Orlikowski, W. J., & Iacono, C. S. (2001). Research commentary: Desperately seeking the “IT” in IT research – a call to theorizing the IT artifact. Information Systems Research, 12(2), 121-134.

The study is itself a hardcore lit review: 188 papers, the full corpus of articles published in ISR in its first ten years. It’s “metaresearch” about the discipline itself.

Four flavors of the tool view:

  1. labor substitution,
  2. productivity enhancement,
  3. info processing,
  4. social relation changing

Three proxy views:

  1. perception (survey attitudes),
  2. diffusion (#/density of artifacts),
  3. capital (dollars spent)

O&I mention the “productivity paradox” — increasing investment in IT w little demonstrable return, recognized late 1980s-early 1990s

Four flavors of the ensemble view:

  1. development project (examines all forces that influenced how tech came to be — lots of field studies)
  2. production network (similar, but focuses less on indiv artifacts and more on entire industry, global network, use throughout society)
  3. embedded system (social influences on adoption & use of tech)
  4. structure (tech embodies social structures of builders, influences social structures of users)

Computational view: “traditional computer science approach” [129]; not nuts to society, still interested in capacity to solve problems, but focus on computational power

  1. algorithm: focus on building/improving IS
  2. model: focus on representing phenomena, making simulations

Nominal: IS research in name only! tech absent