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Being-human in the world of digital artifacts: holistic rethinking of design practices
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Information and Communication systems. (ValIT group)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6490-1014
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This  thesis  conducts  a  philosophical,  theoretical, and  practical  exploration  of digital technology design to examine how digital technologies can fulfill our two-facet of existentiality – identified in the thesis as belonginess and novelty. By belonginess, I identify human’s innate need for a feeling of connectedness and harmony with the self, others, and the natural world. The word novelty implies the human interest in exploration, invention, and desire for new experiences. This research suggests that contemporary  digital  technologies  are  largely  novelty  need-oriented,  while  our belonginess  need  is  either  ignored  or  its  growth  curtailed.  The  research  question presented in this thesis is how and why can design enable digital technologies to mediate aligned  existentiality?  With  this  broad  question,  I  will  argue  that  an  alignment between digital technologies and our two-facet of existentiality can be met through refocused design practices.  Strong arguments have been forwarded that novelty focused digital technologies can reduce our existential  needs of belonginess. Digital technologies are leading consumerist  commodities  associated  with  creating  unrelenting  demand  for  new experiences.  The  search  for  constant  stimulation  and  novelty  has  resulted  in  a fragmented and alienated state of being-human where the only way of feeling a sense of belonging comes from consuming more novel experiences. As contemporary everyday life is increasingly intertwined with digital technologies, their effect on our way of being-human becomes even more notable.  Against  this  background,  the  research  attempts  to  ‘bring  back’  our  needs  of belonginess to an equal footing with novelty in digital technologies. I have examined the  current  digital  technology  design’s  philosophical,  theoretical,  and  practical foundations  to  refocus  design,  from  its  too  strong focus  on  developing  novelty experiences  to  mediating  aligned  existentiality.  With  the  aim  of  refocusing  the design  role,  a  theoretical  framework  based  on  holism  has  emerged  that  could provide design a background to focus on mediating aligned existentiality. Primarily ivinformed by three thinkers – Marin Heidegger, Karl Marx, and John Dewey – the proposed holistic theoretical framework aims to provide design with a basis to (1) embed belonginess values in digital technologies (2) redirect digital technologies from  alienating  values  such  as  consumerism,  and  (3)  provide  a  mediating materiality for digital technologies to advance aligned existentiality while in use. The  thesis  further  illustrates  the  proposed  holistic  dimensions  –  philosophy, theory, and practice – using three empirical materials. I argue that the proposed holistic foundation for design is also aligned with how digital technologies are being used in the everyday lifeworld. Consequently, by freeing design from its traditional responsibility of making technically savvy and novel artifacts and refocusing its role to mediating aligned existentiality, design can itself be used to support our being-human in the world of digital artifacts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden university , 2016. , 157 p.
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 256
Keyword [en]
Aligned existentiality, the design role, belonginess, novelty, being-human, holism, dualism, digital technologies
National Category
Information Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-29323ISBN: 978-91-88025-94-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-29323DiVA: diva2:1049030
Public defence
2016-12-16, L111, Sundsvall, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

Vid tidpunkten för disputationen var följande delarbeten opublicerade: delarbete 8 accepterat, delarbete 9 under granskning.

At the time of the doctoral defence the following papers were unpublished: paper 8 accepted, paper 9 under review.

Available from: 2016-11-25 Created: 2016-11-22 Last updated: 2016-11-29Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Extending a Systems Analysis Method for Business Professionals
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Extending a Systems Analysis Method for Business Professionals
2012 (English)In: Communications in Computer and Information Science, Leixlip, Ireland: Springer, 2012, 15-26 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Despite having been explored, described, theorized, and measured in hundreds of IS research articles, frequent difficulties related to user participation and business/IT communication persist in relation to project management, specification of requirements, implementation in organizations, business/IT alignment, and IS failures. We report on an extension of a long term design science research project that previously demonstrated a possible path toward ad-dressing these longstanding problems by empowering business professionals to analyze systems in business terms rather than in formalisms for IT specialists. Previous research demonstrated that most of 75 working business professionals with extensive business experience were able to use the then current iteration of a work system analysis template to analyze IT-reliant work systems in their own organizations, and to recommend improvements. The current research ex-tends the previous efforts by evaluating natural field studies by managers taking coursework for advanced degrees in MBA and MSIS. We analyze 84 examples collected over 7 consecutive academic terms to evaluate the success of several successive versions of the design artifact, concluding that business and IS professionals are able to use the design artifact effectively and that a revised template generated better results.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Leixlip, Ireland: Springer, 2012
Keyword
work system, work system method (WSM), design science, natural field study
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-14913 (URN)10.1007/978-3-642-33681-2_2 (DOI)000312462900002 ()2-s2.0-84867442928 (ScopusID)978-364233680-5 (ISBN)
Conference
European Design Science Symposium on Practical Aspects of Design Science, EDSS 2011;Leixlip;14 October 2011through14 October 2011;Code93207
Available from: 2011-11-30 Created: 2011-11-25 Last updated: 2016-11-23Bibliographically approved
2. Sustaining IT Usefulness – Re-defining end users’ role as contextual designers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sustaining IT Usefulness – Re-defining end users’ role as contextual designers
2014 (English)In: Communications in Computer and Information Science, Heidelberg: Springer, 2014, 123-134 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A framework for understanding and interpreting IT usefulness and fitness attributes is presented. This framework is grounded on a relationship that exists between organisms and their landscape. The concept draws on the notion that sustainable relationship between two systems (such as IT and end-users) can be achieved through structural coupling results from mutual perpetuations. In this setting, while contextual usefulness is established in the end-users' environment, IT designers perpetuate fitness into the conceptual environment. Their relationship suggests that usefulness feeds essential input that enables to create a sustainable fitness attribute. Based on the empirical evidence, the paper demonstrates that end-users are better equipped with defining contextual usefulness of IT systems while IT designers' role to create fitness attribute enables a long-term use of IT artifacts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Heidelberg: Springer, 2014
Keyword
Conceptual and contextual space, Fitness, Structural coupling, Usefulness
National Category
Information Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-20726 (URN)2-s2.0-84919638934 (ScopusID)978-331913935-7 (ISBN)
Conference
European Design Science Symposium, EDSS 2013; Dublin; Ireland; 21 November 2013 through 22 November 2013; Code 112209
Note

