Exploring "Events" as an Information Systems Research Methodology

Exploring "Events" as an Information Systems Research Methodology

Anita Greenhill (The University of Manchester, UK) and Gordon Fletcher (University of Salford, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-142-1.ch007
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Abstract

In this article we build upon existing research and commentary from a variety of disciplinary sources, including information systems, organisational and management studies, and the social sciences that focus upon the meaning, significance and impact of “events” in the information technology, organisational and social context. Our aim is to define how the examination of the event is an appropriate, viable and useful information systems methodology. The line of argument we pursue is that by focusing on the “event” the researcher is able to more clearly observe and capture the complexity, multiplicity and mundaneity of everyday lived experience. An inherent danger of existing traditional “event” focused studies and “virtual” ethnographic approaches is the micromanagement of the research process. Using the notion of “event” has the potential to reduce methodological dilemmas such as this without effacing context (Peterson, 1998, p. 19). Similarly, in this chapter we address the overemphasis upon managerialist, structured and time-fixated praxis that is currently symptomatic of information systems research. All of these concerns are pivotal points of critique found within event-oriented literature regarding organisations (Gergen & Thatchenkery, 2004; Peterson, 1998).
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What Are Events And Event Scenes?

The whole life of those societies in which modern conditions of production prevail presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. All that once was directly lived has become mere representation. (Debord, 1994, Thesis 1)

In this paper we present a sample of literature concerning event-oriented approaches, especially those inspired by the situationists, in order to consider the more specific representational issues found in the specific praxis of the “event scene.” We build upon Peterson’s (1998) literature review that offers a taxonomy of organisational events to develop a critical debate regarding the relationships of events to organisations. The event scene is the direct descendant to the situationism’s act of détournement, in which significant and insignificant elements of observations are isolated and inserted into new and unexpected contexts. Détournement is most readily explained with examples such as found art and the work of artists such as Tracey Emin that includes her Curriculum Vita (CV) presented as a framed piece and more recently an abusive text message sent to a fan. A majority of Emin’s work places the mundane in a formal environment in unexpected ways, forcing the viewer to (hopefully) reconsider their position and view the subject of the works in new ways. As a necessarily obtuse explanation of this tactic, Debord and Wolman (1956) describe détournement as being “less effective the more it approaches a rational reply” to the cultural situation it critiques. The situationist’s invocation for obscurity is a political resistance to the likelihood of mainstream recuperation — of being made irrelevant by becoming commodified. Event scenes are a mechanism utilised by contemporary critical theory in order to loosen the restrictions of historical and temporally bound analysis that are a consequence of most interpretive methods.

