The notion of convergence has gained a lot of interest in the past few years in both theory and practice. On one hand, observers see convergence as a meaningless technology fad. Other observers, on the other hand consider convergence to be an important factor for the design of new mobile information infrastructures and services. This paper investigates these contradictory discourses by applying Luhmann’s Systems Theory to analyse the use of the notion of convergence in business press databases and professional social network profiles in UK mobile telecommunications. The data corpus contains 3,008 press articles from 1979-2008 on mobile convergence collected from Reuters Factiva database and 1,007 profiles from UK telecommunications professionals from LinkedIn. The analysis of 30 years of convergence articles shows that convergence cannot be regarded as a simple management fad. Convergence in the context of mobility is well established in the UK since 1987 and is part of the self-perception of many practitioners. However, the findings suggest that convergence does have characteristics of a fashion. These characteristics that make it appear to be a fashion are based on its systemic function of reducing differences.
Herzhoff, Jan, "Convergence And Mobility– Just Another Fad Or Fashion? A Systems-Theoretical Analysis" (2010). ECIS 2010 Proceedings. 82.