Knowledge needs to traverse through social and cognitive boundaries as it is transformed from information to innovation. Little is known, however, regarding what, if any, role various IT material constraints and affordances play in supporting multidisciplinary innovations involving the complexities of heterogeneous knowledge. The notion of affordance has been used in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) to describe the action opportunities afforded by IT functionalities. By IT materiality, we refer to a set of “features that provide opportunities for and constraints on actions” (Leonardi and Barley 2008). We propose and empirically test a model to address this gap by drawing from the concepts of affordance, social structure theory, and the design of IT functionalities. We hypothesize that the impact of cognitive heterogeneity on innovation performance will be mediated by knowledge coordination and perspective taking. Further, we hypothesize that this relationship will be moderated by the material affordances of IT.
Schutz, Douglas M.; Kim, Yong-Young; Yoo, Youngjin; and Pavlou, Paul A., "An Empirical Investigation on the Role of IT Materiality in Multidisciplinary Innovation" (2009). ICIS 2009 Proceedings. 73.