Multiplex Appropriation in Complex Systems Implementation: The Case of Brazil’s Correspondent Banking System

When user needs do not align with system designers’ visions, new technology implementation becomes a complex process as users appropriate the new technology to meet their needs. Prior studies recognize this complexity, but focus on the complex implementation of simple systems in which user groups are well defined and the IT artifact is the primary change. We extend the research lens by examining the implementation of the Brazilian correspondent banking system, a complex system involving multiple actors, system elements, and settings intended to address the social problem of financial exclusion. Our case study comparison of two settings—retail stores and post offices—reveals that actors’ appropriations extended beyond the IT artifact to include technical, role, usage, social, and policy appropriations. The intended users (poor clients in remote and underserved areas) barely interacted with the IT artifact or other system elements; instead, they relied upon remote bankers (corre


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