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|Wanda J. Orlikowski|
Technological practices (e-mail)
|Alma mater||New York University|
|Doctoral students||Elizabeth Davidson
|Known for||Practice lens
Critical genre analysis
Wanda J. Orlikowski is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Information Technologies and Organization Studies at the MIT Sloan School of Management. She has served as a visiting Centennial Professor of Information Systems at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and is currently a visiting professor at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge. She is a scholar within the Social Study of Information Systems field and her research examines relations between technology and organizations over time, with emphases on organizing structures, cultural norms, communication genres, and work practices.
Orlikowski received her B.Comm from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1977, an M. Comm from the same university in 1982, and a Ph.D. from the New York University Stern School of Business in 1989. Orlikowski has served as a senior editor for Organization Science, and currently serves on the editorial boards of Information and Organization and Organization Science. She is a member of the Academy of Management, the Association of Computing Machinery, the Institute of Management Science, the Society of Information Management, and the Society for Organizational Learning.
Orlikowski has written on a number of topics within information systems and organization studies but is probably best known for her work in studying the implementation and use of technologies within organisations by drawing on Giddens' Theory of Structuration. She has written extensively on the use of electronic communication technologies, most notably collaborating with JoAnne Yates, a professor of communications at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Orlikowski has also written papers on research methodology and her 1991 paper with Jack Baroudi in Information Systems Research is particularly widely cited. Her most recent work examines the sociomaterial practices entailed in social media.
Orlikowski contributes to information technologies and organization studies drawing on structuration and practice theories.
Structurational studies of technology and organizations have been highly influenced by the social studies of technology. Initially arguing for a view of the "duality of technology," Orlikowski went on to argue for a practice-based understanding of the recursive interaction between people and technologies over time. Orlikowski (2000) argues that emergent structures offer a more generative view of technology use, suggesting that users do not so much appropriate technologies as they enact particular technologies-in-practice with them. The ongoing enactment of technologies-in-practice either reproduce existing structural conditions or they produce changes that may lead to structural transformation.
Based on a series of empirical studies of collaborative technologies (groupware), Orlikowski identified at least three types of enactment produced within different conditions and producing different consequences associated with humans engagement with technology in practice. The first type of enactment is inertia and it leads to reinforcement and preservation of structural status quo. Human action with the use of technology tends to be incremental, with people using technology to continue their existing work practices. In the case of collaborative software, Orlikowski identified Inertial types of enactment in institutional conditions that included rigid career hierarchies, individualistic incentives, and competitive cultures. The second type of enactment identified is that of application which arises as people begin to use the technology in new ways within their practices. Such use tends to produce noticeable changes to existing information, tools, and artifacts, as well as work relations and practices. The third type of technological enactment identified is that of change, where people tend to integrate the technology into their ways of working so as to produce transformations in work relations and practices. Such changes can lead to important transformations in the structural status quo.
New ways of dealing materiality in organizational research 
In more recent work, Orlikowski argues that that our primary ways of dealing with materiality in organizational research are conceptually problematic and proposes an alternative approach that posits materiality as constitutive of everyday life. This work draws on notions of sociomateriality as influenced by the work of Lucy Suchman and Karen Barad. In co-authored work, Orlikowski and Susan Scott of the London School of Economics argue for a focus on sociomaterial practices within organizational and information system studies. This recognizes that all practices are always and everywhere sociomaterial, and that this sociomateriality is constitutive of the contours and possibilities of everyday organizing.
See also 
- Anthony Giddens, Baron Giddens
- Karen Barad
- Lucy Suchman
- Practice (social theory)
- Information technology
Select bibliography 
- Feldman, M. and Orlikowski, W.J. Theorizing Practice and Practicing Theory, "Organization Science", 22, 5, 2011: 1240-1253.
- Orlikowski, W.J. The Sociomateriality of Organizational Life: Considering Technology in Management Research, "Cambridge Journal of Economics", 34, 1, 2010: 125-141.
Schultze, U. and Orlikowski, W.J. Virtual Worlds: A Performative Perspective on Globally Distributed, Immersive Work, "Information Systems Research", 21, 4, 2010: 810-821.
- Orlikowski, W.J. and Scott, S.V. Sociomateriality: Challenging the Separation of Technology, Work and Organization, Annals of the Academy of Management, 2, 1, 2008: 433-474.
- Levina, N. and Orlikowski, W.J. Understanding Shifting Power Relations within and across Fields of Practice: A Critical Genre Analysis, Academy of Management Journal, 52, 4, 2009: 672–703.
- Orlikowski, W.J. Sociomaterial Practices: Exploring Technology at Work, Organization Studies, 28, 2007: 1435-1448.
- Shultze, U. and Orlikowski, W.J. A Practice Perspective on Technology-Mediated Network Relations: The Use of Internet-based Self-Serve Technologies, Information Systems Research, 15, 1, 2004: 87-106.
- Orlikowski, W.J. Knowing in Practice: Enacting a Collective Capability in Distributed Organizing, Organization Science, 13, 4, 2002: 249-273.
- Orlikowski, W.J. Using Technology and Constituting Structures: A Practice Lens for Studying Technology in Organizations, Organization Science, 11, 4, 2000: 404-428.
- Orlikowski, W.J. Improvising Organizational Transformation over Time: A Situated Change Perspective, Information Systems Research, 7, 1, 1996: 63-92.
- Orlikowski, W.J. and Yates, J. Genre Repertoire: The Structuring of Communicative Practices in Organizations, Administrative Science Quarterly, 39, 4, 1994: 541-574.
- Orlikowski, W.J. The Duality of Technology: Rethinking the Concept of Technology in Organizations, Organization Science, 3, 3, 1992: 398-427.
- Orlikowski, W.J. and Baroudi, J.J. Studying Information Technology in Organizations: Research Approaches and Assumptions Information Systems Research, 2, 1, 1991: 1-28.