Article

Post‐structuralism, Social Shaping of Technology, and Actor‐Network Theory: What Can They Bring to IS Research?

Nathalie Mitev and Debra Howcroft

in The Oxford Handbook of Management Information Systems

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199580583
Published online September 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199580583.003.0013

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management

Post‐structuralism, Social Shaping of Technology, and Actor‐Network Theory: What Can They Bring to IS Research?

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This article aims to address an omission in information system research concerning the debate in social science on postmodernism and post-structuralism. It outlines the fundamental arguments of this debate and draw attention to the relevant discussions and disputes. This provides a clear understanding of actor network theory (ANT) as it originates from post-structuralist debates in the field of science and technology studies (STS). It begins by summarizing some of the key debates that are of relevance within poststructuralism and constructivism. The difficulties in using ANT are mentioned and these are due to a lack of exposure to poststructuralism in IS research, as compared with other related disciplines. It draws out a relationship between social shaping of technology, social construction of technology, and ANT. This article further suggests that consideration of efforts in related fields to combine ANT with critical social analysis may be a worthwhile pursuit.

Keywords: information system research; post-structuralism; actor network theory; postmodernism; social construction of technology

Article.  14788 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour ; Knowledge Management

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