Disputation: Alexander Moltubakk Kempton

Doctoral candidate Alexander Moltubakk Kempton at the Department of informatics, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, is defending the thesis Digital Representations and their Mechanisms: a pluralist realist approach for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor.

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The University of Oslo is closed. The PhD defence and trial lecture will therefore be fully digital and streamed directly using Zoom. The host of the session will moderate the technicalities while the chair of the defence will moderate the disputation.

Ex auditorio questions: the chair of the defence will invite the audience to ask ex auditorio questions either written or oral. This can be requested by clicking 'Participants -> Raise hand'. 

Trial lecture

«What is the role of theory in design science?»


Main research findings

Digital technologies afford human activity through their representations. By representing phenomena in certain ways and enabling users to construct and interact with these representations through sets of features, digital technology impacts how users act, interact, and understand the world around them. Understanding the mechanisms of how digital representations emerge and afford action is not only theoretically central in the research field of Information Systems, but also important for practice.


The thesis builds primarily on a case study of Norwegian connected care projects, which are healthcare services mediated, automated, or supported by digital technology. It provides a paradigmatic case for investigating the mechanisms of digital representations, as digital technology in healthcare needs to mediate and support a wide variety of practices and enable cooperation among them. Connected care services are, in other words, dependent on digital representations that are useful for both health professionals and patients.


Overall, the thesis contributes on three levels. Meta-theoretically, it proposes a conceptual platform for Information Systems research to study and analyze digital representations and their mechanisms. Theoretically, it shows how representations emerge in and through social practices and digital infrastructures. Contextually, it illustrates how connected care is constituted by sociotechnical and representational mechanisms.


Contact information to Department: Mozhdeh Sheibani Harat

Publisert 7. okt. 2020 12:39 - Sist endret 29. juni 2021 10:32