Boxes, Non-Human Stakeholders and the Translation of IT Through Mediation

  • Richard Vidgen
  • Tom McMaster
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT)


The adoption of technological determinism or social constructivism (or a dialectical combination of the two) is considered to he problematic due to a lack of symmetry between organizational work and technology. Latour’s notion of quasi-objects is introduced to mitigate the limitations of an artificial distinction between object and subject worlds that results from the adoption of a dualistic approach. The idea of a mediated network of technology and organizational context is proposed, in which Information Technology implementations become black boxes as a result of dissemination through space and time. This process requires that allies be enrolled and controlled, which in turn indicates a need for the interests of relevant stakeholders (human and non-human) to be understood. The ideas of quasi-objects and mediated networks are applied to a case study of an automated access control system for a car park. The case study demonstrates the potential impact of (information) technology on organizational work through physical and informating changes in a pluralistic situation.


Organizational Work Soft System Methodology Induction Loop Rich Picture Information System Development 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Vidgen
    • 1
  • Tom McMaster
    • 1
  1. 1.Information Systems Research CentreUniversity of SalfordUK

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