Title: Varying interpretations of technology as a problem in markets for customised high-tech products: towards an inquiring dialogue approach

Authors: Morten Thanning Vendelø; Ioanna D. Constantiou

Addresses: Department of Organisation, Copenhagen Business School, Kilevej 14A, 4th Floor, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark. ' Department of Information Technology Management, Copenhagen Business School, Howitzvej 60, 5th Floor, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark

Abstract: Firms involved in contracting and implementation of customised high-tech products face a number of challenges in their relationships with customers because of the underlying variability of complex technologies. Existing research proposes the use of rational decision models and represents technology as an input to the firm's production function that generates a specific return on investment when used appropriately. As such, existing research does not account for the parties' varying interpretations of complex technology. If these interpretations are not revealed and resolved they may decrease customer satisfaction and create problems in the efficiency of technology use within the firm. This study investigates the potential of the inquiring dialogue approach for improving information sharing about technology interpretations held by the different parties. An empirical case study of a customised high-tech product in the software industry is analysed. Based on the insights obtained, we discuss the potential use of inquiring dialogue as a means to reveal information about the different interpretations held by the parties involved in contracting and implementing a customised high-tech product.

Keywords: bounded rationality; customised products; high-tech products; inquiring dialogue; technological micro-interpretations; customers; underlying variability; complex technologies; rational decisions; production functions; inputs; return on investment; customer satisfaction; efficiency; technology use; information sharing; technology interpretations; software industry; differing interpretations; Denmark; technology management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2012.047249

International Journal of Technology Management, 2012 Vol.59 No.1/2, pp.45 - 62

Available online: 13 Jun 2012 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article