Theorizing Information – From Signs to Sociomaterial Practices

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Boell, Sebastian; Cecez-Kecmanovic, Dubravka
Information; Semiotics; Performative view of information; Sociomaterial view of information; Management Information Systems
article description
This paper seeks to contribute to better understanding of information within the information systems (IS) discipline. It argues that a hierarchical view on data-information-knowledge-wisdom – dominant in the IS discipline – is limited and that numerous other attempts to conceptualize information are worthy of exploration. The paper thus reviews literature on conceptualizing and theorizing information within and beyond the IS literature and proposes further theoretical development. Five different views on information are identified: material, engineering, objectivist, subjectivist, and inter-subjective. Underlying assumptions, examples and a critical discussion of each viewpoint are provided. The paper then proposes a sociomaterial and performative account of information according to which, information is seen to create reality rather than simply represent it.