Browsing Faculty of Social Sciences by Subjects
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Examining e-democracy through a double structuration loopThis paper develops a structurational framework for examining e-democracy. This framework draws on the Giddens structuration theory, Owanda Orlikowski's Structurational Model of Technology (SMT) and her technology-practice lens, to bring into focus democratic practices facilitated by Information and Communications Technologies (ICT). An examination of social practices mediated by technology assists in uncovering the underlying structures that enable and constrain actors in democratic engagement. The framework ties together the technology-shaping process and technology-use process, that both act on each other to shape the emergent role of e-democracy. It sensitises researchers to the dialectic interaction of institutional mediation structures, technology mediation structures and human agency. In particular, this framework draws attention to 11 key social structures and agency issues that need to be explored by researchers for building a deeper understanding of how the role of e-democracy is enacted and its impacts moderated in the democratic process. This paper argues that this framework provides a useful lens for analysing social issues surrounding e-democracy.
Management skills development: the current position and the future agendaIn the last ten years, the nature of managerial work has changed considerably largely because the organisational, economic and technological context in which managerial work is conducted has changed beyond recognition. Organisations have been delayered; new concepts such as "the self-managed work team" have been developed; organisations have been subjected to a range of guru driven change such as business process reengineering; the scale of IT-enabled home-based working has increased; the rapid evolution of information and communications technologies have increased the volume and variety of communication that managers have had to learn to cope with; and, increasing globalisation has created a more competitive environment where businesses have had to become leaner, more flexible and adaptable - this often having been achieved by the ruthless implementation of cost-reduction programmes. The consequence of this are that the skills and "capabilites" that managers need to be effective have change radically. The purpose of this paper is to explore the nature of these changes and to assess the implications of management development and education programmes.