Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Information Science

Content Description

1 online resource (xvi, 216 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Anthony M Cresswell

Committee Members

Senem Guney, Jing Zhang


Information Technology Development, Social Accumulations, Socio-Technical Processes, Emergency management, Interorganizational relations, September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001

Subject Categories

Library and Information Science


This research explores the socio-technical processes in interorganizational collaboration by extending and elaborating a generic dynamic theory. The existing generic dynamic theory offers dynamic hypotheses about causal relationships between social processes and social accumulations based on a study of interagency information integration initiatives. The current study expands this theory and elaborates upon it using interview dataset from interagency collaboration during the response and recovery process following the World Trade Center (WTC) attack on September 11, 2001. Researchers at the Center for Technology in Government interviewed 29 responders in 2002 and 2003 to explore interagency collaboration in the context of information, technology, and coordination. These responders held positions at critical decision-making points in the response and recovery process. This dissertation research analyzes the interview dataset based in part on the dynamics described in the existing generic dynamic theory. A substantive theory of the WTC case is developed to describe the socio-technical processes as well as social accumulations and their interactions in the information use and information technology development under emergency conditions. The findings suggest that the original theory should hold for the WTC case. Emergency conditions affected the ways in which social accumulation changed overtime. Social accumulations play a central role in exploring the effort and effectiveness of technical processes. Certain social accumulations, such as social relationships and existing understanding, played critical roles in processing technical artifacts quickly to satisfy the emergency needs. Technology adaptation as well as user and IT expert interaction also differed from the normal conditions given the changes in the developing and existing social accumulations, such as voluntariness, commitment, and leadership. This research has implications for theory and practice. It contributes theory by extending and elaborating the existing theory. It contributes practical knowledge by emphasizing the role of social accumulations and the dynamic nature of socio-technical processes.