Analysing the many perspectives, functions and roles of ICT artefacts.

  • Arild Jansen Norwegian Research Center for Computers and Law, University of Oslo


When rereading a selection of NOKOBIT papers, I am surprised to see that quite a number of papers lack a description of what type of ICT artefact they are studying. This lack of preciseness in their analysis may result in that we fail to see actual connections or other interesting findings that may exist. The aim of this paper is to contribute to a better conceptualization of the ICT artefacts studied in IS research. This work has an explorative research approach, aiming at identifying important dimensions that may help understanding the various aspects of ICT. The empirical base comprises two part. Firstly, it builds on a review of selected literature, which then has been used for building an analytic framework. This frame- work is applied in analysing a sample of NOKOBIT-papers. The analysis shows that some of the papers builds on an incomplete or missing conceptualisation of the ICT artefact(s), and which may result in that interesting findings have been overlooked. Based on my pre- liminary analysis, I will conclude that IS research would benefit from being more precise on what (types of) phenomena that are studied. Moreover, the public debate about the role of and consequences of ICT (and its usage) would also be more informed by more evident understanding of the specific ICT solutions that are analysed.