Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Instantiation

Associated organisational unit


Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

Instantiation: Reconceptualising the role of technology as a carrier of organisational strategising

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/06/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Information Technology
Issue number2
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)109-127
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date26/02/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Technology is often used by senior management as an instrument to deliver strategy by influencing day-to-day activities within organisations. We study how local teams appropriate strategy through the use of technology, specifically in instances where it is rigid and single purposed. We show that technology has the potential to act as a carrier of strategic intent. We theorise local practices of appropriation of strategic intent by conceptualising the role of technology in ‘instantiation’, a notion adopted within the strategy-as-practice literature to explain how localised micro events directly constitute higher-level business outcomes such as those that arise from strategy. Through an in-depth case study following the use of passenger self-service kiosks in a UK airport over a period of 20 months, we review the strategic drivers at the top of the organisation and the central role of technology as the delivery mechanism of strategy. We focus on emergent strategising activity by local teams on the ground. Our main theoretical contributions are thus to extend the concept of instantiation to Information Systems studies and to conceptualise technology as a carrier of strategy, particularly in explaining how technology can embed strategic intent (structural strategising) and then influence the emergence of local practices consistent with these objectives (emergent strategising). We find and conceptualise how local practices instantiate strategic intent by decoupling, reframing and then recoupling new logics of work to achieve the aims set out in the organisation’s strategy.