- Communication in organizations: the heart of information systems (2008)
- We propose a theory characterizing information systems (IS) as language communities which use and develop domain-specific languages for communication. Our theory is anchored in Language Critique, a branch of philosophy of language. In developing our theory, we draw on Systems Theory and Cybernetics as a theoretical framework. "Organization" of a system is directly related to communication of its sub-systems. "Big systems" are self-organizing and the control of this ability is disseminated throughout the system itself. Therefore, the influence on changes of the system from its outside is limited. Operations intended to change an organization are restricted to indirect approaches. The creation of domain-specific languages by the system itself leads to advantageous communication costs compared to colloquial communication at the price of set-up costs for language communities. Furthermore, we demonstrate how our theoretical constructs help to describe and predict the behavior of IS. Finally, we discuss implications of our theory for further research and IS in general. Keywords: Language Critique, language communities, communication, self-organization, IS research
- The emergence of information systems: a communication-based theory (2010)
- An information system is more than just the information technology; it is the system that emerges from the complex interactions and relationships between the information technology and the organization. However, what impact information technology has on an organization and how organizational structures and organizational change influence information technology remains an open question. We propose a theory to explain how communication structures emerge and adapt to environmental changes. We operationalize the interplay of information technology and organization as language communities whose members use and develop domain-specific languages for communication. Our theory is anchored in the philosophy of language. In developing it as an emergent perspective, we argue that information systems are self-organizing and that control of this ability is disseminated throughout the system itself, to the members of the language community. Information technology influences the dynamics of this adaptation process as a fundamental constraint leading to perturbations for the information system. We demonstrate how this view is separated from the entanglement in practice perspective and show that this understanding has far-reaching consequences for developing, managing, and examining information systems.
- A model of the dynamics of organizational communication (2011)
- We propose a model of the dynamics of organizational communication. Our model specifies the mechanics by which communication impact is fed back to communication inputs and closes the gap between sender and receiver of messages. We draw on language critique, a branch of language philosophy, and derive joint linguistic actions of interlocutors to explain the emergence and adaptation of communication on the group level. The model is framed by Te'eni's cognitive-affective model of organizational communication.