Proceedings of JAIS Theory Development Workshop
In this paper we argue that a combination of a social actor model, Institutional theory, and a model of unobtrusive power can constitute a theoretical framework for understanding how the business client is able to exercise control and subsequent subjugation of developers in the systems development process. Specifically, the paper develops a 3-level theoretical framework grounded in institutional theory that integrates elements of Lamb and Klingâ€™s social actor model and Scottâ€™s 3-pillars framework concentrating on the relationships among systems developers, the business client, the SDM, and the context surrounding its use. The framework is strengthened through the application of a third level â€“ Hardyâ€™s multi-dimensional model of power, offering explanations of political inactivity by developers. In this paper we discuss how all three theory can be combined in a framework for analyzing the power relations between developers and the business client. We apply this theoretical framework in a case study of the deployment of a mandated in-house developed systems development methodology in a large IT department of a major Australian bank Here we will show how, from the perspective of developers, the business client exercise both overt and unobtrusive power over the development process.
Rowlands, Bruce and Kautz, Karlheinz, " Combining the User as Social Actor Model, Institutional Theory and a Theory of Unobtrusive Power to Understand the Acquiescence of Software Developers" (2010). All Sprouts Content. 365.