The social shaping of packaged software selection

Howcroft, Debra & Light, Ben (2010) The social shaping of packaged software selection. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 11(3), Article 2.

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Abstract

As organisations increasingly engage in the selection, purchase, and adoption of packaged software products, how these activities are carried out in practice becomes increasingly relevant for researchers and practitioners. Our focus in this paper is to propose a framework for understanding the packaged software selection process. The functionalist literature on this area of study suggests a number of generic recommendations, which are based on rational assumptions about the process and view the decision making that takes place as producing the “best technology solution.’” To explore this, we conducted a longitudinal, in-depth study of packaged software selection in a small organisation. For interpretation of the case, we draw upon the Social Construction of Technology, a theoretical framework arguing that technology is socially constituted and regarding the process of development as contradictory and uncertain. We offer a number of contributions. First, we further our understanding of packaged software selection with the critique that we offer of the functionalist literature, drawing insights from the emerging critical/constructivist literature and expanding our domain of interest to encompass the wider environment. Second, we weave this together with our experiences in the field, drawing on social constructivism for theoretical support, to develop a framework of packaged software selection that shows how various actors shape the process.

Impact and interest:

22 citations in Scopus
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10 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 75718
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1536-9323
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010, by the Association for Information Systems.
Deposited On: 01 Oct 2014 23:54
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2016 00:10

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