Advertisement

Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW)

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 177–207 | Cite as

Infrastructuring as Ambiguous Repair: A Case Study of a Surveillance Infrastructure Project

  • Marius Mikalsen
  • Babak A. Farshchian
  • Yngve Dahl
Article

Abstract

Health and welfare organisations are under increased scrutiny regarding their ability to make innovations in and increase the productivity of their services by digitising and automating them. Our empirical case study focuses on the implementation of a new health and welfare surveillance infrastructure project in a large Norwegian municipality. The infrastructure project led to significant challenges for various reasons, such as coordinating with vendors and subvendors, balancing governmentally defined purchase and implementation processes with local work practices, tailoring packaged solutions, and the differing concerns of many actors across different municipal departments. moves through ongoing cycles project moves through ongoing cycles of breakdown and repair in order to implement a working infrastructure. Key to our analysis is the way repair plays out as the infrastructure project deals with the ambiguity resulting from uncertainties in relation to both how technology works in practice and how the project will be organised. We empirically analyse three collaborative repair mechanisms: value-network repair, process repair, and participation repair. Our study enriches the understanding of infrastructuring by discussing the collaborative repair mechanisms necessary for mobilising and adapting the practices, systems, and processes that coexist in infrastructure projects. Additionally, the concept of ambiguous repair suggests that tensions cannot be permanently resolved but rather should be considered an ongoing and necessary part of practical infrastructuring.

Keywords

Infrastructuring Information infrastructures Large projects Ambiguity Repair Empirical Case study Health and care 

