Institutional work and technology artifacts

Murali Venkatesh, Anand Natarajan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution


How artifacts come to persist is a neglected area in organizational theory. In IS, Lucas et al. 2007) stress implementation research that takes the long view, but little is known about maintenance practices. Using Lawrence et al. 2009) institutional work framework, we analyze stakeholder efforts to stabilize and now maintain the Urban-net, a broadband network. We track it from inception through design stabilization to post-stabilization. Empirically, we add to research on the neglected area of maintenance work. Re: theory, our contributions are two-fold. First, we distinguish artifact stabilization from maintenance, a distinction Lawrence et al. 2009) ignore. Bijker's 1997) idea of stabilization offers a way to think about the two. The temporal and relational scope of the effort involved, we show, can be different. Second, we adapt the term gardening from Olsen 2003) to characterize the multi-stranded nature of maintenance, involving efforts to preserve while also amending the Urban-net.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Information Systems 2011, ICIS 2011
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2011
Event32nd International Conference on Information System 2011, ICIS 2011 - Shanghai, China
Duration: Dec 4 2011Dec 7 2011

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on Information Systems 2011, ICIS 2011


Other32nd International Conference on Information System 2011, ICIS 2011


  • Artifact maintenance
  • Artifact stabilization
  • ICT artifacts
  • Institutional work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems


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