“How to Create Things with Words” Symbolic Power and MIS in the Health Care Sector
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This paper is concerned with institutional change and the role of IT in public reforms. Specifically, we analyze a historical case concerning the development of a MIS in a local health-care organization in Norway. We use the concept “symbolic power” constructed by Bourdieu to investigate the problem of legitimization during the process of developing the MIS. We illustrate how the use of symbolic power within different logics and conflict of interest has influenced the MIS development. Despite this, we also observe a process which to a great extent has been harmonious. We argue that it is because these logics, interests and values have gained the status of symbolic capital; i.e., are recognized as legitimate competencies and knowledge, that the political dimensions are unrecognized. Our conclusion is that MIS development faces a serious challenge in making it legitimate to define issues of IT as political.
KeywordsObjectify State Cultural Capital Political Dimension Symbolic Capital Symbolic Power
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