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Title:

Usefulness As a Social Construct: A Study of Cultural Contrasts between System Producers and Users

Author:

Abdelnour-Nocera, J. & L. Dunckley

Abstract:

This paper explores how the different contexts and cultures of producers and users of a Information System shape their meaning and understanding of usefulness. The concepts of ‘breakdown’ in the use of systems and ‘technological frames’ are identified as analytic tools used in this qualitative study. An ethnographic study of producers identified aspects of their context and culture influencing their notion of usefulness. The study of breakdowns in four user sites (Indonesia, Spain, Hong Kong and the UK) identified the different meanings with which users constructed usefulness. It was found that the definitions of how useful a system is and of the problems it is deemed to solve are not static but negotiable, fluid and subject to the socio-cultural perspectives and practices of both producers and users.

Original publication:

Day, D.L., Evers, V. & E. del Galdo. Designing for Global Markets 7, 69-82. 7th International Workshop on Internationalization of Products and Systems. Amsterdam, The Netherlands. July 7-9, 2005.

Copyright:

© 2005 Product & Systems Internationalisation, Inc. ISBN: 0-9722184-7-5

Availability:

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©2018 Product & System Internationalisation, Inc.