Allen et al. (2013) How Should Technology-Mediated Organizational Change Be Explained?

How Should Technology-Mediated Organizational Change Be Explained? A Comparison Of The Contributions Of Critical Realism And Activity Theory
Allen, David K. and Brown, Andrew and Karanasios, Stan and Norman, Alistair

Abstract

In this paper, critical realism and activity theory are compared within the context of theorizing technology-mediated organizational change. An activity theoretic analysis of the implementation of large-scale disruptive information systems in a public sector setting (in particular concerning paramedic treatment of heart attack patients and ambulance dispatch work activity) is used to illustrate how activity theory makes a significant contribution to critical realism, by (1) locating technology within “activity systems” and theorizing change through contradictions and congruencies within those systems; (2) developing recent critical realism-inspired theorization of the “inscription” of cultural and social relations within technology; and (3) developing recent insights of critical realist researchers regarding the way in which the performance management agenda is mediated through IS.

Citation David K. Allen, Andrew Brown, Stan Karanasios, Alistair Norman (2013). How Should Technology-Mediated Organizational Change Be Explained? A Comparison Of The Contributions Of Critical Realism And Activity Theory. MIS Quarterly, vol. 37 no. 3, pp. 835–854. Article

BibTex entry for this article:

BibTex entry for this article:

@article{allen2013should,
author = {Allen, David K. and Brown, Andrew and Karanasios, Stan and Norman, Alistair},
journal = {MIS Quarterly},
number = {3},
pages = {835--854},
title = {{How Should Technology-Mediated Organizational Change Be Explained? A Comparison Of The Contributions Of Critical Realism And Activity Theory}},
volume = {37},
year = {2013}
}

Key ideas

Keywords:

Activity Theory, Critical Realism, INF6001W, activity theory, critical realism, evaluation, information systems, organization change, theory

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