Laurent Picard Distinguished Lecturer Series


Laurent Picard Distinguished Lecturer Series

Desperately Seeking Structures: Grammars of Action in Work, Technology and Organization 

Dr. Briant T. Pentland

Professor, Accounting and Information Systems
Broad College of Business, Michigan State University

All are cordially invited to attend.


In the decade since Orlikowski and Iacono (2001) published their landmark commentary on the information systems discipline, we have been desperately seeking the “IT artifact” in information systems research. Their critique had impact because published research had weak conceptualizations of the phenomena being studied. Current discourse about sociomateriality continues our effort to identify and theorize about the role of artifacts and materiality in the social world. Lately, I have been thinking about an alternative way to approach this topic. Rather than focus on artifacts and materiality per se, I propose to focus on the actions and grammars of action that are enabled and constrained by those artifacts. This simple reversal of figure and ground has had a transformative impact on the study of organizational routines. In this talk, I will invite you to consider whether it could be applied more broadly.  

Date: April 12, 2013
Time: 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Location: Room 210, Bronfman Building

For more information, please contact Professor Animesh Animesh at: animesh.animesh [at]