Title: Sociotechnical research and knowledge communication in community-centred systems design: a technological frames perspective

Authors: Jose Abdelnour-Nocera, Lynne Dunckley

Addresses: Institute for Information Technology, Thames Valley University, St Mary's Road, Ealing – London W5 5RF, UK. ' Institute for Information Technology, Thames Valley University, St Mary's Road, Ealing – London W5 5RF, UK

Abstract: An application of the concept of technological frames is presented as a way to understand the co-configuration of people, culture and technology. It shows how technological frames can be used to solve the problems that arise when the producers of a system come from a very different cultural and technological environment from the intended users of the system. This concept is proposed as an analysis framework whose purpose is twofold: to be used in the evaluation of how the context and local culture shape the utility and usability of interactive systems, both in their development and also once they are deployed to their actual contexts of use and to understand the dynamics of technical and interpersonal communication in communities of practice. This is illustrated with a case study about the ongoing research in the participative development of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) artefacts for a wireless and web based knowledge based system for Kenyan farming communities.

Keywords: culture; evaluation; technological frames; usefulness; usability; knowledge transfer; communities of practice; CoP; international development; sociotechnical research; knowledge communication; systems design; wireless networks; internet; knowledge based systems; KBS; Kenya; farming communities; web based communities; virtual communities; online communities; rural communities.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2008.019551

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2008 Vol.4 No.4, pp.476 - 490

Published online: 16 Jul 2008 *

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