Title: Reconstructing IT governance using Foucault

Authors: Gerard L. Ilott

Addresses: School of Business Law, CQ University Australia, Rockhampton, QLD, 4702, Australia

Abstract: At a time when information and its related technology have never been more important for the conduct of commerce, the question 'what is IT governance?' is far from settled. This paper reviews the first decade of IT governance research and its antecedent literature to obtain a better understanding of how the concept has developed, and why there are tensions and inconsistencies in our understanding of what IT governance is. This paper then introduces IT governance through the lens of Michel Foucault's archeological method and historical periods called epistemes. Some historical events will be analysed to demonstrate that when Michel Foucault's techniques of archaeology are applied, a fuller conceptualisation of IT governance is achieved. The demands and expectations of IT governance have been influenced by changes in power and knowledge relations resulting first from the end user computer movement and the increased availability of information and technology, and second from onerous control requirements imposed upon boards of directors by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. An awareness of these influences and how they resulted in different epistemes of IT governance is important for future researchers, allowing them to be more aware of the environment in which IT governance operates.

Keywords: IT governance; epistemes; interpretive; enterprise governance; information technology; Michel Foucault; power relations; knowledge relations.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBGE.2016.076340

International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics, 2016 Vol.11 No.1, pp.21 - 51

Accepted: 26 Oct 2015
Published online: 04 May 2016 *

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