Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Information Systems and Decision Sciences (Business Administration)

Document Type



The concept of organizing visions for IT innovations, introduced by Swanson and Ramiller, offers a valuable analytical lens to examine institutional dynamics underlying diffusion of complex information technology (IT) innovations at the inter-organizational level of analysis. Several aspects of the organizing vision framework, however, warrant further elaboration. In this thesis, two such aspects are addressed. First, the process of organizing vision production and evolution is elucidated in more detail and embedded in the broader context of industry meaning structures. To this end, a process-oriented model is presented delineating how the development of an organizing vision is enabled and constrained by a variety of beliefs and logics situated in the adopter and vendor industries and, conversely, how the industry meaning structures may over time become altered by the unfolding evolution of the vision. Second, specific mechanisms enabling the legitimation function of organizing visions are identified and examined. The IT legitimation taxonomy comprising 26 discursive strategies for gaining and maintaining legitimacy for IT innovations is developed. The taxonomy integrates major conceptual views on legitimacy drawn from both organization theory and IS literatures. It is further refined and illustrated through a historical case study of Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) systems, an IT innovation in the field of healthcare. 142 press releases issued by vendors of CPOE software, hardware and services from 1998 to 2005 are content-analyzed and a post-hoc analysis of temporal and cross-sectional patterns in the vendors' use of legitimation strategies is carried out. The contribution of this research lies in advancing the neo-institutional perspective on IT innovation and laying a foundation for extending the analysis of IT diffusion and use beyond the organizational boundaries.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Rudolf A. Hirschheim



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Business Commons