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Big data analytics and organisational change. The case of learning analytics

Stelmaszak Rosa, Marta (2019) Big data analytics and organisational change. The case of learning analytics. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Much of the Information Systems (IS) literature on Big Data Analytics (BDA) assumes a straightforward relationship between human activity and data, and between data and analytical insights that can be used to steer operations (e.g. Chen, Preston and Swink, 2015; Brynjolfsson, Geva and Reichman, 2016; Yahav, Shmueli and Mani, 2016). On the other hand, researchers also try to understand the role of big data within organisations, the contributions of analytics to strategy and decision-making, and the value of big data and its organisational consequences (Constantiou and Kallinikos, 2015; Abbasi, Sarker and Chiang, 2016; Günther et al., 2017). At the same time, more critical scholars have suggested that the implications of BDA can go beyond decision-making, sometimes twisting or even undermining managerial efforts (Newell and Marabelli, 2015; Galliers et al., 2017; Markus, 2017). This research investigates how BDA systems change organisations that implement them and aims to uncover the resulting organisational transformations. In line with the Transformational Model of Social Activity (Archer and Bhaskar, 1998; Faulkner and Runde, 2013), it is argued that BDA systems as technological objects change how work is done, and these changes lead to the reproduction or transformation of organisations as social structures. In order to uncover this reproduction or transformation, the concepts of encoding, aggregation and correlation (Alaimo and Kallinikos, 2017) are deployed to analyse how data is produced, and the theory of reactivity (Espeland and Sauder, 2007), originally developed to study university rankings, is adapted to trace the mechanisms and effects of organisational transformation in a case study. The study provides an answer to the question of how organisations are transformed, in unintended ways, through the implementation of BDA systems. The concept of the analytical cage is proposed as a new form of organising emerging from BDA within organisations.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2019 Marta Stelmaszak Rosa
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Sets: Departments > Management
Supervisor: Kallinikos, Jannis

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