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Shaping Digital Institutions - Exploring the Recursive Relationship Between Boundary Work and Practice Work

Research profile seminar

Taline Jadan is PhD-student in Informatics at the Department of Applied Information Technology and will have her final seminar.

Pervasive digitalization is transforming our ways of organizing, interacting and collaborating. While significant scholarly attention has been given to such transformation, less is known of the processes leading up to the establishment of ¿digital institutions¿, and the underlying work shaping such institutions. By digital institution I refer to an institution in which regulative, normative, and cognitive pillars, and their carriers, are interwoven with digital technology into an ¿assembled mix¿. I draw on theory on institutional work to understand the purposive actions of actors to create, maintain, and disrupt institutional boundaries and practices. I explore the following research question: how does the recursive relationship between boundary work and practice work shape digital institutions? This research is based on a longitudinal interpretative case study of digitalization at the Swedish Transport Administration (STA). My analysis reveals three main contributions. First it provides an empirical demonstration of how digital institutions are shaped through exogenous digitalization and endogenous organizational responses. For example, at STA, the overall digitalization process demonstrated a process where the carriers of the institution (artifacts, activities, relational systems, and symbolic systems) progressively was infused with digital technologies, eventually leading to institutional change. A second insight is that digital institutions arise, and are shaped and reshaped, through multiple cycles of digitally induced change and stability. Such change is often triggered by exogenous and endogenous digital innovation causing institutional conflict. A third and final contribution in this thesis is exhibiting the nature of boundary work and practice work and their recursive relationship in digital contexts. I demonstrate that (1) blurred boundaries increase the pressure to evolve dynamic and adaptive practices and that (2) the distributed innovation agency, enabled by digital technology, is a prerequisite for institutional digital entrepreneurs to shape and reshape the institution.

Date: 6/18/2019

Time: 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Categories: Information Technology

Location: Room THANOS, floor 4, House Patricia, Forskningsgången 6, Lindholmen

Contact person: Pär Meiling

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