Rhizomatic informatics: The case of Ivy University

Chris Atkinson, Laurence Brooks

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    While the debate over information systems and their role in society persists, the discipline continues to seek approaches to better understand IS, and its complex interactions with organizations and people. This paper draws ideas from Deleuze and Guattari's work on rhizomes (a nonhierarchical network) and its opposing tree (arboreal structure), to develop better insights (Deleuze and Guattari 2004). The paper specifically revisits the case of Ivy University, in which a major introduction of an ERP application was attempted by the powerful central administration. When this centralized and arboreal structure collapses, it is eventually replaced by a much more organic system, which emerged from the localized and ad hoc software developments that had already taken place. The rhizomic interpretation of this case enables both a conceptualization of information systems within social and organizational settings and offers a set of principles on which the concept of a "rhizomatic informatics" may be based and IS case studies interpreted. © 2008 International Federation for Information Processing.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIFIP International Federation for Information Processing|IFIP Int. Fed. Inf. Process.
    Number of pages20
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    • Arboreal
    • Case study
    • ERP
    • Nomad
    • Rhizomatics
    • Territorialization


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