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Information systems development: a normalisation process theory perspective

Rohan Sooklal (School of Management, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK)
Thanos Papadopoulos (School of Management, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK)
Udechukwu Ojiako (School of Management, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Article publication date: 30 August 2011




This paper utilises a case study to discuss the applicability of normalisation process theory (NPT) as an alternative lens in understanding how social processes impact on the information systems development (ISD) process.


The research was undertaken at an educational setting utilising a qualitative case approach.


The research suggests a framework based on NPT. This framework aims to provide better insights of the normalisation process, based on the views of the development team. The research results strongly support the utilisation of NPT in a non‐healthcare setting. NPT serves as a means to explain the factors and actions that promote the work of routine embedding of new technologies in the practice.

Practical implications

The theory has its foundations in the relative paucity of the extant ISD literature. It also provides a holistic approach for explaining the dynamics entailed in IS project endeavours. This is undertaken by considering the multiplicity and heterogeneity of stakeholders. The usefulness of NPT as a theory for exploring the challenges in embedding a new practice in current ISD endeavours is shown.


The paper discusses how NPT can assist in exploring the social production and organisation of new practices.



Sooklal, R., Papadopoulos, T. and Ojiako, U. (2011), "Information systems development: a normalisation process theory perspective", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 111 No. 8, pp. 1270-1286.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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