Sociomateriality

Sociomateriality is a theory based on the intersection of technology, work and organization. It attempts to understand the constitutive entanglement of the social and the material in everyday organizational life. [1] That is, it is the result of considering how human bodies, spatial arrangements, physical objects, and technologies are entangled with language, interaction, and practices in organizing. Specifically, it examines the sociomaterial aspects of technology and organization, [2] [3] but also emphasizes the centrality of the materials within the communicative constitution of organizations . It is a great opportunity to study the social environment of the workplace.

It was introduced after legacies of contingency theory and structuring theory . Early papers by Wanda Orlikowski feature structuration theory [4] and practice theory . [5] However, the key papers for sociomateriality stem from the later work of Orlikowski in collaboration with Susan Scott. [1] [3] [6] The concept adopted on the basis of Latour’s [7] and Law’s [8] actor-network theory (ANT) S [9] and Suchman’s [10] feminist studies. Drawing on Barad, sociomateriality proposes the concept of agential realism. Key aspects of sociomateriality are selon Matthew Jones [11] a relational understanding of the world, the observation of day-to-day use technology at the workplace During practices and the inextricability and inseparability of the social and the material.

History

Huber [12] made a fundamental point as well as sophisticated technologies are adopted, they will have profound effects on organizational design and decision-making. From the 1990s onward, it was clear that because of a variety of information and communication technologies being adopted in the workplace, consideration of sociality and materiality in tandem would be met with increasing significance and academic attention. As was pointedly expressed by Barad, ‘Language matters. Discourse matters. Culture matters. But there is an important sense in which the only thing that does not seem to matter anymore is matter. [13] This critical statement is the most important in the field, The material. In directing attention to the material, the theory of sociomateriality was generated.

Early scholars like Joan Woodward and Charles Perrow Were bearing a deterministic point of view of In Their study, and Consider the materiality of technology to be the sole reason of organizational changes. That first generation of research was conducted at a macro-level, with organizations as their unit of analysis. The following strand has been taken into account as a subject of analysis, and as such, many informal aspects of organizational studies were also taken into account. That marked the emergence of social aspects Appearing in scholarly papers about organizational technology-terms like ‘technology-in-use’ [14] and socio-technological sets. [15] This stream of thought takes a constructivist position. This position believes that the most important features of technology. Both technological determinism and constructivism falls short in describing the whole picture of the relationship between technology and organizations. Then, scholars like Poole and DeSanctis, Monteiro and Hanseth, and Griffith began drawing attention to technology’s material features. Only then did it come to the “materiality” point-of-view, which is to say, the physical properties of technology drove workplace actions. However, the sole use of materiality to describe workplace technology also falls short in describing the entire picture. Both technological determinism and constructivism falls short in describing the whole picture of the relationship between technology and organizations. Then, scholars like Poole and DeSanctis, Monteiro and Hanseth, and Griffith began drawing attention to technology’s material features. Only then did it come to the “materiality” point-of-view, which is to say, the physical properties of technology drove workplace actions. However, the sole use of materiality to describe workplace technology also falls short in describing the entire picture. Both technological determinism and constructivism falls short in describing the whole picture of the relationship between technology and organizations. Then, scholars like Poole and DeSanctis, Monteiro and Hanseth, and Griffith began drawing attention to technology’s material features. Only then did it come to the “materiality” point-of-view, which is to say, the physical properties of technology drove workplace actions. However, the sole use of materiality to describe workplace technology also falls short in describing the entire picture. And Griffith started drawing attention to technology’s material features. Only then did it come to the “materiality” point-of-view, which is to say, the physical properties of technology drove workplace actions. However, the sole use of materiality to describe workplace technology also falls short in describing the entire picture. And Griffith started drawing attention to technology’s material features. Only then did it come to the “materiality” point-of-view, which is to say, the physical properties of technology drove workplace actions. However, the sole use of materiality to describe workplace technology also falls short in describing the entire picture.

