The Materiality of Technology: An Affordance Perspective

Samer Faraj and Bijan Azad

in Materiality and Organizing

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199664054
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745423 | DOI:
The Materiality of Technology: An Affordance Perspective

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The research at the nexus of technology-organizational change has converged on the materiality of technology as a fundamental theoretical concern. This chapter highlights three major weaknesses in how the extant research conceptualizes technology: conflation of product categories over technologies; superimposition of feature and technology; and static conception of technology over time. The chapter then points out how these weaknesses tend to decontextualize technology-in-use and thus underemphasize technology's materiality. The chapter then goes on to propose affordances as a viable scaffolding to undergird the development of a conceptual apparatus that takes account of materiality more holistically and in a more relational manner. The chapter concludes by pointing out the challenges ahead in the further development of the affordances concept to account for technology's materiality.

Keywords: technology materiality; technology affordances; feature-centricity; relationality; technology-in-use

Chapter.  9096 words. 

Subjects: Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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