Web Management and Usage: A Critical Social Perspective

Web Management and Usage: A Critical Social Perspective

Steve Clarke
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-930708-18-1.ch017
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This chapter seeks to apply learning from the fields of social theory and information systems to the specific context of the Internet. Key to this understanding is the extent to which the scope of information systems (IS) analysis is often seen to be problematic: IS “problems” are frequently “solved” by redefining organizational and human issues in technical terms, and developing the necessary technical solution. Studies on which this chapter are based have raised significant questions regarding such approaches, exposing many IS developments as not susceptible to a technical solution, but exhibiting complexities stemming from high levels of human activity. Arguably, such findings are of particular importance in Web development and management, depending as it does on the understanding and commitment of users who are often remote from and external to the organization. A clue to how such complex, human-centered issues may be dealt with is to be found in the scoping of these studies which, in systems terms, implies a need to assess the system boundary. Within this chapter an approach to such boundary setting is described, together with the way in which this may be used to inform choice of intervention strategy.

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