The Socio-Pragmatics of IT Artefacts: Reconciling the Pragmatic, Social, Semiotic, and Technical

The Socio-Pragmatics of IT Artefacts: Reconciling the Pragmatic, Social, Semiotic, and Technical

Göran Goldkuhl (Linkoping University & Jonkoping International business School, Sweden) and Par J. Agerfalk (University of Limerick, Ireland & Orebro University, Sweden)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-268-8.ch009
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Abstract

There are many attempts to explain success and failure in information systems. Many of these refer to a purported socio-technical gap. In this paper we develop an alternative approach that does not impose such a strong dichotomy, but regards social and technical rather as dimensions along which to study workpractices. The developed theory involves not only the “social” and “technical” constructs but also other generic ones, namely “instrumental”, “semiotic” and “pragmatic”. We call this theory socio-instrumental pragmatism. To illustrate the theoretical concepts introduced, we use an example brought from an extensive action research study including the development of an information system in eldercare, developed through a participatory design approach.

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