Appropriation Infrastructure: Mediating Appropriation and Production Work

Appropriation Infrastructure: Mediating Appropriation and Production Work

Gunnar Stevens (University of Siegen and Fraunhofer FIT, Germany), Volkmar Pipek (University of Siegen and Fraunhofer FIT, Germany) and Volker Wulf (University of Siegen and Fraunhofer FIT, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0140-6.ch012
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End User Development offers technological flexibility to encourage the appropriation of software applications within specific contexts of use. Appropriation needs to be understood as a phenomenon of many collaborative and creative activities. To support appropriation, we propose integrating communication infrastructure into software application that follows an“easy-to-collaborate”-principle. Such an appropriation infrastructure stimulates the experience sharing among a heterogeneous product community and supports the situated development of usages. Taking the case of the BSCWeasel groupware, we demonstrate how an appropriation infrastructure can be realized. Empirical results from the BSCWeasel project demonstrate the impact of such an infrastructure on the appropriation and design process. Based on these results, we argue that the social construction of IT artifacts should be tightly integrated in the material construction of IT artifacts in bridging design and use discourses.
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Appropriation In And Of Production Work

“[P]roduction and consumption are not completely separate spheres of existence but rather are mutually constitutive of one another. What happens to a product in consumption has effects for producers and so on, in an ongoing cycle of commodification—where producers make new products or different versions of old products as a result of consumers’ activities—and appropriation—where consumers make those products meaningful, sometimes making them achieve a new ‘register’ of meaning that affects production in some way. In this sense, the meanings that products come to have are constructed in this process of dialogue - albeit rarely an equal one in terms of power relations - between production and consumption” (du Gay et al., 1997, p. 103).

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