“Technology is the product of human action, while it also assumes structural properties. That is, technology is physically constructed by actors working in a given social context, and technology is socially constructed by actors through the different meanings they attach to it and the various features they emphasize and use. However, it is also the case that once developed and deployed, technology tends to become reified and institutionalized, losing its connection with the human agents that constructed it or gave it meaning, and it appears to be part of the objective, structural properties of the organization.
Agency and structure are not independent. It is the ongoing action of human agents in habitually drawing on a technology that objectifies and institutionalizes it. Thus, if agents changed the technology—physically or interpretively—every time they used it, it would not assume the stability and taken-for-grantedness that is necessary for institutionalization. But such a constantly evolving interaction with technology would undermine many of the advantages that accrue from using technology to accomplish work. We do not need to physically or socially reconstruct the telephone, elevator, or typewriter every time we use it. However, there clearly are occasions where continued unreflective use of a technology is inappropriate or ineffective. While we can expect a greater engagement of human agents during the initial development of a technology, this does not discount the ongoing potential for users to change it (physically and socially) throughout their interaction with it. In using a technology, users interpret, appropriate, and manipulate it in various ways.” (406)