Also known as: Intel Ireland Research Conference

Available from: 2013-12-16 Created: 2013-12-16 Last updated: 2016-11-23Bibliographically approved
3. The Residual effect of Imbrication – How user’s past socio-technical entanglement affects IS adoption
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Residual effect of Imbrication – How user’s past socio-technical entanglement affects IS adoption
2013 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Keyword
Iron-cage effect, Imbrication, IS adoption, Cognitive artifacts, IS design
National Category
Information Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-20727 (URN)
Conference
36th Information Systems Research Seminar in Scandinavia – IRIS 2013
Available from: 2013-12-16 Created: 2013-12-16 Last updated: 2016-11-23Bibliographically approved
4. Sustaining IT investment Value - Using IT artifacts as a knowledge generative tools
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sustaining IT investment Value - Using IT artifacts as a knowledge generative tools
2013 (English)In: 7th European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation, ECIME 2013, 2013, 222-228 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, it explores the possibility of sustaining IT investment intangible values by using IT as 'cognitive tools' to create technology-driven organization. In this capacity IT plays the role of creating an environment that facilitate reflective thinking, learning and collaborating with users. Second, based on this IT role, the paper examines the implication of such IT role toward the evaluation of IT investments criteria. Design/methodology/approach: The author applied Heidegger's 'tool analysis' framework to investigate the 'place' of technology in users' world. The framework is used to amplify the role of technology in a working environment. A case study of new technology appropriation is presented. To examine the empirical evidence, a content analysis method is applied. Findings: On the one hand, IT has transformed from being a back-office enterprise to a strategic ally in managing organizational processes, communication and work practice collaboration. On the other hand, contemporary organizations are in continuous self-design process to keep themselves adaptive to a competitive environment, hence called self-design organizations. Thus, the concept of 'value creation using IS' should shift from the mindset of using IT as an infrastructure intended to manage, store and transfer information to a strategic ally that can help to create a technology-driven organization. In this role, IT systems can be used to create a suitable environment for self-designing process. In addition, IT investment evaluation criteria should be based on the facilities IT systems provided for self-design practice. Research implications-Three implications were identified for the following IS activities: (1) IS design-developing IT systems using complete user requirement analysis and seamlessly match making these requirements is implausible. The goal of design should be to stimulate and accommodate self-designing. (2) IS implementation-The goal of technology in the work environment is holistic and experimental. In order to retain tacit knowledge resulted from socio-technical entanglements, organization should aim to continuously re-adapt current system. (3) IT investment evaluation criteria should include whether an IT system can contribute to knowledge creation in self-design organization and play a tool-like role to improve work practice.

Keyword
Cognitive tools, IT investment, IT role, Value creation
National Category
Information Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-19971 (URN)000343432100026 ()2-s2.0-84893624618 (ScopusID)978-162993138-8 (ISBN)
Conference
7th European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation, ECIME 2013; Gdansk; Poland; 12 September 2013 through 13 September 2013; Code 102570
Available from: 2013-10-04 Created: 2013-10-04 Last updated: 2016-11-23Bibliographically approved
5. The equipment nature of ‘the so-called’ IT Artifacts – Holistic ontology based IS design principles
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The equipment nature of ‘the so-called’ IT Artifacts – Holistic ontology based IS design principles
2013 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The topic of Information System (IS) design has ben extensively covered in design science literature.After introducing two main ontological stance of IS design, holism and dualism, this paper develops fourIS design principles that bases a holistic orientation. We first presenthe two underlining IS design coresof dualistic ontology, externality and determinacy, and their influence in the proces of IS design. We thendiscus end-users' holistic IS practice based on Heideger's tol analysis framework. After presentingnew technology apropriation case study, we further discus holistic based IS design principles and theiraplication in diferent IS design activites. Based on the empirical evidence, the paper demonstrates theefect of ontological level stance on the operational level of IS design, the concept of breakdown and itscontribution to the improvement of worksystem. We conclude by highlighting the ned for further study ofholistic IS design principles and its implication for organization.

