Classification Systems, their Digitization and Consequences for Data-Driven Decision Making: Understanding Representational Quality

Mari-Klara Stein, Sue Newell, Robert D. Galliers, Erica L. Wagner

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    Classification systems are foundational in many standardized software tools. This digitization of classification systems gives them a new ‘materiality’ that, jointly with the social practices of information producers/consumers, has significant consequences on the representational quality of such information systems. Based on a multi-site field study, we suggest that representational quality is achieved through four types of negotiations that human actors engage in when confronted with the materiality of a new IS. These negotiations are associated with three broad practices (instantiation, re-narration and meta-narration), and three different information production/consumption situations. We contribute to the relational theorization of representational quality and extend classification systems research by drawing explicit attention to the importance of ‘materialization’ of classification systems and the foundational role of representational quality in understanding the success and consequences of data-driven decision-making.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 34th International Conference on Information Systems. ICIS 2013
    EditorsRichard Baskerville, Michael Chau
    Number of pages18
    Place of PublicationAtlanta, GA
    PublisherAssociation for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
    Publication date2013
    Article number1177
    ISBN (Print)9780615933832
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    EventThe 34th International Conference on Information Systems. ICIS 2013: Reshaping Society Through Information Systems Design - Università Bocconi, Milan, Italy
    Duration: 15 Dec 201318 Dec 2013
    Conference number: 34


    ConferenceThe 34th International Conference on Information Systems. ICIS 2013
    LocationUniversità Bocconi
    Internet address

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