Inscription of Behaviour and Flexible Interpretation in Information Infrastructures: The Case of European e-Customs

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    Resumé

    Despite the increasing importance of large IT-based solutions binding actors and processes together across institutional borders, still little is known about how these Information Infrastructures (IIs) assume their shapes and potentially may be reshaped towards specific ends. We focus on the duality of organizations using the IT artefacts of the European e-Customs IIs to inscribe harmonised behaviour into the operation of the infrastructure and how the IT artefacts are divergently interpreted by the users of the II. We find a tension between the need for artefacts with strong inscription to regulate the II and a need for flexibility for II users. The consequence is diluted inscriptions and, in contradiction to what has previously been concluded about interpretative flexibility, the European e-Customs II does not show signs of settling down in a stable phase with consensus. This lack of stability forces the users of the European e-Customs II to continously modify and investment in IT participate in the infrastructure, explaining an expressed longing for the ‘good old paper days’. Based on theoretical integration and empirical findings, we develop a model of the duality of inscription and interpretation in IIs.
    Despite the increasing importance of large IT-based solutions binding actors and processes together across institutional borders, still little is known about how these Information Infrastructures (IIs) assume their shapes and potentially may be reshaped towards specific ends. We focus on the duality of organizations using the IT artefacts of the European e-Customs IIs to inscribe harmonised behaviour into the operation of the infrastructure and how the IT artefacts are divergently interpreted by the users of the II. We find a tension between the need for artefacts with strong inscription to regulate the II and a need for flexibility for II users. The consequence is diluted inscriptions and, in contradiction to what has previously been concluded about interpretative flexibility, the European e-Customs II does not show signs of settling down in a stable phase with consensus. This lack of stability forces the users of the European e-Customs II to continously modify and investment in IT participate in the infrastructure, explaining an expressed longing for the ‘good old paper days’. Based on theoretical integration and empirical findings, we develop a model of the duality of inscription and interpretation in IIs.
    SprogEngelsk
    TidsskriftJournal of Strategic Information Systems
    Vol/bind20
    Udgave nummer4
    Sider355-372
    ISSN0963-8687
    DOI
    StatusUdgivet - dec. 2011

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      title = "Inscription of Behaviour and Flexible Interpretation in Information Infrastructures: The Case of European e-Customs",
      abstract = "Despite the increasing importance of large IT-based solutions binding actors and processes together across institutional borders, still little is known about how these Information Infrastructures (IIs) assume their shapes and potentially may be reshaped towards specific ends. We focus on the duality of organizations using the IT artefacts of the European e-Customs IIs to inscribe harmonised behaviour into the operation of the infrastructure and how the IT artefacts are divergently interpreted by the users of the II. We find a tension between the need for artefacts with strong inscription to regulate the II and a need for flexibility for II users. The consequence is diluted inscriptions and, in contradiction to what has previously been concluded about interpretative flexibility, the European e-Customs II does not show signs of settling down in a stable phase with consensus. This lack of stability forces the users of the European e-Customs II to continously modify and investment in IT participate in the infrastructure, explaining an expressed longing for the ‘good old paper days’. Based on theoretical integration and empirical findings, we develop a model of the duality of inscription and interpretation in IIs.",
      keywords = "Information Infrastructure, Digital Infrastructure, Interpretative Flexibility, Inscription of Behaviour, e-Government, E-Customs",
      author = "Stefan Henningsson and {Zinner Henriksen}, Helle",
      year = "2011",
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      TY - JOUR

      T1 - Inscription of Behaviour and Flexible Interpretation in Information Infrastructures

      T2 - Journal of Strategic Information Systems

      AU - Henningsson,Stefan

      AU - Zinner Henriksen,Helle

      PY - 2011/12

      Y1 - 2011/12

      N2 - Despite the increasing importance of large IT-based solutions binding actors and processes together across institutional borders, still little is known about how these Information Infrastructures (IIs) assume their shapes and potentially may be reshaped towards specific ends. We focus on the duality of organizations using the IT artefacts of the European e-Customs IIs to inscribe harmonised behaviour into the operation of the infrastructure and how the IT artefacts are divergently interpreted by the users of the II. We find a tension between the need for artefacts with strong inscription to regulate the II and a need for flexibility for II users. The consequence is diluted inscriptions and, in contradiction to what has previously been concluded about interpretative flexibility, the European e-Customs II does not show signs of settling down in a stable phase with consensus. This lack of stability forces the users of the European e-Customs II to continously modify and investment in IT participate in the infrastructure, explaining an expressed longing for the ‘good old paper days’. Based on theoretical integration and empirical findings, we develop a model of the duality of inscription and interpretation in IIs.

      AB - Despite the increasing importance of large IT-based solutions binding actors and processes together across institutional borders, still little is known about how these Information Infrastructures (IIs) assume their shapes and potentially may be reshaped towards specific ends. We focus on the duality of organizations using the IT artefacts of the European e-Customs IIs to inscribe harmonised behaviour into the operation of the infrastructure and how the IT artefacts are divergently interpreted by the users of the II. We find a tension between the need for artefacts with strong inscription to regulate the II and a need for flexibility for II users. The consequence is diluted inscriptions and, in contradiction to what has previously been concluded about interpretative flexibility, the European e-Customs II does not show signs of settling down in a stable phase with consensus. This lack of stability forces the users of the European e-Customs II to continously modify and investment in IT participate in the infrastructure, explaining an expressed longing for the ‘good old paper days’. Based on theoretical integration and empirical findings, we develop a model of the duality of inscription and interpretation in IIs.

      KW - Information Infrastructure

      KW - Digital Infrastructure

      KW - Interpretative Flexibility

      KW - Inscription of Behaviour

      KW - e-Government

      KW - E-Customs

      U2 - 10.1016/j.jsis.2011.05.003

      DO - 10.1016/j.jsis.2011.05.003

      M3 - Journal article

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      EP - 372

      JO - Journal of Strategic Information Systems

      JF - Journal of Strategic Information Systems

      SN - 0963-8687

      IS - 4

      ER -