A considerable amount of research has already been conducted in the IT/IS evaluation arena, yet rewards remain elusive. This has been variously explained and in this paper we aim to realize two objectives: first, to examine some particular political and social aspects of evaluation processes in organizations and, second, to show the potential contribution of a social shaping approach to information systems research. A social shaping approach is attractive because it emphasizes a view of technological development as a social process as well as providing a framework for understanding the context in which technologies are displaced. Social shaping approaches encourage a concentration on the social and political processes through which terms such as failure, disaster, benefits, or successes come to be ascribed to technological systems. By highlighting the subjective element of evaluation procedures that produce such terms, we hope to contribute to the evaluation literature. A case study approach is used to illustrate the process and role of IS evaluations and emphasizes the dual exercise of evaluations for the purpose of user enrolment and to justify decisions in hindsight.
Wilson, Melanie and Howcroft, Debra, "The Politics of IS Evaluation: A Social Shaping Perspective" (2000). ICIS 2000 Proceedings. 10.