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Instantiation: re-conceptualising the role of technology as a carrier of organisational strategising

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journal contribution
posted on 07.01.2021, 16:19 by Joao Baptista, Alex Wilson, Robert Galliers
Technology is often used by senior management as an instrument to deliver strategy by influencing day-to-day activities within organisations. We study how local teams appropriate strategy through the use of technology, specifically in instances where it is rigid and single purposed. We show that technology has the potential to act as a carrier of strategic intent. We theorise local practices of appropriation of strategic intent by conceptualising the role of technology in “instantiation”, a notion adopted within the strategy-as-practice literature to explain how localised micro events directly constitute higher-level business outcomes such as strategy. Through an in-depth case study following the use of self-service kiosks in a UK airport over a period of 20 months, we review the strategic drivers at the top of the organisation and the central role of technology as the delivery mechanism of strategy. We focus on emergent strategising activity by local teams on the ground. Our main theoretical contributions are thus to extend the concept of instantiation to Information Systems studies and to conceptualise technology as a carrier of strategy, particularly in explaining how technology can embed strategic intent (structural strategising) and then influence the emergence of local practices consistent with these objectives (emergent strategising). We find and conceptualise how local practices instantiate strategic intent by decoupling, reframing and then recoupling new logics of work to achieve the aims set out in the organisation’s strategy.

History

School

  • Business and Economics

Department

  • Business

Published in

Journal of Information Technology

Publisher

SAGE Publications

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Journal of Information Technology and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1177/0268396220988550. Users who receive access to an article through a repository are reminded that the article is protected by copyright and reuse is restricted to non-commercial and no derivative uses. Users may also download and save a local copy of an article accessed in an institutional repository for the user's personal reference.

Acceptance date

07/12/2020

ISSN

0268-3962

eISSN

1466-4437

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Alex Wilson. Deposit date: 5 January 2021

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