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Sociomaterial Actors in the Assimilation Gap

Klas Gare
Jonkoping University, Sweden
Ulf Melin
Linkoping University, Sweden

This paper investigates the conditions for assimilation of information systems and IT in or-ganizations and the influence of various actors in the organization context. To do so it draws on the literatures on assimilation gap, sociomateriality and infrastructure together with a lon-gitudinal study of implementation and use of information and communication technology in and among organizations in a Swedish region. There were substantial investments made on a regional level and the focus of this study is how the investments were transformed and assimi-lated in practices, relations and communication. Based on the empirical data from the case study, reflected in the literatures the paper extends the assimilation process into interplay among actors in organizations contexts. It describes organizations strategies for coping with needs for information and the actors in these processes. Two categories of actors are identified, sensemaking and sensegiving actors, as most important in assimilation of IS/IT in organizations. A sociomaterial perspective gives guidance and a better understanding of the assimilation process in terms of knowledge and interpretative frames, and how assimilation involves identity construction and negotiations among sensemaking and sensegiving actors. The contribution of this paper is a better understanding of the context of assimilation and adaptation of IT in organizations’ business processes.

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Reference:Gare, K., Melin, U. (2011). "Sociomaterial Actors in the Assimilation Gap," . Sprouts: Working Papers on Information Systems, 11(134). http://sprouts.aisnet.org/11-134
Keywords:Assimilation gap, sociomateriality, adaptation, formative infrastructure, IT use
Item Type:Article - Volume 11 Article 134 (2011)
Email: Klas Gare (klas.gare@jibs.hj.se)
Ulf Melin (ulf.melin@liu.se)

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