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Sociomaterial regulation in organizations: The case of information technology

  • de Vaujany, François-Xavier
  • Fomin, Vladislav
  • Lyytinen, Kalle
  • Haefliger, Stefan
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    Information 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.

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    Paper provided by Paris Dauphine University in its series Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine with number 123456789/13054.

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    Date of creation: 2013
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: Published in Academy of Management. Annual Meeting Proceedings 2013,
    Handle: RePEc:dau:papers:123456789/13054
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    1. Augustin Landier & David Sraer & David Thesmar, 2009. "Financial Risk Management: When Does Independence Fail?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 454-58, May.
    2. William G. Ouchi, 1979. "A Conceptual Framework for the Design of Organizational Control Mechanisms," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(9), pages 833-848, September.
    3. Suddaby, Roy & Cooper, David J. & Greenwood, Royston, 2007. "Transnational regulation of professional services: Governance dynamics of field level organizational change," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 32(4-5), pages 333-362.
    4. François-Xavier De Vaujany, 2011. "A New Perspective On The Genealogy Of Collective Action Through The History Of Religious Organisations," Post-Print hal-00644412, HAL.
    5. repec:hal:journl:hal-00461112 is not listed on IDEAS
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