Tracing the Many Translations of a Web-Based IT Artefact

Tracing the Many Translations of a Web-Based IT Artefact

R. Naidoo (University of Pretoria, South Africa) and A. Leonard (University of Pretoria, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-967-5.ch102
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Abstract

This chapter adopts an interpretive, case based research strategy to discuss the centrality of meaning in implementing an Internet-based self-service technology. Actor-Network theory (ANT) is used to describe the complex evolution of a Web-based service at a healthcare insurance firm. Using processes of inscribing, translating and framing, this chapter explores the emergence of the technology from 1999 – 2005 using three technological frames, ‘channel of choice’, ‘dazzle the customer’, and ‘complementary channel’ as episodes of translation. ANT demonstrates that the Internet-based self-service technology at this particular healthcare context emerged out of many unplanned negotiations and mediations with both human and non human actors. Finally, this chapter argues that ANT’s socio-technical lens provides a richer understanding of the meaning of Internet-based self-service technology within a multi-channel context.

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