THE TEMPORALITY OF FAILURE AND SUCCESS IN INFORMATION INFRASTRUCTURE EVOLUTION
Information Systems (IS) failure/success has historically been conceptualized in many different ways in IS research. This article aims at filling a gap in existing conceptualizations that reflects the interconnectedness of contemporary IS in digital infrastructures with a special focus on the temporal aspects of failure/success. Empirically the article draws on an on-going longitudinal case study of a global company implementing a SharePoint-based infrastructure. We build on ‘installed base cultivation’ as a theoretical perspective and concepts denoting how an information infrastructure evolves. The paper contributes by proposing three different types of failures: 1. Failure to combine with the relevant parts of an installed base; 2. Failure to cultivate in terms of replacing modules and/or re-arranging relations between relevant modules; and 3. Failure to cultivate in terms of extending or adding new relevant modules. Additionally, the paper illustrates the shifting pattern of failure and success over time as the information infrastructure evolves. Depending on the time period, the SharePoint-based infrastructure was perceived as: 1. a failure for relevant social groups; 2. both a failure and a success by different relevant social groups; and a success for relevant social groups. The paper compares the findings with current conceptualizations in IS and the temporal aspects of IS-failure is discussed as a means for avoiding dichotomizing between failure and success.