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Paper info: Getting The Act Together


Getting The Act Together


Hans Kjellberg
Stockholm School of Economics
Hans Kjellberg , Katarina Aspenberg and
Per Andersson
Stockholm School of Economics
Per Andersson

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 19th IMP-conference in Lugano, Switzerland in 2003.


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In a previous paper we have reported on such a configuration process connected to realising the sale of a software solution for e-procurement of MRO-materials. In this paper we follow the involved actors as they engage in introducing this solution within Chester, a large transport and logistics company. The paper directs attention to two practical issues: How is the new software made part of the customer's organisation? And what happens in the organisation when the software is made part of it? These practical issues can also be said to reflect a more general problem: How does the introduction of a new technical solution affect the agency of others?On a general level, the paper focuses on the construction of market exchange. The case shows that, in order to realise the new situations, a number of entities must be defined and in some way persuaded to ?act their parts?, for example, the user and its suppliers, the user and the new procurement technology. Actors can thus be regarded as attempting to create a situation that is conducive to the solution they offer. This work includes populating the situation with relevant entities; fencing it off from matters held to be irrelevant or destructive, in this case for the new envisioned purchasing situation, providing eg. scripts for interaction between entities in this new situation. The process of realising the new procurement organisation and the redistribution of agency that is part of it can be described as a process of framing. The case shows that agreement of some sort has to be reached between these entities as to what constitutes the offer, involving framing efforts. The same applies to the efforts at stabilising how the offer is to be used, that is, to configure the user within the buying organisation, and translating the offers into products as part of the process of realising exchanges. As part of this process, triggered by the efforts to realise the product-in-use, a new set of actors can be enrolled to perform as 'sellers.? The user, as configured during the process of making the sale, can be reconfigured into a buyer. By changing focus in the case from the sale of the application to the realisation of the new exchange situation, the individuals that are configured to use the new purchasing system can now be seen to assist in performing the buyer, i.e in the process of making the purchase.