Disentangling sociomateriality: an exploration of remote monitoring systems in interorganizational networks
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Att dekonstruera sociomaterialitet : En undersökning av fjärrdiagnostiksystem i interorganisatoriska nätverk (Swedish)
Firmly placed in an industrial setting, this research explored the introduction of remote monitoring technology into three different organizational contexts. By following these organizations over time, starting with their intention to invest in remote monitoring systems (RMS), there was a unique opportunity to witness their processes and to gain an insight into the intricacies of information technology (IT) and organizational transformation. The main question that this research sought to answer was thus: How is IT implicated in the remote monitoring of industrial equipment?
Previous information systems research has been accused of not paying enough attention to the material, that is, of not being specific about technology. This research adopted a sociomaterial perspective, thus recognizing the constitutive entanglement of the material and the social, and thereby acknowledging their mutual dependency. However, in order to provide specific insights about the material, an analytical disentanglement was performed, by extending the concept of agency from a focus on “the what” to include “the how”. Change was thus studied by not only asking what the nature of change is and who or what causes change to occur, but by also tracing how change is enacted, thus capturing both material and social agency as well as tracing their entanglement.
This research employed a broad approach, designed to provide a profound and extensive account of the studied phenomenon. Consequently, the thesis explored value creation, sourcing routines, partnership formation and innovative practices all related to remote diagnostics design and use. In addition, the research was qualitative and used interpretive case studies as the main methodology.
A composite finding of this research is that an RMS, with its ability to collect, transmit, store, and analyze specific contextual information across time and space, provides opportunities for boundary-spanning activities manifested as the formation of interorganizational networks. Furthermore, by tracing the information capabilities of the IT, and by being specific about the material, it has been possible to explore how RMSs have the potential to influence both organizational form and content. Through the examination of RMSs within interorganizational networks and as a part of value creation practices, this research has also shown how the organizational form and content have the potential to influence RMSs; their design, use, and material affordances. This research also placed focus on the importance of trust and has shown that trust in technology is established through trust in people.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Institutionen för informatik, Umeå Universitet , 2011. , 113 p.
Research reports in informatics, ISSN 1401-4572 ; RR-11.02
Remote monitoring systems, interorganizational networks, value creation, trust, sociomateriality
Computer and Information Science
Research subject Computer Science
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-43488ISBN: 978-91-7459-221-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-43488DiVA: diva2:414284
2011-06-01, MA 121, MIT-huset, Umeå Universitet, Umeå, 13:15 (English)
Truex, Duane, Professor
Holmström, Jonny, Professor
List of papers