In this paper we propose a radical departure from the dominant conceptions in IS evaluation literature by adopting Actor-network Theory (ANT) to provide a better understanding of the development and evaluation of IS proposals in practice and examine the ways in which the evaluation process shapes and ensures the selection of the best IS projects. By drawing on a field study of the IS evaluation processes in a company with a history of IS successes, we reveal the relational nature of IS project proposals and the ways they are constitutively entangled with business processes and practices. Our ANT account demonstrates a) that the view of pre-investment IS evaluation in the literature is very narrow, b) that the practice of IS evaluation produces the ‘object’ it evaluates, c) that this object, that is the IS project proposal document, is a focal actor (an inscription device) produced by relations in the actor-network emerging around it, and d) that reconfiguration of these relations involving the translation of actors’ expertise, experiences and interests into the IS proposal documents are critical for the evaluation of IS project proposals and their chances of success.
Cecez-Kecmanovic, Dubravka and Nagm, Fouad, "Understanding IS Projects Evaluation in Practice through an ANT Inquiry" (2008). ACIS 2008 Proceedings. 59.