Technology, Institutions and Entropy: Understanding the Critical and Creative Role of Maintenance Work

Dover, Graham and Lawrence, Thomas B. (2010) Technology, Institutions and Entropy: Understanding the Critical and Creative Role of Maintenance Work. In: Phillips, Nelson, Griffiths, Dorothy and Sewell, Graham, (eds.) Technology and Organization: Essays in Honour of Joan Woodward. Research in the Sociology of Organizations. Emerald Group, Bingley, UK, pp. 259-264. ISBN 978-1-84950-984-8

Abstract

As we write this chapter, in the autumn of 2008, the US financial sector is in crisis – major investment banks have gone bankrupt, others have lost most of their market value, and the US Congress is considering a bailout of some 700 million US dollars (The Economist, 2008). The situation represents a clear case of the extraordinary potential for breakdown in social systems that depend on complex layers of technology and institutionalized practice – a “logistical nightmare of fixing a market whose complexity is central to the crisis” (The Economist, 2008, p. 81). More generally, we argue that it challenges prevailing images of technology and institutions as stabilizing forces and points to the fundamentally important, but often neglected, work of maintaining technology and institutions.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: technology; organization studies
Subject(s): Strategy; Entrepreneurship & Global business
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2015 11:18
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2016 13:53
Funders: N/A
URI: http://eureka.sbs.ox.ac.uk/id/eprint/5638

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