Digital institutionalization processes are fundamentally changing society. They occur when rules and norms are encoded into a digital infrastructure and changing practices. For institutionalization to occur, numerous actors must alter their behavior similarly, which accompanies a shift in infrastructural technology. Therefore, digital infrastructures and their design play a crucial role in institutionalization processes, as the they enable and restrict social interaction in the exchange of digital institutional entities across contexts. Such entities are constitutive of digital institutional systems, and medical prescriptions, money, insurance, and taxes are all institutional entities that have become digital. Although several studies have described the challenges of digital infrastructure design, the evolution of digital infrastructures has been conceived as emergent and unintentional, and there has been little consideration of the institutional context which legitimizes the design. By contrast, we applied the perspective of designers, who intentionally perform and are responsible for the design and legitimacy of a digital institutional system, which is critical. We conceived the challenge of institutional design to develop an exchange contract, within an institutional context, which changed a digital infrastructure and practices and suggested several design principles for digital institutionalization. This contribution captures critical design decisions and the knowledge acquired through insights from a design endeavor of a highly impactful scalable digital infrastructure, which ultimately transformed the institutional system as well as theoretical reflections informed by speech act theory and institutional theory. Furthermore, this contribution emphasizes the need to rethink institutionalization processes in the era of digitalization.
Eriksson, Owen and Öhlund, Sten-Erik, "Digital institutionalization- the Case of ePrescribing" (2023). JAIS Preprints (Forthcoming). 115.
Available at: https://aisel.aisnet.org/jais_preprints/115