Representing Human and Non-Human Stakeholders: On Speaking with Authority

Part of the IFIP — The International Federation for Information Processing book series (IFIPAICT, volume 41)


Information systems research is concerned with complex imbroglios of human and non-human components. As researchers, we need ways to represent the intricacies of the different stakeholders in such situations. Traditionally, it is assumed that representing the views of human stakeholders is relatively unproblematic, but that doing this for non-humans is far more complex. This paper addresses this assumption, drawing on the philosophy of science of Isabelle Stengers. It considers the case of the UK NHSnet project and focuses on two stakeholders in the project, one human (the patients) and one nonhuman (the encryption algorithm used to encode confidential patient data). As the case study shows, representing either stakeholder is equally problematic and the paper reflects on the implications of this for information systems research.


Encryption Algorithm Trusted Third Party Information System Research British Medical Association Security Consultant 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brunel UniversityUK
  2. 2.London School of Economics and Political ScienceUK

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