The need of the IS-community to theorize the IT-artifact has been claimed by several authors. It has been somewhere between difficult and impossible to unequivocally agree on what the IT-artifact is. This paper argues that this is even more challenging when considering inter-organizational information systems (IOIS). After pointing to methodological and theoretical problems of researching IOIS this paper develops a different research approach. It proposes the notion of identity as a concept to study the IT-artifact. This paper works out a theoretical framework that blends the Gibsonian notion of affordance with that of organizational identity. In his work, Gibson emphasizes the importance of perspective. In order to account for different perceptions of affordances of the IT-artifact, organizational identity is discussed as an important element of perception. By combining the notions of affordance and organizational identity a new framework for studying IS in general and IOIS in particular is proposed.
Schellhammer, Stefan, "Organizational Identity as Perspective – Investigating the IT-artifact" (2010). AMCIS 2010 Proceedings. 294.