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Faik Isam

Reading between the lines of time and space: Applying actor-network theory to a developing country context


The implementation and use of information systems in developing countries face a number of context-specific challenges and are arguably in need of further theoretical framing to better understand this contextuality. This paper discusses the advantages that actor-network theory offers in conceptualizing the socio-technical realities that emerge from the entanglement of people and technology in developing countries. The applications of the theory are discussed in light of a case study looking at the information infrastructure supporting a new national health care coverage project in Morocco. The “small-narratives” generated from an actor-network perspective are contrasted with the “meta-narratives” resulting from the dominant discourses of development and culture. Based on the notions of cultural inscriptions into the technology and the heterogeneity of the social, a “multicultural” conception of organisational settings in developing countries is proposed.

The Dermot Moran and Lucas Introna Keynote Lecture
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