The language of business and management, and of infor mation technology, is being employed across all sectors of economic and social activity. In recent years computers and information technology (IT) in general have moved from being a scarce resource to being a more generally available commodity, without a corresponding increase in understanding of how the new generation of tools can be used. IT is available on individual desktops, supporting decision making and communication, but often conven tional organizations have failed to adapt, individuals lack competence and confidence, and senior managers lack both the strategic insight to develop appropriate strategies and the humility to accept that they need to learn. As each sector, whether business, education, public sec tor management or the community and voluntary sector, realizes that the potential of IT is not being exploited to the full, calls are issued for the development of new "hybrid managers", a term coined to describe the gap in understanding and competence that is to be filled. The two editors work in the hybrid field of business information technology, which is a melting pot of ideas and experience from numerous traditional disciplines. The pace of change is such that no one individual could ever be abreast of all technical and business develop ments, but the field is now sufficiently mature for us to identify certain underlying issues and principles, and areas of research for the coming years.
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