Implementing innovation: designers, users and actor-networks
Harty, C. (2010) Implementing innovation: designers, users and actor-networks. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 22 (3). pp. 297-315. ISSN 1465-3990
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/09537321003647339
The role of users is an often-overlooked aspect of studies of innovation and diffusion. Using an actor-network theory (ANT) approach, four case studies examine the processes of implementing a piece of CAD (computer aided design) software, BSLink, in different organisations and describe the tailoring done by users to embed the software into working practices. This not only results in different practices of use at different locations, but also transforms BSLink itself into a proliferation of BSLinks-in-use. A focus group for BSLink users further reveals the gaps between different users' expectations and ways of using the software, and between different BSLinks-in-use. It also demonstrates the contradictory demands this places on its further development. The ANT-informed approach used treats both innovation and diffusion as processes of translation within networks. It also emphasises the political nature of innovation and implementation, and the efforts of various actors to delegate manoeuvres for increased influence onto technological artefacts.