Discourses on User Participation: Findings from Open Source Software Development Context

Discourses on User Participation: Findings from Open Source Software Development Context

Netta Iivari (University of Oulu, Finland)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/jossp.2009070104
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Users should participate in information technology (IT) artifact development, but it has proven to be challenging. This applies also in the open source software (OSS) development. This chapter critically examines discursive construction of user participation in academic literatures and in practice, in IT artifact development. First three academic discourses constructing user participation are discussed. Then the discursive construction of user participation is explored in OSS development literature. Afterwards, results from several empirical, interpretive case studies are outlined. Some of them have been carried out in the IT artifact product development organizations, others in the OSS development context. Clear similarities can be identified in the discourses constructing user participation in these divergent IT artifact development contexts. The academic discourses on user participation clearly also legitimate certain ways of constructing user participation in practice. The OSS development literature bears resemblance mainly with the Human Computer Interaction (HCI) discourse on user participation. Therefore, it is argued that especially the HCI community should carefully reflect on what kinds of discourses on user participation it advocates and deems as legitimate.

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