Information technology and organizational change: Causal structure in theory and research
Markus and Robey's article tries to unpack and compare the logical structure of different theories from Information Systems research. He breaks it down into three core dimensions: Causal Agency, Logical Structure and Level of Analysis.
The authors suggest there are three approaches to causal agency:
- Technological imperative: The inner logic of technological systems determine organization structure.
- Organization imperative: Information systems are created to fit organizational needs.
- Emergent: Neither or both of the previous system. For example, work that shows that similar dynamics can result in different structure.
- Variance theories: Theories that suggest that precursors are necessary and sufficiently similar and that we can understand causal relationships between precursers and outcomes.
- Process: That that suggest that outcomes are partially predictable from a knowledge of a process and not from variables alone.
Level of analysis:
- Macro level: Theories focusing on organization or society.
- Micro level: Theories focusing on individuals within organizations.