The IT Artifact (ITA) has largely been implicitly conceptualized in IS research (Orlikowski and Iacono 2001). This paperproposes a theoretical conceptualization from a Critical Realist standpoint. First, it reviews the extant literature and identifiesgaps. The, it defines the IT artifact as an assemblage of IT hardware, software and networking equipment designed to extendhuman capabilities in processing symbols situated in a particular work system. Further, it proposes that the IT artifact beconsidered as a real technological entity with limited malleability and interpretive flexibility. Furthermore, it proposes thatthe ITA is a non-reflexive actor which can act as a tool, proxy or novelty (Collins and Kusch 1998) in relationship to people.Additional work needs to be performed develop a theory of how this social integration is achieved. Additional implicationsare drawn for research and practice.
Cuellar, Michael J., "A Realist Conceptualization of the IT Artifact" (2011). AMCIS 2011 Proceedings - All Submissions. 478.