European Journal of Information Systems

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 49–59 | Cite as

The social and political construction of technological frames



It is widely accepted that the successful adoption of an information system depends to a great extent on users' perceptions of the information system. It follows then that an understanding of users' cognitive frames should be a key factor in managing the adoption of information systems. To reach such an understanding is not an easy task as cognitive frames are dynamic phenomena. For example, what an individual perceives as ‘ease of use’ and ‘usefulness’ may depend not only on intrinsic qualities of the information system but also on the changing contexts in which the information system is evaluated. This work argues that the management of information systems' adoption is a social and political process in which stakeholders frame and reframe their perceptions of an information system. A case study carried out in a European bank illustrates how the Bank's technical team influenced users' technological frames, including those of senior management in order to ensure a smooth implementation process. In conclusion, the paper introduces a set of theoretical propositions relating to the social and political processes that occur during information systems adoption.


Information systems adoption implementation socio-cognitive approach technological frames analysis power politics social interactions interpretive and qualitative research 


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Copyright information

© Operational Research Society 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Information StudiesUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldU.K.
  2. 2.C.T. Bauer College of Business, University of HoustonHoustonU.S.A.

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