This paper introduces an alternative analytical and conceptual approach to the study of IT in Organisations, based on the concept of ‘Agora of Techno-Organisational Change’ (Kaniadakis, 2006). The Agora represents an analytical space, ranging from local, particular instances of technical and organisational change to global, abstract socio-economic networks of innovation and it marks an emerging research field in the interdisciplinary study of IT in Organisations. It also refers to a space for action and practice, where the involved actors are pursuing their interests and unfold their activities. This generic framework that encompasses the influence of both local actors and broader institutional settings, transcends the fragmentation of studies of technological and organisational change between supply-centred studies and studies of technology implementation. Two detailed longitudinal studies, one of a large-scale restructuring effort in a Greek bank and another on a Systems Integration firm in Greece, provide evidence for the empirical exploration of the Agora environment. Findings show that techno-organisational change appears increasingly commoditized and is happening within the Agora networks which are governed by market dynamics and actors’politics. Negotiated choices based on actors’ diverse viewpoints of the Agora contribute to the configuration of an abstract, unbounded socio-economic environment into multi-local, particular, techno-organisational change instances. Processes of Agora particularisation and abstraction bridge the local-global gap and embrace multiple analytical levels. The Agora perspective is pointing towards a new Sociology of Technology and Organisation for a complete, integrative, multilevel and interdisciplinary understanding of the development, diffusion and use of IT in Organisations.
Kaniadakis, Antonios, "UNDERSTANDING INFORMATION SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT: THE AGORA OF TECHNO-ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE" (2008). MCIS 2008 Proceedings. Paper 8.