Keyword
Ontology, IS design principles, Equipment, IT artifact, way of being
National Category
Information Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-19972 (URN)
Conference
2nd International Workshop in ”IT Artefact Design & Work practice Improvement”
Available from: 2013-10-04 Created: 2013-10-04 Last updated: 2016-11-23Bibliographically approved
6. Secondary design - As a supplementary knowledge base for HCI design
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Secondary design - As a supplementary knowledge base for HCI design
2015 (English)In: 2015 Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2015, americas conference on information systems , 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Traditionally, the HCI design is greatly influenced by active knowledge harnessed during requirement elicitations. However, as the world of ICT moves towards user-centric computing with a need for evolving features, designers face challenges from heterogeneous users with complex needs, accessing technology with myriads of communication mediums. In response, this paper explores peoples' inherent desire and way of engagement with other entities which guides us towards design that is not pre-determined by experts, but by users' response to changes (secondary design). Secondary design is analyzed in an empirical case study of the implementation of new Learning Management System in higher education institution by following end-users appropriation response for a period of 20 months, and conducting more than 30 interviews. The analysis shows that secondary design is not 'unfaithful use of technology' but a sensible practice with known triggers and effective re-designing processes aiming to fit new features with practices and identities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
americas conference on information systems, 2015
Keyword
Design knowledge base, HCI design, Heidegger's tool analysis, Secondary design
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-27851 (URN)2-s2.0-84963502483 (ScopusID)
Conference
21st Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2015; El Conquistador Resort and Convention CenterFajardo; Puerto Rico; 13 August 2015 through 15 August 2015; Code 118635
Note

Conference Paper

Available from: 2016-06-09 Created: 2016-06-09 Last updated: 2016-11-23Bibliographically approved
7. Aligning IS design activities with technology appropriation – Holistic philosophical foundation for design practices
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Aligning IS design activities with technology appropriation – Holistic philosophical foundation for design practices
(English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
National Category
Information Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-29320 (URN)
Available from: 2016-11-22 Created: 2016-11-22 Last updated: 2016-11-23Bibliographically approved
8. In Search for a Coherent Meta-Theoretical Structure: A Literature Review of Philosophy of Design
Open this publication in new window or tab >>In Search for a Coherent Meta-Theoretical Structure: A Literature Review of Philosophy of Design
(English)Article, review/survey (Other academic) Accepted
National Category
Information Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-29319 (URN)
Available from: 2016-11-22 Created: 2016-11-22 Last updated: 2016-11-23Bibliographically approved
9. Long-term IS use as emergent ‘structure of understanding’: A Holistic philosophical posture of human-technology relationship
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Long-term IS use as emergent ‘structure of understanding’: A Holistic philosophical posture of human-technology relationship
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keyword
long-term IS use, structure of understanding, philosophical positioning, dualism and holism, human-technology relationship building
National Category
Information Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-29318 (URN)
Available from: 2016-11-22 Created: 2016-11-22 Last updated: 2016-11-23Bibliographically approved
10. Toward Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis – Exploring Technolgoy Adoption And Continuoususe As Lifeworld Experience
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Toward Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis – Exploring Technolgoy Adoption And Continuoususe As Lifeworld Experience
2015 (English)In: PACIS 2015 Proceedings, 2015, Paper 63Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

With recent rapid digital evolution and integration of technology into our lifeworld, the suitability of causal based methods to study IT-entangled everyday experiences is becoming dubious. As interpretive research methods emerge as viable alternatives, some has criticized its rigor based on its less critical stance and lack of tools to understand complex historical and environmental influences on individual experiences. Drawing upon phenomenology, we propose Interpretive Phenomenological Analyses (IPA) as potential interpretive method of inquiry to understand how and why we engage with information systems. IPA provides a tool to both critical explore and hermeneutically interpret phenomena of lifeworld experiences based on users’ interpretation of their own experiences. The approach also provides a means to mapping out participants’ object of concern and their experiential claims using hermeneutical and critical questioning, then coherently contextualize participants’ interpretation within their environmental and cultural settings. We illustrate the proposed method with empirical evidence of excerpt from a longitude study of IS usage research. Consideration is given to philosophical assumptions, different IPA approaches, and researchers’ fore-structure presumptions of their field of interest. The paper intends to contribute toward the discussion of interpretive research methods in the field of information systems.

Keyword
Interpretative phenomenological analysis, hermeneutics, lifeworld experience, IS usage, interpretative research method
National Category
Information Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-29317 (URN)
Conference
Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems (PACIS)
Available from: 2016-11-22 Created: 2016-11-22 Last updated: 2016-11-23Bibliographically approved

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