Leonardi [16] explains the reason for sociomateriality’s existence: ‘(a) that all materiality (as defined in the prior section) is socially and socially interpreted and used in social contexts and All social action is possible because of some materiality ‘(p.32). The emergence of the term “sociomateriality” is a sign of progress over “materiality”, in the way that it recognizes that materiality constitutes the social world and the social world also influences technological materiality. Here, “social” could be institutions, norms, discourses, and other human intentions.

Given the growing popularity of materiality and sociomateriality in management and organization theories (eg Carlile, Nicolini, Langley, Tsoukas, 2013; [17] Jarzabkowski, Spee & Smets, 2013; [18] Leonardi & Barley [2] ), sociomateriality HAS Become “Trendy” for theorists and researchers in other areas such as organizational communication. This is because it implies a deeper understanding of the contextual, and relational, factors that shape, change and organize human behavior.

Traditionally, concepts used to study technology use at the workplace are adopted from advancements in philosophy and sociology, such as contingency theory , structuring theory and actor-network theory . However, sociomateriality is the first concept in the field of Information System (IS) studies, a division of management and organization theory. It has been argued that sociomateriality is ‘the new black’ of IS. [9] Barad explains that human actors and technological objects are understood to emerge in sociomaterial assemblages. These assemblies are the results of agen cuts, which transform the boundary objects into temporally stabilized agencies.

Approaches and methods in existing literature

Orlikowski [19] has studied sociomateriality by using a company’s BlackBerry-addicted employees and the effects of Google’s PageRank algorithm on research practices as case studies. Through interviews and her research, she exemplifies how sociomaterial practices develop both in and outside the workplace.

Orlikowski and Scott ‘s [3] detailed paper on the theoretical gap in organization and research studies. They confront the issues with the existing literature by focusing on the arguments of several scholars over a period of three decades for both research streams. The result of the study is that it is a matter of organizational research, in spite of their omnipresent nature.

Leonardi [20] discusses the misalignment and alignment of technological features and social interactions. His paper sheds light on how the technologies are implemented in the workplace-in organizations-without dismissing the human factor. Through use and interaction with technologies, there is a new organizational structure-or, at least, an added layer into preexisting structures or norms.

Contractor, Monge and Leonardi [21] uses sociomateriality combined with action network theory, and developed a typology that brings technology into the network study.

Existing literature in the field of social psychology and sociology of social sciences.

Related literature and future directions

Even in organizational literature at-large, the ideas and issues of sociomateriality are inadvertently present-which, in itself, warrants the need for further investigations solely through a sociomaterial lens. For instance, Catherine Turco’s book The Conversational Firm: Rethinking Bureaucracy in the Age of Social Media is about the transformation of a traditional firm into a more open, non-hierarchical, technology-driven, and social “conversational firm.” [22]The discussions presented in her book-from online communication software to office space-intrinsically relate back to sociomaterial practices in the workplace. Most of the firm’s successes, and even some failures, all reside in the relationship between the employees, their environment and the technology they use to communicate. These materials are not only the means of communication, but also the changes in the way they behave outside the office. Turco’s ethnographic account of this firm provokes inquiry around the same separation-between technology and the process of organization within sociomateriality seeks to bridge.

Outside of organization studies, technology theorists, such as Sherry Turkle, have written books that perhaps do not directly tackle sociomateriality, but have it on their horizon. Turkle’s two books focus on the affordances, constraints and negative impacts of the social media on human interactions and dialogue. [23] [24] In his book, William Mitchell proposed, the “trial separation” of bits (the elementary unit of information) and atoms (the elementary unit of matter) is over. With increasing frequency, events in physical space reflect events in cyberspace, and vice versa, rendering a new urban condition-that of ubiquitous, inescapable network interconnectivity.

From this work, the empirical studies of this nature will be carried out over the years, and the organizations will continue to evolve and change in light. Of new technologies. Without a clear research stream on sociomateriality, there will inevitably be a lack of understanding of how work is made to work. [3] Nonetheless, these authors are all adding to the new frontier in management and organization theories and research to understand the inextricable sociomaterial relationship between humans and technology.

