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The tail and the dog:agency and structure influences on the development of an e-commerce information system in a new venture startup

Chiasson, M (2002) The tail and the dog:agency and structure influences on the development of an e-commerce information system in a new venture startup. ACM SIGMIS Database, 33 (4). pp. 24-37.

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Abstract

The organizational structure of a new startup 'venture', including its business strategy, is strongly shaped by processes embedded within its developing e-commerce information system. An important question here and in general IS research is the role of individuals (agents) in the shaping and interpreting of both technological and organizational structures (structure). Various questions drawn from Giddens' (1984) structuration theory are used to highlight this agency-structure relationship, and initial results from an action research study within an e-commerce startup involved in developing an on-line "pop culture" magazine are described. Results indicate that at the outset, the e-commerce technology was shaped by two opposing groups within the organization, focused on the business-to-consumer market. Once the system was completed, however, the various agents perceived tremendous business-to-business possibilities in the software. Consequently, they initiated a process to alter their strategic focus, and transformed their organizational processes. Future research directions of this "dog wagging its tail," and "tail wagging the dog" story toward systems development practice and research, and Giddens' structuration theory are discussed. Implications for e-commerce practice and research are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: ACM SIGMIS Database
Subjects:
Departments: Lancaster University Management School > Management Science
ID Code: 44477
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 11 Jul 2011 19:16
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2015 09:56
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/44477

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