References

  1. Andreassen, Hege K.; Lars E. Kjekshus; and Aksel Tjora (2015). Survival of the Project: A Case Study of ICT Innovation in Health Care. Social Science & Medicine, vol. 132, pp. 62–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Blomberg, Jeanette; and Helena Karasti (2013). Reflections on 25 Years of Ethnography in CSCW. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), vol. 22, nos. 4–6, pp. 373–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bødker, Susanne; Christian Dindler; and Ole Sejer Iversen (2017). Tying Knots: Participatory Infrastructuring at Work. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), vol. 26, nos. 1–2, pp. 245–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bossen, Claus; and Randi Markussen (2010). Infrastructuring and Ordering Devices in Health Care: Medication Plans and Practices on a Hospital Ward. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), vol. 19, no. 6, pp. 615–637.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bowker, Geoffrey C.; and Susan Leigh Star (1999). Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  6. Cecez-Kecmanovic, Dubravka; Karlheinz Kautz; and Rebecca Abrahall (2014). Reframing Success and Failure of Information Systems: A Performative Perspective. Management Information Systems Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 561–586.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Knorr Cetina, Karin (2001). Objectual Practice. In Theodore R. Schatzki; Karin Knorr Cetina; and Eike von Savigny (eds): The Practice Turn in Contemporary Theory. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 175–188.Google Scholar
  8. Ciborra, Claudio (2000). From control to Drift: The Dynamics of Corporate Information Infrastructures. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Ehn, Pelle (2008). Participation in Design Things. In PDC2008: Proceedings of the 10th Participatory Design Conference, Bloomington, IN, USA, 30 September – 04 October 2008. New York: ACM Press, pp. 92–101.Google Scholar
  10. Ellingsen, Gunnar; Eric Monteiro; and Kristoffer Røed (2013). Integration as Interdependent Workaround. International Journal of Medical Informatics, vol. 82, no. 5, pp. 161–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fitzpatrick, Geraldine; and Gunnar Ellingsen (2013). A Review of 25 Years of CSCW Research in Healthcare: Contributions, Challenges and Future Agendas. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), vol. 22, nos. 4–6, pp. 609–665.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Garud, Raghu; Sanjay Jain; and Philipp Tuertscher (2008). Incomplete by Design and Designing for Incompleteness. Organization Studies, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 351–371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gaver, William W.; Jacob Beaver; and Steve Benford (2003). Ambiguity as a Resource for Design. In CHI 2003:  Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida USA, 05–10 April 2003. New York: ACM Press, pp. 233–240.Google Scholar
  14. Grisot, Miria; Ole Hanseth; and Anne Thorseng (2014). Innovation of, in, on Infrastructures: Articulating the Role of Architecture in Information Infrastructure Evolution. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, vol. 15, no. 4. pp. 197–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hanseth, Ole; and Kalle Lyytinen (2010). Design Theory for Dynamic Complexity in Information Infrastructures: The Case of Building Internet. Journal of Information Technology, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hanseth, Ole; Eric Monteiro; and Morten Hatling (1996). Developing Information Infrastructure: The Tension between Standardization and Flexibility. Science, Technology & Human Values, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 407–426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Houston, Lara; Steven J. Jackson; Daniela K. Rosner; Syed I. Ahmed; Meg Young; and Laewoo Kang (2016). Values in Repair. In CHI 2016: Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, San Jose, California, USA, 07–12 May 2016. New York: ACM Press, pp. 1403–1414.Google Scholar
  18. Jackson, Steven J. (2014). Rethinking Repair. In P. Gillespie; P. Boczkowski; and K. Foot (eds.): Media Technologies: Essays on Communication, Materiality, and Society. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, pp. 221–239.Google Scholar
  19. Jackson, Steven J.; Alex Pompe; and Gabriel Krieshok (2012). Repair Worlds: Maintenance, Repair, and ICT for Development in Rural Namibia. In: Steven Poltrock and Carla Simone (eds): CSCW’12:  Proceedings of the ACM 2012 conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 11–15 February 2012, Seattle, Washington, USA.Google Scholar
  20. Karasti, Helena (2014). Infrastructuring in Participatory Design. PDC 2014:  Proceedings of the 13th Participatory Design Conference: Research Papers - Volume 1, New York: ACM Press, pp. 141–150.Google Scholar
  21. Karasti, Helena; and Karen S. Baker (2004). Infrastructuring for the Long-Term: Ecological Information Management. In: ​HICSS 2004: Proceedings of the 37th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 5–8 January 2004, Hawaii, USA.Google Scholar
  22. Karasti, Helena; Karen S. Baker; and Florence Millerand (2010). Infrastructure Time: Long-Term Matters in Collaborative Development. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), vol. 19, nos. 3–4, pp. 377–415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Klein, Heinz K.; and Michael D. Myers (1999). A Set of Principles for Conducting and Evaluating Interpretive Field Studies in Information Systems. Management Information Systems Quarterly, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 67–93.Google Scholar
  24. Larkin, Brian (2013). The Politics and Poetics of Infrastructure. Annual Review of Anthropology, vol. 42, no. 1, pp. 327–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Law, John (1986). On Power and Its Tactics: A View from the Sociology of Science. The Sociological Review, vol. 34, pp. 1–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Monteiro, Eric; Neil Pollock; Ole Hanseth; and Robin Williams (2013). From Artefacts to Infrastructures. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 575–607.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Neumann, Laura J.; and Susan Leigh Star (1996). Making Infrastructure: The Dream of a Common Language. In Jeanette Blomberg; Finn Kensing; and Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson (eds.): PDC 1996: Proceedings of the 4th biennial Participatory Design Conference, Cambridge, MA, USA, 13–15 November 1996, Palo Alto, CA, USA, pp. 231–240.Google Scholar
  28. Parmiggiani, Elena; Eric Monteiro; and Vidar Hepsø (2015). The dDigital cCoral: Infrastructuring eEnvironmental monitoring. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), vol. 24, no. 5, pp. 423–460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Pipek, Volkmar; and Volker Wulf (2009). Infrastructuring: Toward an Integrated Perspective on the Design and Use of Information Technology. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, vol. 10, no. 5, pp. 447–473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ribes, David (2014). Ethnography of Scaling, or, How to a Fit a National Research Infrastructure in the Room. CSCW 2014:  Proceedings of the 17th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing, New York: ACM Press pp. 158–170.Google Scholar
  31. Ribes, David; and Thomas A. Finholt (2009) The Long Now of Technology Infrastructure: Articulating Tensions in Development. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, vol. 10. no. 5, pp. 375–398.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Ribes, David; and Charlotte P. Lee (2010). Sociotechnical Studies of Cyberinfrastructure and e-Research: Current Themes and Future Trajectories. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), vol. 19, nos. 3–4, pp. 231–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Ribes, David; and Jessica Polk (2014). Flexibility Relative to What? Change to Research Infrastructure. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, vol. 15, no. 5, pp. 287–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ribes, David; Steven Jackson; Stuart Geiger; Matthew Burton; and Thomas Finholt (2013). Artifacts That Organize: Delegation in the Distributed Organization. Information and Organization, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Rolland, Knut H.; and Eric Monteiro (2002). Balancing the Local and the Global in Infrastructural Information Systems. The Information Society, vol. 18, pp. 87–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rosner, Daniela K.; and Morgan Ames (2014). Designing for Repair? Infrastructures and Materialities of Breakdown. CSCW 2014: Proceedings of the 17th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing. New York, NY, USA: ACM Press, pp. 319–331.Google Scholar
  37. Schmidt, Kjeld (2009). Divided by a Common Acronym: On the Fragmentation of CSCW. In Ina Wagner; Hilda Tellioğlu; Ellen Balka; Carla Simone; and Luigina Ciolfi (eds): CSCW 2009: Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 7-11 September 2009, Vienna, Austria. London: Springer, pp. 223–242.Google Scholar
  38. Schmidt, Kjeld; and Liam Bannon (1992). Taking CSCW Seriously: Supporting Articulation Work. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), vol. 1, pp. 7–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Star, Susan Leigh (1999). The Ethnography of Infrastructure. American Behavioral Scientist, vol. 43, no. 3, pp. 377–391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Star, Susan Leigh; and Geoffrey C. Bowker (2002). How to Infrastructure. In L. Lievrouw; and S. Livingstone (eds.): Handbook of New Media: Social Shaping and Social Consequences of ICTs, Updated Student Edition. London: Sage, pp. 230–245.Google Scholar
  41. Star, Susan Leigh; and Karen Ruhleder (1996). Steps toward an Ecology of Infrastructure: Design and Access for Large Information Spaces. Information Systems Research, vol. 7, pp. 111–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Star, Susan Leigh; and Anselm Strauss (1999). Layers National Research Infrastructure in the RoomWork. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), vol. 8, nos. 1–2, pp. 9–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Strauss, Anselm (1988). The Articulation of Project Work: An Organizational Process. Sociological Quarterly, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 163–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Suchman, Lucy A. (1987). Plans and Situated Actions: The Problem of Human–Machine Communication. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Walsham, Geoff (2006). Doing Interpretive Research. European Journal of Information Systems, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 320–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Williams, Robin (2016). Why Is It Difficult to Achieve e-Health Systems at Scale? Information, Communication & Society, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 540–550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Williams, Robin; and Neil Pollock (2012). Research Commentary—Moving Beyond the Single Site Implementation Study: How (and Why) We Should Study the Biography of Packaged Enterprise Solutions. Information Systems Research, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Wulf, Volker; Kjeld Schmidt; and David Randall (2015). Introduction: Meeting the Challenge of Change. In Volker Wulf; Kjeld Schmidt; and David Randall (eds.): Designing Socially Embedded Technologies in the Real-World, London: Springer, pp. 1–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SINTEF DigitalTrondheimNorway
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceNorwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)TrondheimNorway

Personalised recommendations