Article

‘Everything is Dangerous’: Rethinking Michel Foucault and the Social Study of ICT

Leslie P. Willcocks and Eleni A. Lioliou

in The Oxford Handbook of Management Information Systems

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199580583
Published online September 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199580583.003.0009

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management

‘Everything is Dangerous’: Rethinking Michel Foucault and the Social Study of ICT

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This article focuses on theoretical perspectives by looking at the contribution of Michel Foucault's work, which is seen as ‘unjustly neglected’ in the information system (IS) field. It assess Foucault's views of techne and technology and argues that IS could learn from a deeper Foucauldian genealogy. This article assumes a degree of familiarity with Foucault's main work, but not with its application to information and communications technology. It then critically evaluates and illustrates how this application can be used in the study of information and communication technology (ICTs) in IS, organization, management, and surveillance studies, and more recently by those studying governmentality, network society, techno-bodies, and cyberspace. It then illustrates Foucauldian perspectives, concepts, methods applied, results, and effective applications of Foucauldian perspectives on ICTs in IS, organization, management, and surveillance studies. The final section argues against the view that Foucault has become less relevant with moves to liquid modernity, network society and new forms of technology.

Keywords: Michel Foucault; governmentality; information and communication technology; management; network society

Article.  11488 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour ; Knowledge Management

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