Immersive Technologies and Organizational Routines: When Head-mounted Displays meet Organizational Routines

Christian Casper Hofma

Research output: Book/ReportPhD thesis

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Immersive technologies, like head-mounted displays, have increasingly been gaining traction in the entertainment industry. However, despite the benefits that head-mounted displays have in professional settings, like the architect, engineering and construction (AEC) industry, they are not widely adopted and used in these settings. To better understand why this thesis investigates head-mounted displays, in the context of the AEC industry by stating the following research question: "How does the matter and form of immersive technologies, for example head-mounted displays and its related software and hardware, imbricate with organizational routines?" I answer the research question by employing insights from organizational routines and the imbrication lens. I conducted five exploratory interviews with companies within the AEC industry. I later complemented these interviews with an in-depth longitudinal case study in an architect office. The longitudinal case study comprises of six months of observational data, 19 interviews, and 150 documents and design artifacts. This thesis contributes to IS research on immersive technologies, organizational routines, and lastly to practice. First, I contribute to research on immersive technologies by attending to the relational and emergent characteristics of immersion. Second, I show that head-mounted displays ability to shut users off from the surrounding environment, can be an obstacle for organizations when enrolling it into their organizational routines. I contribute to organizational routines research in the following ways. First, I show how the imbrication lens and organizational routines theory can be combined to better understand how the materiality of immersive technologies changes organizational routines. Second, by introducing the imbrication lens to organizational routines research I maintain a distinction between what a technology is and what it does together with humans, when these two entities imbricate. This allows me to directly conceptualize the technology’s materiality including its flexibility and inflexibility. I thus provide a way to understand the role that materiality plays when investigating why immersive technologies sometimes matter a great deal; at other times, they do less to influence organizational routines. Third, I show how immersive technologies can create variations across organizational routines, reiterating the importance of moving beyond organizational routines as the unit of analysis. Fourth, I lay the foundation for a deeper integration between the organizational routines theory and the imbrications lens. I contribute to practice by showing how and when companies in the AEC industry can use immersive technologies to improve collaboration with stakeholders, professionals and laymen alike, during the design phase of building projects, potentially alleviating some of the productivity issues of the industry.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
PublisherCopenhagen Business School [Phd]
Number of pages204
ISBN (Print)9788793956728
ISBN (Electronic)9788793956735
Publication statusPublished - 2020
SeriesPhD Series

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