports and systems development methodologies; provides specific guidance on how to apply the notion of discourse synchronically; and reconstructs the commercial practice of information systems, not as a broad church, but as one of competing and epistemologically incommensurate discourse, where the fates of the powerful are balanced against the fearful and silent disciplined.
Hart, Adam and Underwood, Jim, "Power and discourse in information systems practice: a narrative research method" (2012). ACIS 2012 Proceedings. 13.