Appendix – Research resources

The research process

When I embarked on writing this book in mid-2022 I started out with a search on Google Scholar for the term ‘workarounds’. Although there are some concerns about the coverage of Google Scholar I was able to identify a good initial collection of research papers. I am a member of the Association for Computing Machinery and so was able to carry out a search on the ACM Digital Library, initially focusing on ACM publications and then expanding it to the ACM Guide to Computing Literature.

As my initial collection grew in size I also adopted what is usually referred to as snowball sampling; working through the bibliographies in the papers I already had downloaded in order to identify similar papers.

More recently I have also used OpenAlex as a search application, which identified a number of papers that seemed not to have been indexed by Google.

Throughout the process of writing this book I have also used a search profile on Google for both ‘workarounds’ and ‘shadow IT’ and in a typical week the profile presents 10-15 titles. Although there are question marks about the indexing of the scholarly literature by Google Scholar the use of the single search terms seems to have been effective.

I should also mention the Workaround Mining Lab of the University of Utrecht which is undertaking research projects and the annual Business Process Management conference

Deep Analysis is a consulting company based in the USA which publishes vendor profiles and market research analyses on business process management, process mining and information automation. Most of the reports are free of charge but registration is required.

It was never my intention to undertake a systematic review of the literature, and in selecting the papers cited in this book I have tended to provide links to papers with either substantial bibliographies and/or a significant number of citations.

Starting out on research into workarounds and shadow IT

If you are starting out on a project in this area I would suggest the following as a core list of references, but above all, start with Alter (2014) and Bartelheimer (2023).

Alter, S. (2014). Theory of workarounds. Communications of the Association for Information Systems, 34

Baer, M. & Freise, M. (2003). Innovation is not enough: climates for initiative and psychological safety, process innovations, and firm performance. Journal of Organizational Behavior 24, 45–68

Baillette, P., Barlette, Y. & Berthevas, J.-F. (2022). Benefits and risks of shadow IT in health care: a narrative review of the literature. Systemes D’Information and Management, 2, 59-96

Bartelheimer, C., Wolf, V & Beverungen, D (2023). Workarounds as generative mechanisms for bottom-up process innovation – insights from a multiple case study. Information Systems Journal, 1– 66.

Beerepoot, I.M. (2021). Workaround: The path from detection to improvement. [PhD thesis, Utrecht University].

Berlinger, N. (2015). Are workarounds ethical? Managing moral problems in health care systems. Oxford, Oxford Academic.

Beverungen, D et al (2021). Seven paradoxes of business process management in a HyperConnected world. Bus Inf Syst Eng, 63(2):145–156.

Boudreau, M-C. & Robey, D. (2005). Enacting integrated information technology: a human agency perspective. Organization Science, 16(1)

de Vargas Pinto, A., Beerepoot, I., & Maçada, A.C.G. (2022). Encourage autonomy to increase individual work performance: the impact of job characteristics on workaround behavior and shadow IT usage. Information Technology and Management. 

Elliott, C. (2022). The preclusive and productive power of information systems: psychiatric clinicians, electronic health records, and the making of health information. (PhD Thesis). University of Syracuse, USA.

Ejnefjäll, T., Ågerfalk, P. J., & Hedrén, A. (2023). Workarounds in Information Systems Research: A Five-Year Update

Gasser, L. (1986). The integration of computing and routine work. ACM Transactions on Office Information Systems, 4(3), July 1986.

Klotz, S., Kopper, A., Westner, M., & Strahringer, S. (2019). Causing factors, outcomes, and governance of Shadow IT and business-managed IT: a systematic literature review. International Journal of Information Systems and Project Management, 7(1), 1 5-43

Kranz, G. (2000). Failure is not an option. Berkeley Publishing Group. ISBN 0-425-17987-7

Pernsteiner, A., Drum, D.M., & Revak, A., (2018). Control or chaos: impact of workarounds on internal control. International Journal of Accounting & Information Management, 26(2),230-244.

Van der Schaft-Bartis, E.  (2013). Means of interpretive flexibility: User workarounds next to information systems PhD thesis, Budapest Corvinus University


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Workarounds: the benefits and the risks Copyright © 2023 by Martin White is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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