by Saima Khan
The concept of Sociomateriality has been of widespread interest to researchers in disciplines as diverse as organizational studies, sociology of science & technology, and feminist studies, and has played a pivotal role in understanding the interplay between the social and the material in various aspects of everyday organizing. And yet, there still remains a scarcity of literature in the IS discipline in this domain. However, I do observe an increasing interest by IS researchers in the notion of sociomateriality and the recognition that new ways of theorizing IS by advancing and incorporating a sociomaterial schema in the IS discipline is very much needed.
I believe that we, as IS researchers, also need to re-think beyond the ontological separation and duality between the social and the technical, the subject and the object, people and things etc. and recognize the increasing blurredness between these attributes which is in real life akin to more of a seamless tapestry. We also need to understand that focussing on the duality of these attributes poses conceptual difficulties to what is in reality a constitutive entanglement (Orlikowski, 2007), or a seamless tapestry. For example, sociomaterial practices of IS adoption, or the materiality of everyday IS mediated work (Leonardi and Barley, 2008) illustrate that the social and the material cannot be separated into two distinct entities. It is and remains a constitutive entanglement and any separation or distinction between the two should only be done for analytical purposes.