Questioning the ontology of sociomateriality: a critical realist perspective

Tunçalp D.

MANAGEMENT DECISION, vol.54, no.5, pp.1073-1087, 2016 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 54 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1108/md-07-2014-0476
  • Title of Journal : MANAGEMENT DECISION
  • Page Numbers: pp.1073-1087


Purpose - The author join Orlikowski (2007) in seeking the "reconfiguration of our conventional assumptions and considerations of materiality." In her sociomaterial approach, Orlikowski combines what is social and what is material into a "sociomaterial assemblage" in considering material and social aspects of technology. However, the author thinks this conflation creates a number of analytical and phenomenological problems for the understanding of technology in organizing. Rather than considering materiality with a primacy, the author argue that the proposed approach may reduce what is material into a social essence and makes materiality of a technology impossible to perceive separate from the social aspects. The paper aims to discuss these issues.