Sociomateriality at the Royal Court of IS: A Jester's Monologue

Karlheinz Kautz, Tina Blegind Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The notion of ‘sociomateriality’ has recently gained in popularity among information systems (IS) scholars in their search for providing new ways of investigating and theorizing about IS in organizations and society at large. While some scholars put forward arguments and research accounts that lead to new insights concerning the concept, others expose a cursory treatment and partial appreciation of the idea. In addition, sociomateriality as a new worldview has been criticized for introducing yet more academic jargon monoxide. Although existing research and debates show some potential for progressing the theorizing of ‘man–machine’ reconfigurations, we point to the necessity of a deeper exploration of the term. Inspired by the Alternative Genres Track at the European Conference on Information Systems 2012, the purpose here is to take a fresh look, to evoke new insights and to gain deeper understanding of the notion of sociomateriality and its use in the IS discipline. We invite the reader to attend a prolonged monologue – characterized by honesty, frank observations and wit – at the royal court of IS. The monologue is delivered by the court jester and directed to the two sovereigns who, based on their conceptual contributions, have played a decisive role in the spreading of the idea of sociomateriality in IS. The intention is to contribute with a stimulating debate about sociomateriality that builds on open-minded questions in the pursuit of key reflections to inform our research discipline. Throughout the monologue, the jester uncovers some contradictions and limitations in and between the sovereigns'' writings and points to some possible resolutions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInformation and Organization
Volume23
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)15-27
ISSN1471-7727
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Cite this

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title = "Sociomateriality at the Royal Court of IS: A Jester's Monologue",
abstract = "The notion of ‘sociomateriality’ has recently gained in popularity among information systems (IS) scholars in their search for providing new ways of investigating and theorizing about IS in organizations and society at large. While some scholars put forward arguments and research accounts that lead to new insights concerning the concept, others expose a cursory treatment and partial appreciation of the idea. In addition, sociomateriality as a new worldview has been criticized for introducing yet more academic jargon monoxide. Although existing research and debates show some potential for progressing the theorizing of ‘man–machine’ reconfigurations, we point to the necessity of a deeper exploration of the term. Inspired by the Alternative Genres Track at the European Conference on Information Systems 2012, the purpose here is to take a fresh look, to evoke new insights and to gain deeper understanding of the notion of sociomateriality and its use in the IS discipline. We invite the reader to attend a prolonged monologue – characterized by honesty, frank observations and wit – at the royal court of IS. The monologue is delivered by the court jester and directed to the two sovereigns who, based on their conceptual contributions, have played a decisive role in the spreading of the idea of sociomateriality in IS. The intention is to contribute with a stimulating debate about sociomateriality that builds on open-minded questions in the pursuit of key reflections to inform our research discipline. Throughout the monologue, the jester uncovers some contradictions and limitations in and between the sovereigns'' writings and points to some possible resolutions.",
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Sociomateriality at the Royal Court of IS : A Jester's Monologue. / Kautz, Karlheinz; Jensen, Tina Blegind.

In: Information and Organization, Vol. 23, No. 1, 2013, p. 15-27.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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AB - The notion of ‘sociomateriality’ has recently gained in popularity among information systems (IS) scholars in their search for providing new ways of investigating and theorizing about IS in organizations and society at large. While some scholars put forward arguments and research accounts that lead to new insights concerning the concept, others expose a cursory treatment and partial appreciation of the idea. In addition, sociomateriality as a new worldview has been criticized for introducing yet more academic jargon monoxide. Although existing research and debates show some potential for progressing the theorizing of ‘man–machine’ reconfigurations, we point to the necessity of a deeper exploration of the term. Inspired by the Alternative Genres Track at the European Conference on Information Systems 2012, the purpose here is to take a fresh look, to evoke new insights and to gain deeper understanding of the notion of sociomateriality and its use in the IS discipline. We invite the reader to attend a prolonged monologue – characterized by honesty, frank observations and wit – at the royal court of IS. The monologue is delivered by the court jester and directed to the two sovereigns who, based on their conceptual contributions, have played a decisive role in the spreading of the idea of sociomateriality in IS. The intention is to contribute with a stimulating debate about sociomateriality that builds on open-minded questions in the pursuit of key reflections to inform our research discipline. Throughout the monologue, the jester uncovers some contradictions and limitations in and between the sovereigns'' writings and points to some possible resolutions.

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