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.
    OriginalsprogEngelsk
    TidsskriftJournal of Strategic Information Systems
    Vol/bind20
    Udgave nummer4
    Sider (fra-til)355-372
    ISSN0963-8687
    DOI
    StatusUdgivet - dec. 2011

    Citer dette

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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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    AU - Zinner Henriksen, Helle

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    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

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