IT Artefacts as Socio-Pragmatic Instruments: Reconciling the Pragmatic, Semiotic, and Technical

IT Artefacts as Socio-Pragmatic Instruments: Reconciling the Pragmatic, Semiotic, and Technical

G. Goldkuhl (Linkoping University, Sweden) and P. J. Agerfalk (Jonkoping International Business School, Sweden)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-945-8.ch129
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Abstract

There are many attempts to explain success and failure in information systems. Many of these refer to a purported sociotechnical gap. In this article 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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