The Duality of Technology: Rethinking the Concept of Technology in Organizations
In this article, Orlikowski extends Giddens’ theory of structuration by applying it to the role of technology in organizations. She both describes how this approach addresses an ongoing problem for organization studies (i.e. whether to treat technology as cause or effect) while also illustrating both how the theory applies in the specific context of an organization. Orlikowski’s “structurational model of technology” contains two key components: the notion that technology has a duality within it (i.e. that it is iteratively designed and used) and that it is interpretively flexible (i.e. that humans have agency in how they take it up and use it).
Theoretical and practical relevance:
This article is the key statement of the structurational model of technology, and serves as a clear and concise guide to both articulating and applying the theory.