The Concept of Appropriation as a Heuristic for Conceptualising the Relationship between Technology, People and Organisations

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Baillette, Pamela
Kimble, Chris
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The stated aim of this conference is to debate the continuing evolution of IS in businesses and other organisations. This paper seeks to contribute to this debate by exploring the concept of appropriation from a number of different epistemological, cultural and linguistic viewpoints to allow us to explore 'the black box' of appropriation and to gain a fuller understanding of the term. At the conceptual level, it will examine some of the different ways in which people have attempted to explain the relationship between the objective and concrete features of technology and the subjective and shifting nature of the people and organisation within which that technology is deployed. At the cultural and linguistic level the paper will examine the notion as it is found in the Francophone literature, where the term has a long and rich history, and the Anglophone literature where appropriation is seen as a rather more specialist term. The paper will conclude with some observations on the ongoing nature of the debate, the value of reading beyond the literature with which one is familiar and the rewards that come from exploring different historical (and linguistic) viewpoints.
Comment: in Proceedings of 13th UKAIS Conference, (April 2008), Bournemouth, UK
Keywords
Computer Science - Computers and Society, Computer Science - Human-Computer Interaction, K.4.3, K.6.1
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