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Guest editors’ introduction: Actor‐network theory and information systems. What's so special?

Ole Hanseth (Department of Informatics, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway and London School of Economics, London, UK)
Margunn Aanestad (Department of Informatics at the University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway)
Marc Berg (Department of Social‐Medical Sciences, Institute of Health Policy and Management, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Information Technology & People

ISSN: 0959-3845

Article publication date: 1 June 2004



In this editorial introduction Allen Lee's definition of the information systems (IS) field is taken as the starting point: “Research in the information systems field examines more than just the technological system, or just the social system, or even the two systems side by side; in addition, it investigates the phenomena that emerge when the two interact” (Lee, A. “Editorial”, MISQ, Vol. 25, No. 1, 2001, p. iii). By emphasizing the last part of this, it is argued that actor‐network theory (ANT) can provide IS research with unique and very powerful tools to help us overcome the current poor understanding of the information technology (IT) artifact (Orlikowski, W. and Iacono, S., “Research commentary: desperately seeking the ‘IT’ in IT research – a call for theorizing the IT artifact”, Information Systems Research, Vol. 10 No. 2, 2001, pp. 121‐34). These tools include a broad range of concepts describing the interwoven relationships between the social.



Hanseth, O., Aanestad, M. and Berg, M. (2004), "Guest editors’ introduction: Actor‐network theory and information systems. What's so special?", Information Technology & People, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 116-123.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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