Performative Actions in E-Adoption Processes: Strategic Efforts in a Local Government

Performative Actions in E-Adoption Processes: Strategic Efforts in a Local Government

Morten Hjelholt (IT University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/IJEA.2015070103
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In this paper the concept of performative action is introduced to address how individuals can engage in IT adoption processes. The study investigates how local government employees adopt and localize ideas from a Danish National IT initiative called eDay3. Particularly the actions of a project manager are highlighted to portray how individuals can engage with historically produced discourses making them performative. The case study presented spans a two-year time period and demonstrates a double loop adoption process. First, a localization-process as discourse is used to support the specificity and variance of the specific local government. Second, a feedback loop re-attaching the localized project to the national reform program in order to maintain and protect the newly formed local practices. The study concludes that individuals actively struggle for social positions in IT adoption processes. Through the use of performative actions the positions are never stable and firm but constantly enacted and changed in discursive practices.
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Performative Action

An understanding of the practices where individuals can take place necessitates the study of the text and talk in historically and discursively produced contexts. Discourses are seen as an interrelated set of texts with practices of production, dissemination and reception that bring an object into being (Parker, 1999). This theoretical perspective is used to study how individuals access different discourses in order to generate new meanings that help the enactment of particular strategies (Hardy et al. 2000). The historical dimension is essential (Hardy et al., 2000; Wodak, 2001) as actors cannot simply produce “adoption-discourses” to suit their own immediate needs but rather must locate and derive meaningful activities within their historical context if they want to create new forms of actions leading to adoption of a particular information system.

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