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Digital Artifacts as Institutional Attractors: A Systems Biology Perspective on Change in Organizational Routines

Abstract : Digital artifacts have become fundamental elements of organizational change. Such change is not frictionless, since routines and associated structures are deeply embedded- or institutionalized. Though, organizational institutionalism has been traditionally concerned with stability and change in routines and underlying structures, it has so far meagerly theorized the role of digital artifacts in balancing stability and change. To address this gap, we draw on systems biology to understand how introduction of new digital artifacts can influence routines in organizations. In particular, we approach digital artifacts as institutional attractors and examine the role of such attractors within gene regulatory networks. In this view institutional attractors become endogenous to sociomaterial systems and are keys to simultaneously promoting stability and inducing change. Just as attractors are implicated in changes to established gene regulatory networks within cells, so too are digital artifacts implicated in the efforts of institutional entrepreneurs to bring about change to organizational routines (behaviors). Based upon this analogous reasoning we outline elements of a research agenda and conclude with a discussion of methodological directions to deal with digitally induced endogenous sociomaterial change.
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Sungyong Um, Youngjin Yoo, Nicholas Berente, Kalle Lyytinen. Digital Artifacts as Institutional Attractors: A Systems Biology Perspective on Change in Organizational Routines. Working COnference on Shaping the Future of ICT Research, Dec 2012, Tampa, FL, United States. pp.195-209, ⟨10.1007/978-3-642-35142-6_13⟩. ⟨hal-01515859⟩

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