Boundary object theory
- 1 Boundary object theory
- 2 Acronym
- 3 Alternate name(s)
- 4 Main dependent construct(s)/factor(s)
- 5 Main independent construct(s)/factor(s)
- 6 Concise description of theory
- 7 Diagram/schematic of theory
- 8 Originating author(s)
- 9 Seminal articles
- 10 Originating area
- 11 Level of analysis
- 12 IS articles that use the theory
- 13 Links from this theory to other theories
- 14 External links
- 15 Original Contributor(s)
Boundary object theory
This theory is waiting to be summarized!
Main dependent construct(s)/factor(s)
Main independent construct(s)/factor(s)
Concise description of theory
A boundary object is a concept in sociology to describe information used in different ways by different communities. They are plastic, interpreted differently across communities but with enough immutable content to maintain integrity. The ideas was introduced by Susan Leigh Star and James R. Griesemer in a 1989 publication:
“ Boundary objects are objects which are both plastic enough to adapt to local needs and constraints of the several parties employing them, yet robust enough to maintain a common identity across sites. They are weakly structured in common use, and become strongly structured in individual-site use. They may be abstract or concrete. They have different meanings in different social worlds but their structure is common enough to more than one world to make them recognizable means of translation. The creation and management of boundary objects is key in developing and maintaining coherence across intersecting social worlds.
Diagram/schematic of theory
Boland, R.J., and Tenkasi, R.V. 1995. "Perspective Making and Perspective Taking in Communities of Knowing," Organization Science (6:4), pp. 350-372.
Bowker, G. C.; & Star, S. L. (1999). Sorting things out: classification and its consequences. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Carlile, P.R. 2002. "A Pragmatic View of Knowledge and Boundaries: Boundary Objects in New Product Development," Organization Science (13:4), pp. 442-455.
Carlile, P.R. 2004. "Transferring, Translating, and Transforming: An Integrative Framework for Managing Knowledge Across Boundaries," Organization Science (15:5), pp. 555-568.
Dodgson, M., Gann, D.M., and Salter, A. 2007. "“In Case of Fire, Please Use the Elevator”: Simulation Technology and Organization in Fire Engineering," Organization Science (18:5), pp. 849-864.
Star, S.L. 2010. "This is Not a Boundary Object: Reflections on the Origin of a Concept," Science, Technology, & Human Values (35:5), pp. 601-617.
Star SL & Griesemer JR (1989). "Institutional Ecology, 'Translations' and Boundary Objects: Amateurs and Professionals in Berkeley's Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, 1907-39". Social Studies of Science 19 (4): 387–420. doi:10.1177/030631289019003001. ^ Bowker, G. C.; & Star, S. L. (1999). Sorting things out: classification and its consequences. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
Wenger, E. 2000. "Communities of Practice and Social Learning Systems," Organization (7:2), pp. 225-246.
Yakura, E.K. 2002. "Charting Time: Timelines as Temporal Boundary Objects," The Academy of Management Journal (45:5), pp. 956-970.
Level of analysis
IS articles that use the theory
Doolin, B., and McLeod, L. 2012. "Sociomateriality and boundary objects in information systems development," European Journal of Information Systems (21:5), pp. 570-586.
Gasson, S. 2006. "A genealogical study of boundary-spanning IS design," European Journal of Information Systems (15:1), pp. 26-41.
Henderson, K. 1991. "Flexible Sketches and Inflexible Data Bases: Visual Communication, Conscription Devices, and Boundary Objects in Design Engineering," Science, Technology, & Human Values (16:4), pp. 448-473.
Karsten, H., Lyytinen, K., Hurskainen, M., and Koskelainen, T. 2001. "Crossing boundaries and conscripting participation: representing and integrating knowledge in a paper machinery project," European Journal of Information Systems (10:2), pp. 89-98.
Levina, N., and Vaast, E. 2005. "The Emergence of Boundary Spanning Competence in Practice: Implications for Implementation and Use of Information Systems," MIS Quarterly (29:2), pp. 335-363.
Mark, G., Lyytinen, K., and Bergman, M. 2007. "Boundary Objects in Design: An Ecological View of Design Artifacts," Journal of the Association for Information systems (8:11), pp. 546-568.
Nicolini, D., Mengis, J., and Swan, J. 2012. "Understanding the Role of Objects in Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration," Organization Science (23:3), pp. 612-629.
Pawlowski, S.D., and Robey, D. 2004. "Bridging User Organizations: Knowledge Brokering and the Work of Information Technology Professionals," MIS Quarterly (28:4), pp. 645-672.
Rosenkranz, C., Vranešić, H., and Holten, R. 2014. "Boundary Interactions and Motors of Change in Requirements Elicitation: A Dynamic Perspective on Knowledge Sharing," Journal of the Association for Information Systems (15:6), pp. 306-345.
Winter, S.J., and Butler, B.S. 2011. "Creating bigger problems: grand challenges as boundary objects and the legitimacy of the information systems field," Journal of Information Technology (26:2), pp. 99-108.
Links from this theory to other theories
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