Information Technology and Critical Theory in the New Millenium: Is there still hope?

A Workshop in the Critical Management Studies Conference

Hulme Hall, Manchester University, UK, July 14-16 1999

This workshop is a unique opportunity for scholars with an interest in applying critical theory to the study of information technologies. We invite people from all around the world to join us in developing and discussing a broadly critical perspective on the theory and practice of information systems as they relate to problems of organizing and managing social life. By critical perspective we mean modes of theorizing and practices of research which regard computing installations as socially constructed and enacted, perceive them to be historically contingent and shaped, and related to human interests and power.

Such perspectives usually take a critical stance towards the possibilities and uses of scientific knowledge, relate research and knowledge to power and vested interests, and see transformation and conflict endemic to social arrangements where computing takes place. Moreover, the researcher usually takes a position and defends the rights of those who are oppressed, weaker or alienated by current or emerging social conditions. Typical theoretical perspectives informing such research include the Frankfurt school, marxism, deconstructionist theories, critical hermeneutics and the sociology of knowledge.

Our objective is to solicit contributions from all areas of information systems research that are informed by a critical perspective or standpoint, including criticisms of such standpoints. Submitted papers can follow any research methodology as long as they engage in a critical analysis and reflection.

The following list of topics is indicative but not exhaustive of what we envision in this call for papers:

The workshop will take place as one stream of the Critical Management Studies Conference to be held at Hulme Hall, Manchester University, United Kingdom, July 14-16, 1999.

The workshop will be organized as a set of paper presentations with a heavy emphasis on interaction, criticism and open debate. Possibilities to work in groups, organize panels and so on are not excluded.

Submitted papers will be formally reviewed by the program committee and the best of these papers will be published in a Special Issue of Accounting, Management and Information Technologies entitled: "Critical Perspectives on Information Practices".

Important dates

Deadline for submissions October 1, 1998
Notification of acceptance February 1, 1999
Final papers due June 1, 1999

Workshop Chairs

Richard Boland, Case Western Reserve University
Kalle Lyytinen, University of Jyvaskyla
Duane Truex, Georgia State University

Program Committee Members

Lucas Introna, LSE
Heinz Klein, SUNY Binghamton
Phil Kraft, SUNY Binghamton
Michael Myers, University of Auckland, New Zealand
Bo Dahlbom, Gothenburg University
Ojelanki Ngwenyama, Virginia Commonwealth University