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Understanding the tangible in information systems

Beynon-Davies, Paul ORCID: and Lederman, Reeva 2019. Understanding the tangible in information systems. Presented at: ICIS 2018: International Conference on Information Systems 2018, San Francisco, 13-16 December 2018. Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems. Association for information systems, -.

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This paper proposes the contemporary relevance of a previously unrecognized class of IS, a tangible IS (TIS), which are comprised of tangible (visual/material) artefacts, such as magnetic tokens and physical whiteboards, used within contemporary settings such as hospitals and production settings, to support routine work by multiple actors. We propose several features of TIS and examine why attempts to computerize such systems often fail. By theorizing about how information emerges within TIS we present a novel application of the theory of affordances. We show how acts involving the articulation of tangible artefacts afford acts of communication, which in turn afford the coordination of work actions. We explain in terms of our theorization why an electronic whiteboard, designed to replace the previous TIS within an ICU ward, suffers from a number of ‘information’ problems. We propose principles for IS design based upon our innovative use of affordance theory.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: In Press
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Publisher: Association for information systems
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 28 January 2019
Date of Acceptance: 13 December 2018
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2022 08:25

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