Giddens’ structuration theory (ST) offers an account of social life in terms of social practices developing and changing over time and space, which makes no attempt to directly theorize the Information Systems (IS) domain. IS researchers have long been interested in it as a way of deepening understanding; a common application is the analysis of empirical situations using Giddens’ ‘dimensions of the duality of structure’ model. Other writers, most notably Orlikowski, have used it help theorize the field. Often the mode of research employed has been the interpretative case study. However, direct attempts to influence practice (an important component of working in an applied field), perhaps through the vehicle of action research, have yet to be undertaken. There are at least three serious problems with attempting this. The first is the inaccessibility of the theory to IS researchers and practitioners. The second is the absence of specific theories of technology. The third is Giddens’ own disinterest in practical uses of his work – which leaves no obvious path to follow. This paper explores that path, in the context of information system development (ISD). Some frameworks for practice are suggested which are translated into forms of discourse that are more accessible to the IS community. In particular, we include an empirical illustration to demonstrate the potential of ISD tools based on structuration theory.
Rose, Jeremy and Scheepers, Rens, "Structuration Theory and Information System Development - Frameworks for Practice" (2001). ECIS 2001 Proceedings. 80.