PhD Defence Stella Pachidi


Pachidi, StellaSTELLA PACHIDI 
Information & Innovation Management 
Dissertation title 
Crunching the numbers: Studying the enactment of analytics in an organization 
Date & location 
January 14, 2016 at 11:45 in in the Aula of the Main Building of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


 Crunching the numbers: Studying the enactment of analytics in an organization


Pachidi, StellaAbstract

This doctoral thesis investigates how organizational members enact the technology of analytics in their quest for rationality. An inductive longitudinal qualitative study was performed to study the introduction of analytics in the corporate sales department of a telecommunications organization. The study sheds light on three phenomena related to the enactment of analytics: First, the study illustrates how epistemological clashes emerge between analysts and users, who may have conflicting perspectives on the sources of knowledge, how knowledge is obtained, and how knowledge statements are justified. Second, the thesis explores how organizational members render their actions visible while interacting with digital technologies and their analytics features, and investigates the performative effects of those practices. Finally, the study explores the process of symbolically adopting the analytics artifacts, and shows that those symbolic actions can have unintended consequences for the actors who perform them. Overall, this thesis contributes to the field of rationality by suggesting that more data and analytics do not necessarily entail more rational actions, because there can be different conceptions of rationality situated in the practices; because producing data for visibility can also have other performative consequences; and finally because information may often be used symbolically.

About the author

Stella Pachidi is a University Lecturer in Information Systems at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. Prior to this position, Stella was a Ph.D. candidate at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, VU University Amsterdam. She holds a Master's degree in Business Informatics from Utrecht University and a 5-year diploma in Electrical and Computer Engineering from National Technical University of Athens. Her research interests lie in the intersection of technology, work and organizing.