Infrastructures for Institutional Change: Inscription and the Role of Technological Prefiguration

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportKonferenceabstrakt i proceedingsForskningpeer review


Actors working to bring about institutional change increasingly leverage digital infrastructures while doing so. Ample scholarship has examined how change-oriented actors use infrastructures like social media to organize and communicate their change vision. More recently, scholars’ and practitioners’ attention has turned to new phenomena such as Blockchain and open data platforms, where institutional change efforts and technology intersect in a different way. In these cases, change-oriented actors attempt to kick-start large-scale change by inscribing their envisioned institutional logics directly into IT artefacts serving a pivotal role in institutional arrangements. While scholars have long recognized the validity of such technological inscription as an approach to institutional change, a systematic understanding of how inscription of digital infrastructures proceeds at the organizational level is currently lacking. In this conceptual paper, I synthesize literature from information systems and organizational research to develop a theory of “technological prefiguration” that illuminates this topic. The concept and associated propositions highlight a crucial but hitherto disregarded organizational challenge that institutional change efforts proceeding via inscription of digital infrastructures face. I illustrate these arguments with examples from the Blockchain space and discuss how an understanding of technological prefiguration can inform research and practice.
TitelProceedings of the Eighty-third Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
RedaktørerSonia Taneja
Antal sider1
UdgivelsesstedBriarcliff Manor, NY
ForlagAcademy of Management
StatusUdgivet - 2023
BegivenhedThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2023: Putting the Worker Front and Center - Boston, USA
Varighed: 4 aug. 20238 aug. 2023
Konferencens nummer: 83


KonferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2023
NavnAcademy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings