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When José Esteves talks about information systems it is with intensity and a passion that is founded not only in the technology itself but also in the human side of these systems. Focusing on areas such as knowledge management, the implementation of enterprise systems and, more recently, enterprise risk management, Prof Esteves believes it is the way people interact with information technology that will determine the success or failure of its implementation.
A wealth of experience in the corporate world underpins this belief. As an information systems analyst and consultant for companies such as Ciba-Geigy and Sonae Group and before joining the academic world, Prof Esteves focused on understanding how information systems interacted with business processes and human resources management.
"Enterprise systems software packages support the management of the whole organisation. The big issue is that these systems change companies, their way of working and their culture, and they are critical to success," he says. "So it’s all about human behaviour - individual, organisational and social - and we should analyze IT/IS at these three levels."
Prof Esteves is also chair of eGovernment Software AG- Alianza Sumaq which focus on the analysis and understanding of eGovernment initiatives in Spain and Latin America.
In addition to his research and teaching, Prof Esteves continues to act as a consultant to a number of companies - something he believes makes an important contribution to his academic activities. And his theories continue to be aired in prominent journals and books, such as his chapter on Understanding ERP Systems Implementation in a Higher Education Institution: A Grounded Theory Approach, in Idea group’s 2004 book Qualitative Case Studies on Enterprise Wide Systems. "Consulting provides fieldwork, data and results because, without examples, it’s all just theory. So it’s a cycle - consulting, research and then applying it in the classes."