Yes, minister: satire in information systems research

Jocelyn Cranefield, Gillian Oliver

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the use of the alternative genre of satire in conjunction with conventional academic discourse in order to provide insight into information systems development and implementation in government. An outsourcing project for the development and implementation of a new payroll system for the New Zealand education sector provides the focus; this project was just one of a series of problematic IT implementations that have occurred in recent years in New Zealand's public sector. The public availability of documentation relating to the payroll project provides a rich dataset for analysis. However, it is evident that this documentation only provides partial insight into the political tensions and influences at play. Satire has developed as the genre of choice in non-academic discourse as a means of critically commenting on political decision making, the question considered in this paper is whether it can be usefully used in conjunction with other, more conventional academic genres. To explore this question, and demonstrate the potential value of satire, a body of satirical data relating to the outsourcing case is combined with stakeholder theory to reveal critical insights about the case.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECIS 2014 Proceedings - 22nd European Conference on Information Systems
EditorsMichel Avital, Jan Leimeister, Ulrike Schultze
Place of PublicationAtlanta GA USA
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9780991556700
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventEuropean Conference on Information Systems 2014 - Tel Aviv, Israel
Duration: 9 Jun 201411 Jun 2014
Conference number: 22nd (Conference Proceedings)


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Information Systems 2014
Abbreviated titleECIS 2014
CityTel Aviv
Internet address


  • Critical IS Research
  • ICT Failure
  • Satire
  • Stakeholder theory

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