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Desperately seeking the infrastructure in IS research: conceptualization of "digital convergence" as co-evolution of social and technical infrastructures

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9780769538693 Large scale penetration of digital technologies led them to join roads, electricity, and water distribution, as essential infrastructures of modernity. "Digital convergence" refers to these technologies' wide ranging effects on people's lives, work, and interactions. Yet conceptions from diverse fields reveal no universally accepted understanding of this term. An examination of historical developments leading up to the Internet era reveals mutual dependence between technical infrastructures and diverse social arrangements including industry, regulatory, and market structures. A set of criteria for the definition of digital convergence (and divergence) is formulated. These provide a working definition that reveals the essential, pervasive and interactive reconfiguration of modern society's technical and social infrastructures due to digitization. A layer-based model is presented as one possible way of breaking up an increasingly interconnected socio-technical world into separate domains that allow meaningful study. We call for action to address the paucity of recent Information Systems (IS) research into the infrastructures that provide the foundations upon which all modern information systems build.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/28397/

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