A further interpretation of the relational agency of information systems: A research note
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This paper proposes a reinterpretation of the agency of information system (IS) as relational. It explores how the agency of IS has been articulated in the extant stream of accounting information system (AIS) research and explains how a relational view of agency can enhance our understanding of IS in its organizational context. This reinterpretation highlights the limitation of viewing IS as technology (technocentric view) with predefined functionality and predictable effects. Attention is also shifted away from an anthropocentric conceptualization of IS; where the technology is seen as a tool and agency is attributed only to humans. We argue in the paper that both the technocentric and anthropocentric views of IS limit what can be learned about the agency of IS. Drawing on actor-network theory (ANT), this study conceptualizes IS as a relational network and proposes a relational view of the agency of IS. This relational view suggests that the social and material entities that make up IS have no absolute essence when viewed in isolation; rather, their collective force defines the agency of IS. The implications of the relational view of agency for AIS research are also highlighted.
- Accounting & Information Systems [431 items ]