Downplaying model power in IT project work

Anne Richter, Henrik Buhl

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Executives and information technology specialists often manage IT projects in project teams. Integrative IT systems provide opportunities to manage and restructure work functions, but the process of change often causes serious problems in implementation and diffusion. A central issue in the research, presented in this article, conducted in a Danish manufacturing company, is how an IT system could be configured to support shopfloor teamwork and enhance the quality of work. The approach is based on participatory design and the concept of "model power". This concept facilitates an understanding of power of specific actors, during particpation in IT project development. Model power may be an obstacle to different interests and perspectives being taken into consideration. The case study presented illustrates the point, that it is possible to counterbalance model power and, thus, it has been possible to put issues such as team functions and quality of work on the agenda. Simultaneously, participation competencies seem to have been enhanced.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEconomic and Industrial Democracy
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)247-275
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • project work
  • model power
  • IT
  • work organization
  • team work
  • participatory design

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