Orlikowski and Iacono (2001) issued a call for improved conceptualization of the IT artifact. This paper has responded to that call. After a review of three approaches to conceptualization of the IT artifact, it articulates a conception of the IT artifact as a non-reflexive actor. Based on Archer’s analytical dualist approach to social theory, it argues that IT artifacts need to be considered as actors, able to act independently of humans based on environmental characteristics to perform different tasks. They are non-reflexive in that they cannot consider their own actions and change their behavior. This conception has certain implications in how we approach artifacts. We to consider them as actors which certain skills and abilities and communication characteristics to bring to our business processes. For research purposes, we have to take a more sociological or anthropological approach to the study of these actors. For practical purposes, we need to build approaches analogical to those of human hiring practi to determine where and how to employ these actors.
Cuellar, Michael J., "Conceptualizing the IT Artifact: Anon-Reflexive Actor" (2010). SAIS 2010 Proceedings. 27.