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Sociomateriality: an object inspired proposal for IS scholars
O'Raghallaigh, Paidi; McCarthy, Stephen; Adam, Frédéric
The ideas presented in this paper have emerged from our curiosity about how technological objects might be leveraged as more than mere evidence in IS research. As constructions of a particular time and place, objects can tell us a great deal about the people, organisations and cultures that produced and used them. Objects reflect the values, beliefs and activities of those people, organisations, and cultures. But many IS scholars following a sociomaterial agenda continue to see objects as no more than background facts that play a supporting role in our research. There is little guidance in the IS literature on how objects might participate more directly and fully in our research and how we as scholars should engage with them. In this paper, we present an object-inspired perspective largely drawn from the material culture literature where we engage with objects as the units of observation. We discuss what this might contribute to IS theory-building and what opportunities it might create for new types of object-centred and -driven theories. We describe a framework for undertaking this object-inspired research. In so doing, we are challenged to think about the ontological commitments of our approach and how this differs from dominant forms of sociomateriality.
Keyword(s): Sociomateriality; Theory; Technological objects.
Publication Date:
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Language(s): English
Institution: University College Cork
Funder(s): Science Foundation Ireland
Citation(s): O’Raghallaigh, P., McCarthy, S. and Adam, F. (2017) ‘Sociomateriality: an object-inspired proposal for IS scholars’, In Proceedings of the 25th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Guimarães, Portugal, 05 - 10 June, pp. 1348-1362. ISBN 978-989-20-7655-3 Research Papers. Available online:
Publisher(s): AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
File Format(s): application/pdf
Related Link(s):
First Indexed: 2018-06-12 06:30:35 Last Updated: 2018-07-31 06:33:57