Thursday, March 9, 2023

Technology in use

In many blogposts I have mentioned the distinction between technology as designed/built and technology in use.

I am not sure when I first used these exact terms. I presented a paper to an IFIP conference in 1995 where I used the terms technology-as-device and technology-in-its-usage. By 2002, I was using the terms "technology as built" and "technology in use" in my lecture notes for an Org Behaviour module I taught (together with Aidan Ward) at City University. With an explicit link to espoused theory and theory-in-use (Argyris).

Among other things, this distinction is important for questions of technology adoption and maturity. See the following posts 

I have also talked about system-as-designed versus system-in-use - for example in my post on Ecosystem SOA 2 (June 2010). See also Trusting the Schema (March 2023).

Related concepts include Inscription (Akrich) and Enacted Technology (Fountain). Discussion of these and further links can be found in the following posts:

And returning to the distinction between espoused theory and theory-in-use. In my post on the National Decision Model (May 2014) I also introduced the concept of theory-in-view, which (as I discovered more recently) is similar to Lolle Nauta's concept of exemplary situation.

Richard Veryard, IT Implementation or Delivery? Thoughts on Assimilation, Accommodation and Maturity. Paper presented to the first IFIP WG 8.6 Working Conference, on the Diffusion and Adoption of Information Technology, Oslo, October 1995. 

Richard Veryard and Aidan Ward, Technology and Change (City University 2002) 

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