The IS literature is focused on the ‘IT artifact’ as a singular technology. Changing patterns of technology use indicate the need to re-examine this focus. This paper investigates the nature of technology selected and used by people on the move through field studies of three user cohorts. The findings show that people choose from myriad technologies to construct personal portfolios of technology that are then accessed when mobile. These actions are understood by applying Emirbayer and Mische’s temporal dimensions of human agency that depict people juggling orientations to the past and the future while dealing with the present. This multiplicity of technologies accessed when mobile has profound implications for how we theorize and research the ‘IT artifact’. The findings challenge us to reconsider existing IS models and research strategies and open new avenues of research to examine how people select, combine and apply multiple technologies over time.
Carroll, Jennie, "Theorizing the IT Artifact for Mobility: A Portfolio, Not a Singularity" (2008). ICIS 2008 Proceedings. 64.