This paper introduces the concept of myth, a dominant image on which an organizing vision may be formulated. It is proposed that organizational myths can be used to evaluate the nature and outcomes of information tech- nology use in particular operating contexts, by permitting an enframing or disclosure of critical contradictions and tensions arising in such contexts. An analytical schema, the semiotic square, is described for clarifying oppositional and associative relationships between elements of work performance or IT usage, from the standpoint of mythical framing. The paper’s proposition is illustrated through a case study analysis of customer service operations at a call center, pivoted on the discrepancies between the rhetorical formulation of the center’s organizing vision (i.e., its myth) and the complex realities of IT-based work organization and performance. The deconstruction of a myth presents a relatively inclusive standpoint from which an analyst can take into account the contested nature of performance evaluation in IT usage. This approach also addresses the ontological basis of the significance (or value) of performance, which is seen to be constituted negatively. This study suggests that fruitful scope exists for investigating the way rhetorical forms articulate with IT use in the contemporary workplace.
Corea, Stephen, "Myth and Dissymmetry in the Use of Information Technology" (2004). ICIS 2004 Proceedings. 3.