Business Intelligence through a sociomaterial lens : The imbrication of people and technology in a sales process

Abstract: Digitalization and digital devices are on the rise, and as a result, many new products and services have been developed, which has led to greater interaction between people and technology. This thesis explores the interaction between people and technology by looking at the daily use of a business intelligence (BI) system in an automotive company’s sales process, where sellers use the system to analyze, report, and measure sales performance. The thesis is based on a single case study, and the data sources are in-depth interviews, observations, and archival data.The theoretical perspective is grounded in the concept of sociomateriality and its notion of the imbrication of people and technology. Specifically, this work explores the research question ‘How does imbrication between people and technology develop during daily use of BI systems?’ The main theoretical finding is that three phases of imbrication can describe theses interactions, and these phases coincide with three situations in which people and technology must interact: automation of transactional work (Imbrication Phase 1), ‘informating’ of analytical work (Imbrication Phase 2), and transformation of work (Imbrication Phase 3). These three Imbrication Phases demonstrate the social dynamics at play when people interact with technology (specifically with BI). This contribution therefore extends the concept of imbrication within the field of sociomateriality. The primary empirical contribution is to illustrate the daily use and practice of BI within a sales process.