Mobile IT as Immutable Mobiles? Exploring the Enabling Qualities of a Mobile IT Application

Mobile IT as Immutable Mobiles? Exploring the Enabling Qualities of a Mobile IT Application

Jonny Holmstrom (Umea University, Sweden)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-530-6.ch008
OnDemand PDF Download:
$37.50

Abstract

This chapter explores the social consequences of mobile IT. Even though the need for better theorizing on the topic has been highlighted recently, most attempts to date have failed not only to properly explore the social consequences of mobile IT, but also in being specific about the technology itself in any detail. A promising approach with which to explore mobile IT and its social consequences may be found in actor network theory (ANT). ANT’s rich methodology embraces scientific realism in its central concept of hybrids that are simultaneously technological and social. The advantages of conceiving mobile IT applications immersed in and a part of a network of hybrids are explored by drawing from a project concerned with mobile IT use in the context of the mobile bank terminal (MBT). It was found that the users were less than enthusiastic over the MBT, and two key problems were identified. First, the poor design of MBT hampered the possibilities for ad-hoc activities. Second, the users felt that ad-hoc activities could be seen as somewhat irresponsible in the context of banking business. To this end, the problems related to the MBT use were both social and technical. We conclude by identifying and elaborating on some aspects of the social consequences of mobile IT use in order to shed new light on the possibilities and challenges that mobile IT use conveys.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset