Misunderstandings Around the Artifact: A KMS Failure Story

Misunderstandings Around the Artifact: A KMS Failure Story

Giuseppina Pellegrino (University of Calabria, Italy)
Copyright: © 2005 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/jthi.2005070102


The article analyzes sociotechnical action starting from the implementation of an intranet-based knowledge management system in a 100-staff British firm. Categories of “interpretative flexibility” and “inscription” are reviewed and used in this account. The objective is to show how interpretations performed by different actors can rise misunderstanding, failure, and innovation in processes of negotiation concerning a specific technology. The shaping role of rhetoric and public discourse about new technology is argued to be performative in framing expectations and courses of action in technology implementation and appropriation. Discursive practices are analyzed as constituting ambiguity and multiplicity of a knowledge management system. The article argues that the mutual constitution of the social and the technical emerges as interaction of socio-material and linguistic issues situated in specific organizational contexts.

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