Investigating IT Standardization Process Through the Lens of Theory of Communicative Action

  • Karthikeyan Umapathy
  • Sandeep Purao
  • John W. Bagby
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 258)

Abstract

Developing standards is a social practice wherein experts engage in discussions to evaluate design solutions. In this paper, we analyze processes followed to develop SOAP standard from the theory of communicative action perspective, which argues that individuals engaged in social discourse would exhibit five possible actions: instrumental, strategic, normatively regulated, dramaturgical, and communicative. Our findings reveal that participants in standardization processes engage in communicative action most frequently with aim of reaching mutual understanding and consensus, engage in strategic action when influencing others towards their intended goals, engage in instrumental action when taking responsibility for solving technical issues, engage in dramaturgical action when expressing their opinions, and engage in normatively regulated action when performing roles they assumed. Our analysis indicates that 60 % of activities performed are consensus oriented whereas the rest are success oriented. This paper provides empirical evidence for Habermasian view of social actions occurring in the standardization process setting.

Keywords

Standards Standardization processes Habermas Communicative action 

References

  1. 1.
    Sherif, M.H.: A framework for standardization in telecommunications and information technology. IEEE Commun. Mag. 39, 94–100 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
  3. 3.
    Schoechle, T.: Toward a theory of standards. In: IEEE Conference on Standardisation and Innovation in Information Technology (SIIT), Los Alamitos, CA, USA. IEEE (1999)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lyytinen, K., Hirschheim, R.: Information systems as rational discourse: an application of Habermas’s theory of communicative action. Scand. J. Manag. 4, 19–30 (1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Froomkin, A.M.: Habermas@discourse.net: toward a critical theory of cyberspace. Harv. Law Rev. 116, 751–873 (2003)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Umapathy, K.: An investigation of W3C standardization processes using rational discourse. In: AIS Special Interest Group on Pragmatist IS Research (SIGPrag) Meeting (2009)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Habermas, J.: The Theory of Communicative Action: Reason and the Rationalization of Society. Beacon Press, Boston (1984)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lehr, W.: Standardization: understanding the process. J. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci. 43, 550–555 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Zhao, K., et al.: Vertical e-Business standards and standards developing organizations: a conceptual framework. Electron. Mark. 15, 289–300 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Choi, B., et al.: Process model for e-Business standards development: a case of ebXML standards. J. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci. 56, 448–467 (2009)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Heng, M.S.H., De Moor, A.: From Habermas’s communicative theory to practice on the internet. Inf. Syst. J. 13, 331–352 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bolton, R.: The importance of Habermas’s “Communicative Action” for social capital and social network theory. In: Annual Meeting of Association of American Geographers. Association of American Geographers (2005)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Ngwenyama, O.K., Lee, A.S.: Communication richness in electronic mail: critical social theory and the contextuality of meaning. MIS Q. 21, 145–167 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hansen, S., et al.: Wikipedia as rational discourse: an illustration of the emancipatory potential of information systems. In: Hawaii International Conference on Systems Science (HICSS) (2007)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Cecez-Kecmanovic, D., Janson, M.: Communicative action theory: an approach to understanding the application of information systems. In: Australasian Conference on Information Systems (1999)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Klein, H.K., Huynh, M.Q.: The Critical social theory of Jürgen Habermas and its implications for IS research. In: Mingers, J., Willcocks, L. (eds.) Social Theory and Philosophy for Information Systems, pp. 157–237. Wiley, Chichester (2004)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hansen, S., et al.: Wikipedia, critical social theory, and the possibility of rational discourse. Inf. Soc. 25, 38–59 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Manninen, T.: Interaction forms and communicative actions in multiplayer games. Int. J. Comput. Game Res. 3, 5–10 (2003)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Yin, R.K.: Case Study Research: Design and Methods. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks (2003)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
  21. 21.
  22. 22.
    Krippendorff, K.: Content Analysis: An Introduction to Its Methodology. Sage Publications, Inc., Thousand Oaks (2003)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Stemler, S.: An overview of content analysis. Res. Eval. 7, 137–146 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    ATLAS.ti: ATLAS.ti Scientific Software Development GmbH, Berlin, Germany (2015)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Rourke, L., et al.: Methodological issues in the content analysis of computer conference transcripts. IJAIED 12, 8–22 (2001)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Neuendorf, K.A.: The Content Analysis Guidebook. Sage Publications, Inc., Thousand Oaks (2001)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Lombard, M., et al.: Content analysis in mass communication: assessment and reporting of intercoder reliability. Hum. Commun. Res. 28, 587–604 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karthikeyan Umapathy
    • 1
  • Sandeep Purao
    • 2
  • John W. Bagby
    • 3
  1. 1.University of North FloridaJacksonvilleUSA
  2. 2.Bentley UniversityWalthamUSA
  3. 3.Penn State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations