Entangled biographies: A multi-biographical approach in study of user communities around information infrastructures

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

In research into the field of technological user communities, we note the emergence of long-living user groups around large-scale information systems designed to be used over long periods of time, possibly decades. These communities around such complex infrastructures are growing in numbers universally. They facilitate effective information exchange, activity coordination, and advances in innovation between geographically, organisationally, and culturally diverse groups.
Complexities of the user communities and information infrastructures around which they operate, calls for consideration of multi-temporal and multi-spatial research into these settings. This paper is inspired by concerns about the methodological weakness of many studies of technology user communities; in particular as most studies often have a single site, short-term view of such settings. To achieve this, the current paper, intends to represent how the diverse presence of time and space in information systems user communities effects the outcomes of the research. Hence it applies the Biographies of Artefact – BoA (Pollock and Williams, 2008) approach to study of IS user communities. The paper which is a part of a larger study of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) user communities shows how the methodology is applied and it will reflect upon the implications of adoption of the BoA in investigating IS user communities within a limited time period.
In order to do this, the current paper primarily investigates the need for widening the study lens of communities around information infrastructures in different locales and moments. It then provides a critical review of the BoA approach. Then it demonstrates how this approach can be adapted and applied to a large number of communities around different products to fit in a shorter duration of the time, while it also takes into account the long-term presence and consequence of technological user communities and information infrastructures. This new approach in study of technological user communities is particularly relevant and timely, as scholars have called for better methods in understanding the ongoing challenges encountered in studies of infrastructures and their surroundings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECRM 2018
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 17th European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies
EditorsPaola Demartini, Michela Marchiori
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International (acpi)
ISBN (Print)9781911218920
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventEuropean Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies - The University of Roma, Rome, Italy
Duration: 12 Jul 201813 Jul 2018
Conference number: 17

Publication series

NameECRM Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)2049-0968

Conference

ConferenceEuropean Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies
Abbreviated titleECRM
CountryItaly
CityRome
Period12/07/1813/07/18

Keywords

  • user communities
  • biography of artefact
  • research approach
  • information infrastructures

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