When the good times are over: Professionals meet new technology
Journal article, 2009
Information and communication technologies play a key role in contemporary organizations. Supported by a longitudinal study of changes in purchasing practices, owing to the implementation of an e-business system at a large, global corporation, this article shows the interplay between the technology and the role of the users. We argue that the introduction of the e-business system increased the hierarchy and bureaucracy but also that the purchasers' professional identities and established work procedures were threatened by the technology being used. The results indicate how a technological artifact is by no means detached from the broader reformulating of managerial procedures and practices, instead reflecting and embodying some of the managerial virtues of predictability and hierarchy. Since technology is playing an increasingly key role in most industries and domains, it is also suggested that the intersection between technology and professions be examined in more detail.