Sociomaterial regulation in organizations: The case of information technology
Contributor(s)University Vytautas Magnus;Lituanie
Case Western University;États-Unis
Cass Business School;Royaume-Uni
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AbstractInformation technology (IT) is used to regulate organizational processes both to allow and to prevent specific behavior. Recent scandals in the financial industry exposed overconfidence in IT based regulation and, as scholars of regulation have long known, the games people play increase with the number of rules in place. To explore the practices in organizations with a broad perspective we define sociomaterial regulation as the relationships between the rules, the IT artifacts, and the practices. A new theoretical terminology around the three relationships (materialization of rules in IT artifacts, interdependency between IT artifacts and practices, and coupling in time between rules and practices) helps to explore a large case study of the implementation of an e-learning system in a French university over a five years period. The study reveals five modalities of sociomaterial regulation which can be understood using the three relationships: functionality-, tool-, role-, procedure-, and social process-orientation play out very differently for the organization in terms of the change in practices, the sources of control (hierarchical versus emergent), and innovation activity. We discuss implications for management and policy.
TypeCommunication / Conférence