Journal of the Association for Information Systems


This paper introduces an adaptation of the Circuits of Power, a framework for studying institutionalization as an outcome of power. In this paper, we have interpreted each of the framework's concepts and linked them to relevant research questions about power in the institutionalization of information systems. The institutionalization of an information system entails stabilizing its processes to such a degree that its associated practices become routine. We argue that an institutionalized system is both the result and a source of power. The original Circuits framework (Clegg 1989) is grounded in organizational theory and social sciences and integrates different perspectives on power. Each perspective unravels a different dimension of power that complements and enriches the others - hence it is a profound tool for analyzing a complex phenomenon such as power. In a longitudinal in-depth case study, we use the adapted framework as an interpretive research instrument to make sense of power and its relation to the institutionalization of an information system. The paper concludes by discussing the possibilities the framework offers to practitioners and its implications for researchers.