Recent developments in IT-enabled change have sparked many discussions on the emergence of a new management paradigm beyond bureaucracy. However, many of these studies are anecdotal or descriptive in nature, with few empirical studies. This research attempts to address this problem by developing a contingency framework within which the impact of information technology (IT) implementation on forms of post- bureaucratic controls is examined. It identifies post-bureaucratic control as a portfolio comprising empowerment, and panoptic or ideological control and argues that the emergence of these controls will differ, depending on the nature of the task structuredness and the context of IT-enabled change. It argues that the panoptic visibility afforded by the new technology enables management to decentralize power to employees without completely losing control. However, the ability to textualize behaviors in unstructured tasks is limited. In compensation, management will use ideological control to ensure that organization goals are met. Using a mixed methodology of qualitative and quantitative methods, two organizations, one undergoing an automational change and another a transformational change, were selected as cases to illustrate the framework. This study should prove interesting to researchers as it undertakes an empirical examination of post-bureaucratic controls and proposes a contingency framework to tie up apparent contradictions in findings. It also identifies new forms of control beyond bureaucracy, which practitioners may find are becoming increasingly relevant in a more fluid, uncertain “new economy.”
Tang, May; Soh, Christina; Sia, Siew-Kein; and Boh, Wai, "A Contingency Analysis of Post-Bureaucratic Controls in IT-Related Change" (2000). ICIS 2000 Proceedings. 50.