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In this paper we argue that theories of agency form a foundation upon which we can build a deeper understanding of information systems design. We do so by firstly recognising that information systems are part of purposeful socio-technical systems and that consequently theories of agency may help in understanding them. We then present two alternative theories of agency (deliberative and situational), mainly drawn from the robotics and artificial intelligence disciplines, and in doing so we notedoi:10.3127/ajis.v10i1.442 fatcat:sutv22gbjbgftgackvayy46rjm