Journal of the Association for Information Systems


This paper proposes grafting as a new perspective on information infrastructure (II) innovation. We introduce the organic notion of grafting to help explore innovation processes in settings where control is distributed and episodic. Our case study follows the implementation of mobile phone-based reporting of routine data from sub-district health facilities in Malawi. Initial grafting work entails the careful alignment of available resources, capacities, and interests through the proposition of an information system (IS) innovation (e.g., mobile phone-based reporting). The nurturing of the implementation involves collaborative efforts spanning technological, professional, geographical, and organizational boundaries. This work is taken forward by the identification of opportunities for merging an innovation with existing socio-technical arrangements (e.g., health management information systems in Malawi) in such a way that the parts continue to grow.