Figures That Manage Sociotechnical Change
Sociologie du Travail, Vol. 45, No. 4, pp. 515-536, October 2003
22 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2010 Last revised: 18 Jun 2015
Date Written: 2003
Computers and software occupy an ever bigger place in an organization’s activities. Studying the social dynamics of their uses has thus become a major preoccupation for the social sciences. An overview of recent studies, in particular “structurationist” research, on this subject is presented; and a federative model, suggested. This archetypical model corresponds to three stylized situations of sociotechnical change (a neutral, regenerated and disturbed archetype) that, in some cases, can be aligned to reconstitute “appropriative trajectories”. This theoretical framework is applied to various sorts of information technology, in particular: enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, intranets and electronic messaging systems. Beyond merely understanding the social dynamics, the effort is made to link appropriative trajectories with the “logics of control” specific to them. The latter correspond to figures of management (the channel, facilitator and catalyst), which are described.
Note: Downloadable document in French.
Keywords: Structuration theory, Giddens, Information Technology, archetypal approach
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