The Appropriation Capacity: A Neglected Intangible Organizational Capacity in the Adoption of Information and Management Systems

By Roxana Ologeanu-Taddei, Karine Gauche, David Morquin, Rodolphe Bourret

This paper focuses on the appropriation capacity of information and management systems (IMS). This capacity includes the provision of organizational support to define concerted indexing rules of information and use while leaving user autonomy intact. We show that the formalization of this capacity by organizations is often overlooked when implementing these systems. We illustrate our ideas with two case studies, carried out in two French public professional bureaucracies. In both cases, we observe underuses and IMS workaround practices, which bears witness to a coercive adoption and not an authentic IMS appropriation. We explain these results by the fact that appropriation, as well as the capacity to appropriate, are neglected, due largely to the supplementary costs they entail. We propose to avoid this situation by the integration of the appropriation capacity in the intangible assets of the organization. JEL Codes : J24, L23, M15


  • human capital
  • organizational behavior
  • skills
  • IT management
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