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Is it the soul of a new/lost machine?

Soga, L. R. (2016) Is it the soul of a new/lost machine? International Journal of Actor-Network Theory and Technological Innovation, 8 (2). pp. 18-31. ISSN 1942-535X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.4018/IJANTTI.2016040102

Abstract/Summary

This paper is a throwback to The Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder (Kidder, 1981b). Bruno Latour 1987, upon examining Tracy Kidder's story, observes that the heroic tale of engineers who worked on Eagle, a 32-bit minicomputer, was actually inspired by a machine! Over the years, however, this Latourian viewpoint seems to have been ignored. This paper thus examines how Kidder's story was received over the past three decades by the academic and non-academic communities. It exposes how various reviews of the story reinforce one's assumptions about how one approaches narratives about technology. A total of 228 reviews/analyses/commentaries about the story were analysed in a qualitative undertaking that also led the enquiry into a detailed analyses of the story's historico-cultural agency. The findings indicate that non-academic reviews focused largely on heroism, whereas in the academy, the story was approached in light of the prevailing academic discourses in management theory per any given decade of the book's journey; the story then became The Soul of a Lost Machine!

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Henley Business School > Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
ID Code:86581
Publisher:IGI Global

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