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Working Papers on Information Systems ISSN 1535-6078
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The Emergence of Information Systems: A Communication-Based Theory

Roland Holten
Goethe-University, Germany
Christoph Rosenkranz
Goethe-University, Germany


Abstract
An information system is more than just the information technology; it is the system that emerges from the complex interactions and relationships between the information technology and the organization. However, what impact information technology has on an organization and how organizational structures and organizational change influence information technology remains an open question. We propose a theory to explain how communication structures emerge and adapt to environmental changes. We operationalize the interplay of information technology and organization as language communities whose members use and develop domain-specific languages for communication. Our theory is anchored in the philosophy of language. In developing it as an emergent perspective, we argue that information systems are self-organizing and that control of this ability is disseminated throughout the system itself, to the members of the language community. Information technology influences the dynamics of this adaptation process as a fundamental constraint leading to perturbations for the information system. We demonstrate how this view is separated from the entanglement in practice perspective and show that this understanding has far-reaching consequences for developing, managing, and examining information systems.

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Reference:Holten, R., Rosenkranz, C. (2010). "The Emergence of Information Systems: A Communication-Based Theory," Proceedings > Proceedings of SIGPrag Workshop . Sprouts: Working Papers on Information Systems, 10(122). http://sprouts.aisnet.org/10-122
Keywords:Emergence of Information Systems, Language, shared understanding, process theory, language community
Item Type:Article - Volume 10 Article 122 (2010)
Language:English
Email: Roland Holten (holten@wiwi.uni-frankfurt.de)
Christoph Rosenkranz (rosenkranz@wiwi.uni-frankfurt.de)

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