Technology-Use Mediation Revisited: A Symbolic Process Perspective

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

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


Successful adoption and use of new information technologies can be notoriously difficult to achieve. Various interventions aimed at fostering or modifying use practices are therefore common in IT implementation projects. Such interventions take various forms ranging from top management mandates to user-led support efforts, and have been collectively named technology–use mediation (TUM). Various types of TUM activities and conditions for their success have been investigated. How TUM activities unfold has received more limited attention. Accordingly, we focus on exploring the nature of mediation activities. Through an in-depth field study we demonstrate that there is a symbolic meta component to mediation activities by which they come to carry meaning for technology users. Specifically, both the technology artefact itself and the information (content and form) disseminated by managers send messages to users, helping them interpret TUM activities in particular ways. Managers who are aware of these symbolic processes are better equipped to plan and execute successful TUM efforts. Theoretically, the study draws attention to the fact that TUM efforts must mediate both the functional and the symbolic dimensions of technology use. The meta-communicative layer of managerial efforts can shape the often over-looked symbolic dimension in particular.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECIS 2013 Proceedings
Number of pages12
Place of PublicationAtlanta, GA
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
Publication date2013
ChapterPaper 42
ISBN (Print)9783834924421
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventThe 21st European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) 2013 - Utrecht University, Utrecht Science Park 'de Uithof', Utrecht, Netherlands
Duration: 5 Jun 20138 Jun 2013
Conference number: 21


ConferenceThe 21st European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) 2013
LocationUtrecht University, Utrecht Science Park 'de Uithof'
Internet address
SeriesProceedings of the European Conference on Information Systems

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