Always articulating: Theorizing on mobile and wireless technologies

Steve Sawyer, Andrea Tapia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Through this article we theorize on the nature and effects of articulation work relative to the take-up and use of information and communications technologies (ICT). Articulation work is "work that enables other work": that which links people, processes, and technologies within organizations. Articulation work in organizations is both common and too often invisible from a managerial or budgetary perspective. Drawing on data from a study of the introduction and implementation of mobile computing technologies into criminal justice organizations, we highlight two findings: (1) There exist ongoing but unmet articulation needs present in any organization or work system. (2) Articulation is cumulative. We find, that as work becomes more complex (such as adding new work tasks and using new technologies), there is more articulation needed. These findings raise issues with assessing the costs of articulation on individuals, and making arrangements to accommodate explicit and implicit articulation in organizational work, particularly around the take-up and ongoing use of ICT-based systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-323
Number of pages13
JournalInformation Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Articulation
  • Criminal justice
  • Field study
  • Information and communication technologies
  • Mobility
  • Organizations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Cultural Studies
  • Information Systems
  • Political Science and International Relations


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