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Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Claus Hohmann
This chapter introduces emotional digitalization as a phenomenon of future information systems. It argues that emotional digitalization is a... Sample PDF
Emotional Digitalization as Technology of the Post-Modern: A Reflexive Examination from the View of The Industry
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Chapter 2
Elias A. Hadzilias, Andrea Carugati
This chapter aims at defining a framework for the design of e-government services on cultural heritage. Starting from an analysis of three cases on... Sample PDF
Bridging User Requirements and Cultural Objects: A Process-Oriented Framework for Cultural E-Services
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Chapter 3
Samantha Bax, Tanya McGill
The technology acceptance model (TAM) is a popular model for the prediction of information systems acceptance behaviors, defining a causal linkage... Sample PDF
From Beliefs to Success: Utilizing an Expanded TAM to Predict Web Page Development Success
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Chapter 4
George E. Heilman, Jorge Brusa
This study assesses the psychometric properties of a Spanish translation of Doll and Torkzadeh’s End- User Computing Satisfaction (EUCS) survey... Sample PDF
Assessing a Spanish Translation of the End-User Computing Satisfaction Instrument
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Chapter 5
Ishraga Khattab, Steve Love
Over the last several years, the ubiquitous use of mobile phones by people from different cultures has grown enormously. For example, mobile phones... Sample PDF
Understanding the Impact of Culture on Mobile Phone Usage on Public Places: A Comparison between the UK and Sudan
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Chapter 6
Netta Iivari
Users should participate in information technology (IT) artifact development, but it has proven to be challenging. This applies also in the open... Sample PDF
Discourses on User Participation: Findings from Open Source Software Development Context
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Chapter 7
Anita Greenhill, Gordon Fletcher
In this article we build upon existing research and commentary from a variety of disciplinary sources, including information systems, organisational... Sample PDF
Exploring "Events" as an Information Systems Research Methodology
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Chapter 8
Hannakaisa Isomäki
This chapter describes a study clarifying information systems (IS) designers’ conceptions of human users of IS by drawing on in-depth interviews... Sample PDF
Different Levels of Information Systems Designers' Forms of Thought and Potential for Human-Centered Design
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Chapter 9
Barbara Jones, Angelo Failla, Bob Miller
Constant renewal of the self-image and self-knowledge of the organisation becomes part of the day-to-day knowledge-in-use of front-line... Sample PDF
Tacit Knowledge in Rapidly Evolving Organisational Environments
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Chapter 10
Anastasia Papazafeiropoulou, Reshma Gandecha
Interpretive flexibility is a term used to describe the diverse perspectives on what a technology is and can or can not do during the process of... Sample PDF
Interpretive Flexibility Along the Innovation Decision Process of the UK NHS Care Records Service (NCRS): Insights from a Local Implementation Case Study
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Chapter 11
Sylvie Albert, Rolland LeBrasseur
This article reviews the literature on networks and, more specifically, on the development of community telecommunication networks. It strives to... Sample PDF
Collaboration Challenges in Community Telecommunication Networks
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Chapter 12
Mary R. Lind
In this article, wireless technology use is addressed with a focus on the factors that underlie wireless interaction. A de-construction of the... Sample PDF
A De-Construction of Wireless Device Usage
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Chapter 13
François-Xavier de Vaujany
The following chapter suggests a critical realistic framework, which aims at modeling sociotechnical change linked to end-users’ IT appropriation... Sample PDF
Modeling Sociotechnical Change in IS with a Quantitative Longitudinal Approach: The PPR Method
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Chapter 14
Janet C. Dunlop
Today’s media are vast in both form and influence; however, few cultural studies scholars address the video gaming industry’s role in domestic... Sample PDF
The U.S. Video Game Industry: Analyzing Representation of Gender and Race
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Chapter 15
Luciano Floridi
The article argues that Information Ethics (IE) can provide a successful approach for coping with the challenges posed by our increasingly... Sample PDF
Global Information Ethics: The Importance of Being Environmentally Earnest
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Chapter 16
Philip Brey
In this chapter, I examine whether information ethics is culture relative. If it is, different approaches to information ethics are required in... Sample PDF
Is Information Ethics Culture-Relative?
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Chapter 17
John Weckert
This chapter examines the concept of offence, both its giving and taking, and argues that such an examination can shed some light on global ethical... Sample PDF
Giving and Taking Offence in a Global Context
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Chapter 18
Reima Suomi, Ari Serkkola, Markku Mikkonen
In this chapter we focus on the application of a mobile time reservation system for dental care. The specific application allocates cancelled... Sample PDF
GSM-Based SMS Time Reservation System for Dental Care
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Chapter 19
Debra Howcroft, Robert McDonald
Both academics and practitioners have invested considerably in the information systems evaluation arena, yet rewards remain elusive. The aim of this... Sample PDF
An Ethnographic Study of IS Investment Appraisal
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Chapter 20
Kevin Gallagher, Robert M. Mason
This chapter frames the requirements definition phase of systems design as a problem of knowledge transfer and learning between two communities of... Sample PDF
Reframing Information System Design as Learning Across Communities of Practice
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Chapter 21
Tanya Bondarouk, Maarten van Riemsdijk
In this chapter, we conceptualize the implementation process associated with SAP_HR as an experiential learning one (Kolb, 1984), and analyze... Sample PDF
Successes and Failures of SAP Implementation: A Learning Perspective
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Chapter 22
Pietro Murano, Patrik O’Brian Holt
Experimental work on anthropomorphic feedback in user interfaces has shown inconsistent results and researchers offer differing opinions as to the... Sample PDF
Anthropomorphic Feedback in User Interfaces: The Effect of Personality Traits, Context and Grice's Maxims on Effectiveness and Preferences
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Chapter 23
Richard Diamond
This study explores decision premises that were used to manage and stabilise a complex technochange programme in a financial institution. Decision... Sample PDF
Several Simple Shared Stable Decision Premises for Technochange
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Chapter 24
Alison Adam, Paul Spedding
This chapter considers the question of how we may trust automatically generated program code. The code walkthroughs and inspections of software... Sample PDF
Trusting Computers Through Trusting Humans: Software Verification in a Safety-Critical Information System
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