References

  1. ^ Jump up to:b Orlikowski, WJ (2007). Sociomaterial Practices: Exploring Technology at Work. Organization Studies (28) 9, pp. 1435-1448.
  2. ^ Jump up to:b Leonardi, PM, & Barley, SR (2010). What’s under construction here? Social action, materiality, and power in constructivist studies of technology and organizing.
  3. ^ Jump up to:d Orlikowski, WJ, and Scott, SV (2008). Sociomateriality: Challenging the Separation of Technology, Work and Organization. The Academy of Management Annals (2) 1, pp. 433-474.
  4. Jump up^ Orlikowski, Wanda J. (1992). The duality of technology: Rethinking the concept of technology in organizations. Organization Science (3) 3, pp. 398-427.
  5. Jump up^ Orlikowski, Wanda J. (2000). Using technology and constituuting structures: A practice lens for studying technology in organizations. Organization Science, (11) 4, pp. 404-428.
  6. Jump up^ Orlikowski, WJ (2010). The Sociomateriality of Organizational Life: Considering Technology in Management Research. Cambridge Journal of Economics (34) 1, pp. 125-141.
  7. Jump up^ Latour, B. (2005). Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network Theory, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  8. Jump up^ Law, J. (1992). Notes on the Theory of the Actor-Network: Ordering, Strategy and Heterogeneity. Systems Practice 5 (4), pp. 379-393.
  9. ^ Jump up to:b Barad, K. (2007). Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
  10. Jump up^ Suchman, L. (2007). Feminist STS and the Science of the Artificial. In: New Handbook of Science and Technology Studies. MIT Press.
  11. Jump up^ Jones (2014). A matter of life and death. Exploring conceptualizations of sociomateriality in the context of critical care. MIS Quarterly, 38 (3).
  12. Jump up^ Huber, GP (1990). A theory of the effects of advanced information technologies on organizational design, intelligence, and decision making. Academy of Management Review, 15 (1), 47-71.
  13. Jump up^ Barad, K. (2003). Posthumanist performativity: Toward an understanding of how matter comes to matter. Signs, 28 (3), 801-831.
  14. Jump up^ Orlikowski, WJ (1995). LEARNING FROM NOTES: Organizational Issues in Groupware Implementation. Readings in Human-Computer Interaction, 197-204. doi: 10.1016 / b978-0-08-051574-8.50023-6
  15. Jump up^ Bijker, WE (1997). Of bicycles, bakelites, and bulbs: Toward a theory of sociotechnical change. MIT press.
  16. Jump up^ Leonardi, PM (2012). Materiality, Sociomateriality, and Socio-Technical Systems: What Do These Terms Mean? How are They Related? Do We Need Them? SSRN Electronic Journal.
  17. Jump up^ Carlile, PR, Nicolini, D., Langley, A., & Tsoukas, H. (Eds.). (2013). How matters Matters: Objects, artifacts, and materiality in organization studies (Vol. Oxford University Press.
  18. Jump up^ Jarzabkowski, P., Spee, AP, & Smets, M. (2013). Material artifacts: Practices for doing strategy with ‘stuff’. European management journal, 31 (1), 41-54.
  19. Jump up^ Orlikowski, WJ (2007). Sociomaterial practices: Exploring technology at work. Organization studies, 28 (9), 1435-1448.
  20. Jump up^ Leonardi, PM (2009). “Why Do People Reject New Technologies and Stymie Organizational Changes of Which They Are in Favor? Exploring Misalignments Between Social Interactions and Materiality.” Human Communication Research (35) 3, pp. 407-441.
  21. Jump up^ Contractor, N., Monge, P., & Leonardi, PM (2011). Network Theory | Multidimensional Networks and the Dynamics of Sociomateriality: Bringing Technology Inside the Network. International Journal of Communication, 5, 39.
  22. Jump up^ Turco, CJ (2016). The Conversational Firm: Rethinking Bureaucracy in the Age of Social Media. New York: Columbia University Press.
  23. Jump up^ Turkle, S. (2011). Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. New York: Basic Books.
  24. Jump up^ Turkle, S. (2015). Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age. New York: Penguin.

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