How the Use of ICT can Contribute to a Misleading Picture of Conditions – A Five-Step Process

Stefan Holgersson
Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management  •  Volume 10  •  2015  •  pp. 193-215   FEATURED ARTICLE
This paper contributes to the limited research on roles ICT can play in impression-management strategies and is based on case studies done in the Swedish Police. It also gives a theoretical contribution by adopting a holistic approach to explain how ICT can contribute to giving a misleading picture of conditions. Output generated by ICT has nowadays a central role in follow-up activities and decision-making. Even if this type of output, often in colourful, presentable, graphical arrangements, gives the impression of being accurate and reliable there is a risk of defective data quality. The phenomena can be described as a process divided into five steps. The first step is about how the data is generated and/or collected. The second step is linked to how the data is registered. The third step is about the output generated from the ICT-systems. The fourth step is how the output of ICT is selected for presentation. The fifth step concerns how output generated by ICT is interpreted. This paper shows that ICT can easily be used in impression-management strategies. For example, that personnel take shortcuts to affect the statistics rather than applying methods that may give the desired effects.
ICT, information quality, output, impression-management, misleading, decision-making
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