The Sociotechnical Nature of Mobile Computing Work: Evidence from a Study of Policing in the United States

The Sociotechnical Nature of Mobile Computing Work: Evidence from a Study of Policing in the United States

Steve Sawyer (The Pennsylvania State University, USA) and Andrea Tapia (The Pennsylvania State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-268-8.ch007
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Abstract

In this paper we discuss the sociotechnical nature of mobile computing as used by three policing agencies within the United States. Mobile devices, access and service was provided via a third generation wireless network to a focal application, Pennsylvania’s Justice NETwork (JNET), a secure web-based portal connecting authorized users to a set of 23 federated criminal justice and law enforcement databases via a query-based interface. In this study we conceptualize mobility and policing as a sociotechnical ensemble that builds on the social-shaping of technology perspective and the tradition of sociotechncial theorizing focusing on the co-design of work practices and technologies to support work. Drawing from the social informatics tradition, we turn a critical, empirical, and contextual lens on the practices of mobility and work. Our analysis of the data leads us to find that the social and the technical are still separate in this mobile work context. This simple view of social and technical as related, but distinct, often leads to problems with collecting and interpreting evidence of ICT-based system’s design and use. We further note this over-simplification of sociotechnical action is likely to continue unless more viable analytic approaches are developed and the assumptions of the current techno-determinist approaches challenged more explicitly.

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Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Eileen M. Trauth, Lynette Kvasny, Anita Greenhill
In this chapter, we explore the methodological and epistemological implications of conducting feminist, gender research in the information systems... Sample PDF
Conduting Feminist Gender Research in the Information Systems Field
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Chapter 2
Ian F. Alexander
Systems engineers have often paid too little attention to the nature of the so-called “users” of products under development. These are better called... Sample PDF
A Taxonomy of Stakeholders: Human Roles in System Development
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Chapter 3
Susan E. George
This paper examines the development of 21st century virtual communities, focusing upon those communities that have emerged for virtual religion. It... Sample PDF
21st Century Religious Communities
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Chapter 4
Sarah Spiekermann
Using privacy and security technology becomes increasingly important in many application areas, for companies as well as for consumers. However, the... Sample PDF
Protecting One's Privacy: Insighs into the Views and Nature of the Early Adopters of Privacy Services
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Chapter 5
Peter Wright, John McCarthy, Lisa Meekison
In this paper we outline a relational approach to experience, which we have used to develop a practitioner-oriented framework for analysing user... Sample PDF
A Practioner-Centered Assessment of a User-Experience Framework
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Chapter 6
Charlie C. Chen, Albert L. Harris, Lorne Olfman
The continued and increasing use of online asynchronous learning (OAL) environments for training raises the question whether behavior modeling, the... Sample PDF
Impacts of Behavior Modeling in Online Asynchronous Learning Environments
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Chapter 7
Steve Sawyer, Andrea Tapia
In this paper we discuss the sociotechnical nature of mobile computing as used by three policing agencies within the United States. Mobile devices... Sample PDF
The Sociotechnical Nature of Mobile Computing Work: Evidence from a Study of Policing in the United States
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Chapter 8
Giuseppina Pellegrino
Sociotechnical action, as interpreted in this article, comprises a wide array of elements which shape technological artefacts as socio-material and... Sample PDF
Rhetoric, Practice, and Context-Sensitivity in Sociotechnical Action: The Compass Case
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Chapter 9
Göran Goldkuhl, Par J. Agerfalk
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... Sample PDF
The Socio-Pragmatics of IT Artefacts: Reconciling the Pragmatic, Social, Semiotic, and Technical
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Chapter 10
Christian Clausen, Yutaka Yoshinaka
The chapter addresses how insights from the social shaping tradition and political process theory may contribute to an understanding of the... Sample PDF
Sociotechnical Spaces: Guiding Politics, Staging Design
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Chapter 11
Alistair Mutch
The case for ‘analytical dualism’ as a means of approaching sociotechnical action is presented as an alternative to accounts which tend to conflate... Sample PDF
Concerns with "Mutual Constitution": A Critical Realist Commentary
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Chapter 12
Jose Esteves, Joan Pastor, Josep Casanovas
In this chapter a framework for monitoring user involvement and participation within ERP implementation projects is proposed, by using the... Sample PDF
A Frameowrk for Monitoring User Involvement and Participation in ERP Implementation Projects
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Chapter 13
Laurence Brooks, Christopher J. Davis, Mark Lycett
Using Personal Construct Theory (PCT) as an underlying conceptual frame, this chapter explores the interdependence of organisations and information... Sample PDF
Investigating the Interdependence of Organisations and Information Systems
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Chapter 14
Margreet B. Michel-Verke, Roel W. Schuring, Ton A.M. Spil
Patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) visit various healthcare providers during the course of their disease. It was suggested that Information and... Sample PDF
USE IT to Create Patient Relation Management for Multiple Sclerosis Patients
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Chapter 15
Dick Stenmark
As a much needed quality in today’s businesses, creativity is an important area of research. Creativity is a complex and multi-faceted concept and... Sample PDF
Contextual Characteristics of Creativity: Effects on IT-Supported Organisational Brainstorming
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