Using technology and constituting structures: A practice lens for studying technology in organizations. (Orlikowski, 2000)
Embodied vs. Emergent Structures:
- technology created by designers/developers, has certain innate properties/functions
- then appropriated by users in: proper ways, improper ways, new way, unexpected ways, etc.
- ultimate use is: a mixture of the two intents/structures (emergent uses)
-technologies becomes stabilized
--ignores research that indicated interactions with technology evolve
-technology embody social structures
--partly, but the technology itself is designed with particular functions and affordances.
New theory: Practice Lens
-Makes no assumptions about a technology's
--innate properties (built on, added in)
--emergent structures (modified, invented on the fly)
Artifact and use
-Authors compare technology to Lave's notion of an arena (e.g., supermarket)
-technology is a:
--physically, economically, politically and socially organized
--both in space and time
---at different times
---different by the same individuals
---and differently and different times/circumstances
-not just the technological functions/structure/affordances (e.g., properties, features)
-not just the social/political/economical structures imposed on the technology (e.g., how the technology is appropriated)
-but rather how the combined structure is *enacted*.
-- in recurrent ways
-- in different ways
--"particular users using particular technologies in particular circumstances"
--emerges from "ongoing and situated interactions that users have with the technology"
Key point: change over time
-structures of technology use are "constituted and reconstituted"
-change due to "innovation, learning, and improvisation"
-people reconfigure technologies or alter their "habits of use"
Leads people to enact different "technologies-in-practice"
Types of Enactment:
--purpose: retain existing processes (preserve, reinforce)
--purpose: improve existing processes (augment, refine)
--four types (as seen in examples):
--purpose: seek new technology to change existing processes
Table 2 (types of enactment):