The Occupational Culture of IS/IT Personnel within Organizations

Indira R. Guzman, Kathryn R. Stam, Jeffrey M. Stanton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


As organizations’ reliance on information technology (IT) continues to grow, the information technology personnel who support end users play an increasingly important role in the proper functioning of those organizations. In the present study, we interviewed information technology personnel (N=32) as well as other employees (N=89) to examine their intra-group and inter-group communications and assess the existence and importance of the occupational culture of IT personnel within organizations. We applied Trice's Occupational Subculture theoretical framework (1993) to examine the characteristics of the occupational culture of IT personnel and its relationships with other type of personnel within organizations. The results of our study suggest that IT personnel have established a distinct occupational culture within organizations, characterized, for example, by the use of technical jargon, primary value of technical knowledge, extreme and unusual demands on people in the profession related to the constant change of IT, feelings of superiority and a general lack of formal rules. Conflicts between IT occupational subcultures and other extant subcultures arise from cultural differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-50
Number of pages18
JournalData Base for Advances in Information Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 31 2008


  • Collaboration
  • Cultural Conflict in Organizations
  • IT Personnel
  • IT Workforce
  • Occupational Subcultures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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