Don Ihde’s ‘Soft’ Technological Determinism and Capabilities for IS Organizational Learning. The Case of a Competence Center
There is a not yet resolved, ongoing debate concerning the character of technology. After synthesizing the main strands in this theoretical contention, the paper draws on Don Ihde’s ‘soft’ technological determinism to discuss appropriate strategies of organizational learning on the part of IS vendors. A case is presented concerning the design and evolution of the competence center of the financial division of a large Italian software house. The description and discussion show that an early, persistent, and extensive involvement of human resources in the project, the lean structure of the center, and its promotion of knowledge exchanges both within the division and with clients, suppliers, and regulatory bodies allowed for improved division capabilities. An interorganizational ‘learning ladder’ was thus established so that technologies and contexts could be more flexibly and effectively addressed and managed.
KeywordsInformation System Organizational Learning User Organization Facilitate Condition Technological Determinism
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