Double-edged Social Mechanisms at Work in the 21st Century IS: Opportunities and Challenges

Louise Harder Fischer

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

67 Downloads (Pure)


A long hold explanation in IS-Research is that any change in the Information System (IS), through the introduction of new IT-artefacts, trigger a chain of events leading to institutionalized routines and synchronized social practices. This explanation no longer covers the dynamic outcomes in the work-place set in motion by different types of IT-artefacts. We adopt a critical realist philosophy that entails to illuminate how IT-artefacts trigger social mechanisms in the human enterprise. We review IS-literature on the IT-artefact phenomenon from 2001 and forward. We find that the mechanism of individualization is forcefully triggered by new generative IT-artefacts, while enterprise IT-artefacts trigger institutionalization and socialization. We critically asses the opportunities and challenges this present for managers and designers when managing an IS that holds both types of artefacts. We draw a conceptual model of the now dual-IS, with double-edged mechanisms, that correspondingly can empower ambidextrous organizational forms.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPACIS 2018 Proceedings
EditorsMotonari Tanabu, Dai Senoo
Number of pages14
Place of PublicationAtlanta, GA
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
Publication dateJun 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes
EventThe 22nd Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems. PACIS 2018 - Yokohama Royal Park Hotel, Yokohama, Japan
Duration: 26 Jun 201830 Jun 2018
Conference number: 22


ConferenceThe 22nd Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems. PACIS 2018
LocationYokohama Royal Park Hotel
SponsorAssociation for Information Systems
Internet address


  • IT-artefacts
  • Enterprise IT-artefacts
  • Generative IT-artefacts
  • Social mechanisms
  • Critical realism
  • Dual-IS

Cite this