This paper, based on the data collected during an organizational ethnography that was carried-out in a biomedical research center in Northern Italy, highlights the emerging dimensions of the technologically dense environment. Particular attention is paid to the ways in which organizational contexts are shaped by the infrastructuring work through which social actors seek to produce, use and locally translate a specific technological object, represented by the protocol used during biologists’ everyday practices. In this way, it is emphasized how the technologically dense environment should not be considered as containers of social actions, subjects and work activities defined by the formal organizational chart and regulatory requirements. They are, rather, an emerging outcome of a complex infrastructuring work oriented to shape a dialogue between human subjectivity and technological objects. From a theoretical point of view, it is argued that the notion of infrastructuring work may prove particularly valuable in shedding light on the mutual-generation relationship between organizational settings and activities of the production, use and translation of technologies.
Keywords: Scientific protocols; organizational practices; technologies in the workplace; infrastructuring work; organizational ethnography.