Wanda Orlikowski

Wanda Orlikowski

Institutional Displacement: Reconfiguring Public Libraries in the Digital Era

Wanda Orlikowski, Professor of Information Technologies & Organization Studies, Sloan School of Management at MIT

Friday, February 9, 2024 - 1:30pm - 3:00pm



This study examines how public libraries are being remade in the digital era. Cultural institutions are increasingly expected to encompass the ‘digital’ and prior research on digitalization in other sectors suggests that this will structure ways of working and organizing. Using longitudinal qualitative data, this study explores how the digitalization of library products and services are generating substantial changes in work practices, with multiple intended and unintended consequences. The authors further consider how the corollary effects of digitalization are disrupting institutional norms and values, and challenging the very notion of what a public library is and how it performs.


Wanda Orlikowski is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Information Technologies and Organization Studies at MIT's Sloan School of Management. She received her Ph.D. from New York University. Her research examines technologies in the workplace, with a particular focus on how digital work shifts control, coordination, and accountability within and across organizations. She has authored more than 100 articles in top journals across the fields of Organization Studies and Information Systems. She has been the recipient of numerous best paper awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Communication, Digital Technology and Organization Division of the Academy of Management in 2023, a Distinguished Scholar Award from the Organizational Communication and Information Systems Division of the Academy of Management in 2015, and the Lasting Impact Award from the Computer- Supported Cooperative Work Community of the Association for Computing Machinery in 2015. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Copenhagen Business School in 2022. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Management, and a Fellow of the British Academy.