While organizing and decision-making is bound to knowledge and traditionally subject to human activity, Business Intelligence (BI) systems recently gain importance within organizations. They are programmed with algorithms, and thereby vested with power in the form of “inscribed” human agency. While researchers have already theorized the future “action” of artificial intelligence and empirically explored the technological features of management and decision support systems, only little scholarly effort has been devoted to the question of how exactly human and material agency interrelate within the use of state-of-the-art technologies.


Aim of research: It is the aim of the thesis to analyze the relative capacities of human versus material agency in organizational practices supported by intelligent software.


Theoretical Background: I base my study of software-supported practices on scholarly work on sociomaterial practices as the space of human and material (algorithmic) agency as well as on the notion of technologies as acting artifacts.


Methods: I assess the use of two softwares equipped with different levels of intelligence within a case-study research design that facilitates understanding complex sceneries with the commonly used qualitative methods to assess technologies-in-use (interview data, observational data, document analysis).


Contact: Verena Bader