Chapter

Theorizing Information Technology as a Material Artifact in Information Systems Research

Daniel Robey, Benoit Raymond and Chad Anderson

in Materiality and Organizing

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199664054
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745423 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199664054.003.0011
Theorizing Information Technology as a Material Artifact in Information Systems Research

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Research that includes information technology (IT) artifacts within its scope of focus (e.g., “computer impact” studies) often fails to engage adequately with the material properties of those IT artifacts. The result is a limited theoretical account of the relationship between IT and organizations and individuals. This chapter seeks to address that issue by tracing the disappearance of materiality from the concept of technology in organization theory and offering suggestions for meeting the challenge of carefully defining materiality concepts for IT (e.g., affordances), adapting them to a sociomaterial context, and including them in established theories commonly used in information systems (IS) research (e.g., adaptive structuration theory, organizational routines theory, theory of work–life boundary management).

Keywords: IT artifacts; materiality; organization theory; affordances; organizational routines

Chapter.  8156 words. 

Subjects: Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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