Inscribing Interpretive Flexibility of Context Data in Ubiquitous Computing Environments: An Action Research Study of Vertical Standard Development

Inscribing Interpretive Flexibility of Context Data in Ubiquitous Computing Environments: An Action Research Study of Vertical Standard Development

Magnus Andersson (Viktoria Institute, Sweden) and Rikard Lindgren (University of Gothenburg, Sweden & Viktoria Institute, Sweden)
DOI: 10.4018/japuc.2009040101
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Abstract

Ubiquitous computing environments grant organizations a multitude of dynamic context data emanating from embedded and mobile components. Such data may enhance organizations’ understanding of the different contexts in which they act. However, extant IS literature indicates that the utility of context data is frequently hampered by a priori interpretations of context embodied within the acquiring technologies themselves. Building on a 5-year canonical action research study within the Swedish transport industry, this paper reports an attempt to shift the locus of interpretation of context data by rearranging an assemblage of embedded, mobile, and stationary technologies. This was done by developing a vertical standard as a means to inscribe interpretive flexibility of context data. With the objective to extend the current understanding of how to enable cross-organizational access to reinterpretable context data, the paper contributes with an analysis of existing design requirements for context-aware ecosystems. This analysis reveals the complexity of accomplishing collaborative linkages between socio-technical elements in ubiquitous computing environments, and highlights important implications for research and practice.

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