Research scope: The scope of the research project is to investigate the role information technology plays in forming the organisational reputation/image (Dutton & Duckerich, 1991), identity (Albert & Whetten, 1985) and competitiveness (Rindova & Fombrun, 1999). The aim is to investigate the dual nature of information technology by using the sensemaking concept (Orlikowski 1988, Weick 1995). When investigating information technology from a social constructivist perspective one needs to recognise both the tangible artifacts of the technology, and the human interaction with the technology. Information technology does not exist independently of the environment and it is strongly influenced by social enactment processes both within the organisations and in the surrounding environment (Orlikowski 1998). Current research in the field shows that the implementation of new technologies affect organisational routines/structures/social relationships/power relations/dependencies and alter organisational roles (Barley 1986, 1990, Burkhardt & Brass 1990, Kling 1991, Orlikowski 2000). It also demonstrates that technology is a flexible variable that is adapted to the organisation's needs, culture, climate and management philosophy, thus leading to different uses and outcomes of the same technology in different organisations (Barley 1986, 1990, Orlikowski 2000). In the technologically related enactment processes of the organisation, a part of the organisation's image and identity is built. The organisation's technological image and identity serve as a template for the organisation's strategic actions and guide how the organisation implements new technologies (Orlikowski 2000, Kling 1991). The scope of my research project will therefore be to gain a deeper understanding of how the enactment of new technologies results in emerging changes in the organisation's social networks and roles and how these changes affect the organisation's choice and use of new information technologies. (Barley 1986, 1990, Compton, White & DeWine 1991, Orlikowski 2000).
5th International Conference on Corporate Reputation, Identity and Competitiveness, 2001