Digital assemblages: Evidence and theorising from the computerisation of the US residential real estate industry

Steve Sawyer, Kevin Crowston, Rolf T. Wigand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

We develop the concept of digital assemblages in order to advance current theorising on the ways in which information and communication technologies (ICTs) are helping to reshape work. The empirical setting is the US residential real estate industry-a 'living laboratory' for studying information-intensive work and the adoption and uses of ICT. We find that real estate agents' uses of ICT are pervasive and suggest that agents now embed themselves more deeply into the transacting of real estate by actively supporting buyers and sellers, rather than acting primarily as information intermediaries. Building from this, we theorise that this ICT use can more coherently be understood as a 'digital assemblage' rather than a formal information system. Digital assemblages are characterised as distinct patterns of ICT collections that, in use, are functionally equivalent and structurally similar, relying on standardised and commodified ICT and are neither formally designed nor collectively governed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-56
Number of pages17
JournalNew Technology, Work and Employment
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2014

Keywords

  • Computerisation
  • Digital assemblages
  • Field study
  • ICT
  • Real estate
  • Work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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